Establishing yourself in the world of fashion design makes you a member of an elite, rewarding and prominent industry. You can rise through the ranks of the world’s biggest fashion labels or make a name for yourself to form your own brand by allowing your creativity to flourish. Those who possess the requisite skills and flair, and the willpower to succeed, fashion design is a career path with no limits.

So let’s take a look at what you can do after earning a diploma in fashion design.

What is fashion design?

Fashion design refers to the art of creating clothing using a variety of fabrics, colours, trends and styles. This form of designing is not just restricted to clothing, but it also includes accessories such as eyewear, footwear, jewellery and handbags.

Fashion design can be divided into three categories including:

  • Haute Couture: this type of fashion design involves creating clothing and accessories for a specific customer as per his/her demands. The design created is not accessible for general customers to purchase. Such designs make use of high-end materials and take time to be created.
  • Mass market: the fashion industry makes most of its revenue through this category. It includes clothes in multiple sizes that customers can go and purchase from stores. These clothes are usually designed keeping the latest fashion trends in mind. The clothes and accessories in this category are not very expensive and they also do not take much time to be manufactured.
  • Ready to wear: this category comprises elements from both the mass market category and the haute couture category. These apparel are manufactured in limited quantities but are open for sale to the public at large. These designs are usually created on the basis of seasons such as the summer collection, spring collection or even the winter collection. Special collections can also be created for bridal wear or swimsuits. These collections are expensive compared to the mass market category but cheaper than haute couture.

Steps to become a fashion designer:

  • Step 1 – Earn a degree or diploma: In order to enter this uber-competitive industry, it’s important to earn a degree or diploma in fashion design. This will help you understand the industry and will provide you with a list of skills that you need to excel at.
  • Step 2 – Hone your skills: studying at a fashion design college will help you hone your skills in the form of hands-on experience through internship opportunities with fashion houses, clothing manufacturers or designers.
  • Step 3 –understand the fashion business: apart from the creativity that is a given in this line of work, it is also important to understand the business aspect of it.

You might have amazing creativity, but your company will not be able to survive if you do not possess that business shrewdness. Hence, prospective fashion designers should acquaint themselves with the basics of marketing and finance if they want to set up their own fashion brands in the future. An introduction to these subjects is usually taught at fashion schools.

  • Step 4 – Prepare a portfolio: In order to obtain a job in the fashion and design industry after earning a diploma, it is imperative for students to prepare a portfolio showcasing their finest work. Portfolios also allow students to display the skills they might possess like sewing, creating patterns or sketching.
  • Step 5 – Keep abreast with the latest trends: the trends in the fashion industry change every few months. Hence, it is important for prospective designers to keep up with these trends, which they can do with the help of fashion magazines and fashion websites.

Skills required in the fashion industry:

  • Excellent drawing skills: In order to excel as a fashion designer, you must possess strong drawing skills because designers are required to think of concepts and put them to paper.
  • Keen eye for detail: other than good drawing skills, having an eye for detail is also important for a fashion designer. You being able to catch the little things will help in elevating your designs and making them unique.
  • Having an understanding of fabric, texture and colour: In the fashion design industry, having a proper sense of fabric, texture and colour is key. For example, you will have to know which fabric is suitable for a particular design, or which colours and patterns would look good together.
  • Visualisation skills: It would only be possible for you to put down your concepts and designs on paper after thinking about them in your head, which would only be possible if you possess good visualisation
  • Good communication skills: while working in the fashion industry, there will be times where you will have to collaborate with other fashion designers or you will have to explain your ideas to tailors and for this you will have to possess strong communication skills. Having good communication skills will also help in encouraging your team but also in sharing your vision with other designers. 

What is a diploma in fashion design?

Studying a diploma in fashion design will provide you with a proper foundation for fashion design and the fashion industry. At the same time, such a course will also help you in understanding the techniques and skills required to establish your career in this field.  A diploma will also help in building your knowledge with the help of practical projects and assignments.

Take a look at a sample fashion design course details:

  • Processes and techniques: This module involves developing skills that are key for any fashion designer, and it includes topics such as:
  • Draping;
  • Generating concepts and ideas;
  • Flat pattern methods;
  • Sketching;
  • Preparing a mood board.
  • Textile and fashion practices: This module focuses on providing you with the knowledge of fabrics, their properties and uses and experimenting with a variety of fabrics. It consists of topics like:
  • Grasping the technical facets of fabrics;
  • Selecting the correct fabric;
  • Experimenting with fabrics;
  • Introduction to sewing and various techniques involved.
  • Apparel making and pattern cutting: this unit will build on the first two modules in the form of honing your sewing skills and pattern making skills to produce a garment. Topics in this module include:
  • Measuring people for individual garments;
  • Creating a dress block or skirt;
  • Creating different and new pattern styles by experimenting with pattern blocks;
  • Fabric cutting;
  • Creating a finished piece of garment.
  • Introduction to Fashion collection: In this module, students will be asked to develop their own range of a fashion collection; right from receiving a sample client brief, to creating a unique brand identity, to preparing conceptual designs, to selecting the trends to use and finally the presentation of the collection. The topics in this module consist of:
  • Concept and idea boards;
  • Development of design;
  • Understanding and forecasting fashion trends;
  • Brand identity;
  • Types of fashion collections;
  • Fashion promotion, marketing and pricing.

Careers in the fashion design industry

Take a look at the careers you can take up after completing a fashion design course or a fashion technology course:

  • Fashion designer;
  • Fashion Illustrator;
  • Fashion stylist;
  • Fashion coordinator;
  • Fashion consultant;
  • Fashion merchandiser;
  • Fashion buyer;
  • Textile designer;
  • Footwear/jewellery designer;
  • Personal shopper;
  • Fashion journalist/blogger.

If you are interested in studying at a fashion designing institute and subsequently joining the fashion designing industry, the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers Foundation Course in Fashion and BA (Hons) Undergraduate Degree Course in Fashion Design.

FURTHER READ: Know how to become a Successful Fashion Designer and find out some lesser known Fashion Design Jobs, from these blogs!

This article was written by Varun Mehta and edited by Anisa Choudhary.