What do you need to learn to be a fashion designer?

April 14, 2015
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Successful fashion designers have a wide array of skills, including drawing, an eye for colour and texture, an ability to visualise concepts in three dimensions, and the skills involved in sewing and cutting all types of fabrics.

First you’ll have to learn design principles and the interaction of design and fabric. It’s important to understand how fabrics move, drape, breathe and react when worn. An in-depth knowledge of fabric is a must as well as where to source materials from.

You’ll also need to develop skills that will allow you to style and fit for different figure types. Real people have fitting issues that require knowledge if the garments are to be altered to fit. It is also important for a fashion designer to know how to draw clothing and make patterns using both manual and CAD systems in order to communicate with the design team.

But it’s not only about the technical skills. Being a successful fashion designer also requires a sound knowledge of the business and marketing aspects of the fashion world, including costing, product development and business management. There is an entire supply chain involved in the industry and you need to understand what each person’s job is, so that you can see things from their perspective in order to make compromises, meet demands and understand where things get held up.

Need inspiration? Learn from existing designers! Not just who they are, but also their backgrounds and their signature style. This will help you be a better designer yourself, as you can build on their ideas.