Becoming a fashion designer

The first thing I would advise is if you are tired of studying, take a break before you start uni, travel if you can, do some nannying, do a boring shop job and make sure you are mentally prepared for some hard work. Studying fashion is like joining the army, it’s an incredibly difficult process which will toughen you up and change you as a person.

There are about 30 places you can study fashion design in the UK, each producing 50-100 graduates each year. So, approximately 1500-3000 graduates each year, the main website that advertises fashion design jobs is Drapers Jobs, it advertises about 2 junior design roles per month, that means 1500-3000 graduates applying for 25 positions over the course of a year. And yes, that is a very much an approximate count but it gives you a general idea of the odds.

The people who I know that found jobs were the ones who were very good at talking to people, asking the right questions and finding out what they needed to know. They took university seriously, began their process of acquiring work experience before uni ended and they secured their first job within the first year of graduating.

So, how do you end up as one of the lucky ones? I will tell you everything I know but you need to start asking questions yourself, there are many ways to get into fashion and you have to make some judgement calls about the path you think is best for you. You need to start by speaking to anyone you know or meet who works in fashion. You need to find out these key things:

  • Where did they go to university?
  • What did they write/do/say for their application/portfolio/interview?
  • What are they actually good at? Is it drawing, pattern cutting, sewing, print, knit, Photoshop or Photography?
  • How did they get their first internship?
  • How did they get their first job?
  • What is their job and what do they actually do everyday?
  • Why do they think they were hired?
  • Was it a certain attitude/skill set/competition/contact?

In order to be a great fashion designer you need be skilled at all of the following:

  • Drawing a stylised human body with clothes
  • Visual research (knowledge of contemporary art, photography, architecture)
  • Knowledge of the history of fashion
  • Knowledge of garment construction and tailoring techniques
  • Where to find the cheapest and/or most interesting fabrics and haberdashery in town
  • Sewing
  • Photography for your own research
  • How to use Photoshop to make a professional looking portfolio and create a print design
  • How to use Illustrator to draw your flats/working drawing, show different colour ways and create laser cutting files
  • How to create your own online portfolio
  • Knowledge of who all the best bloggers are
  • What are all the major fashion magazines and who they are targeted at
  • Who is the head designer at all of the famous fashion houses
  • Who are the up and coming designers at London Fashion Week
  • The ability to experiment

All of these things will take a long time to learn but by the time you’ve graduated from your BA this will be ingrained in you.

Posts created 38

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top