The qualification HND Fashion and Textiles strongly emphasises the vocational nature of fashion and textiles industry. It allows students to develop practical skills, requisite knowledge and understanding required in a professional work environment. 

Fashion textile courses are generally taught by experienced industry professionals who provide students with a thorough understanding of this creative field. Read this article to learn the advantages of earning an HND qualification in the field of fashion and textiles.

What is an HND?

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a valuable qualification that helps students excel in their professional careers. It allows students to experience the benefits of a practical learning approach enabling them to demonstrate their ability to perform in a particular industry. An HND mainly focuses on business and provides workspace experience, hence, it is often considered a semi-professional qualification. This qualification typically provides students with an educational foundation for a range of creative, technical and management careers in a variety of industries.

What are the benefits of an HNC or HND Fashion and Textiles qualification?

  • Provides in-depth understanding of the creative world of fashion and textiles;
  • Allows you to develop technical and creative skills related to garment design, pattern and manufacturing;
  • Prepares you for the workplace by providing industry-level experience;
  • Gives you the opportunity to focus on your personal creative vision based on processes such as:

o   Prints;

o   Textiles;

o   Digital design;

o   Fashion illustration;

o   Technical garment construction;

o   Pattern cutting;

o   Garment manufacture.

  • Promotes your sense of experimentation by enabling you to explore a range of design techniques;
  • Allows you to work on exciting and challenging areas of fashion and textiles;
  • Helps you implement a hands-on approach to generate ideas necessary to enter prestigious competitions;
  • Encourages you to gain work placements and employment in the fashion and textiles industry;
  • Helps you generate a portfolio of work by utilising enriching experiences within the industry;
  • Aids in gaining knowledge about the historical, social, political and economic influences of the industry;
  • Helps students understand the industry and its organisations by teaching students how to implement business and marketing principles.

Career options after an HNC/D Fashion and Textiles qualification

  • Fashion Designer (average annual salary: £25,504) – Fashion designers design clothing and fashion ranges by analysing (or predicting) trends in fabrics, colours and shapes. They work to develop basic shapes (or blocks) through patterns producing different concepts and mood boards (a collection of photos, fabric pieces and colour samples). They are responsible for making sample clothing items, work on design constructions and conduct in-house presentations for finance departments and merchandisers. Their responsibilities also include cooperating with overseas manufacturers to ensure accurate reproduction of designs.
  • Garment Technologist (average annual salary: £28,223) – Garment technologists work closely with sample mechanists and fashion designers to develop products. They ensure that garments are constructed accurately by providing advice on fabrics that need to be used, necessary design changes and budget. They oversee every stage of garment production, thus they are responsible for selecting fabrics and accessories to produce clothing items at the desired market value. Additionally, they also visit clothing factories to check on the delivery process to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Studio Manager (average annual salary: £42,239) – Studio managers establish an in-house team and oversee the tasks of photographers, stylists and studio assistants. They are responsible for enhancing work productivity, efficiency and workflow of product styling and photography, ensuring the production of high-quality images for the company’s webpage. They are expected to be proficient in handling networking systems equipment such as Adobe Creative Suite and Capture One. The following are some of the additional duties of studio managers:

o   Managing and leading teams and staff members;

o   Hiring models, booking model shootings and overseeing model castings;

o   Determining and communicating the vision, strategy and objectives of the studio team;

o   Ensuring that targets are achieved and that the studio is running efficiently. 

  • Fashion Stylist (average annual salary: £22,313) – Fashion stylists design visual images that are seen in magazine articles and videos. They work for designers, fashion houses and clothing brands, advising clients on fashion styling for visuals. They provide fashion advice (choosing and coordinating outfits) for models in photoshoots and actors in television and film. Fashion stylists are required to travel internationally for meetings and photo shoots. Additionally, they help fashion photographers with information about photographic locations.
  • Fashion Buyer (average annual salary: £34,355) – Fashion merchandise buyers (retail buyers) typically work for departmental stores and retail fashion. They conduct extensive research on fashion industry trends and are required to travel internationally to foreign manufacturing sites and fashion shows. They possess commercial acumen for the fashion industry as well as an understanding of what motivates customers to buy a particular product.

Topping up your HND

Besides having a keen eye for fashion, to establish yourself in the fashion and textiles industry you should try topping up your HND fashion and textile course with the following skills:

  • Sketching and sewing skills;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Visualisation skills;
  • Business, marketing and administrative skills;
  • Understanding of trends and different textile processes;
  • Teamwork skills.

If you are interested in gaining experience in fashion design and illustration, you should consider taking up the HNC/D Fashion and Textiles course offered by the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA). Throughout this course, students will develop a broad range of skills required to find a job at a professional studio setting or in larger industries. 

This article was written by Deblina Dam and edited by Anisa C.