How to become a Fashion Designer
Updated: Feb 20
According to Moz.com, ‘how to become a fashion designer’ is searched on Google between 100-150 times per month. As well as being able to promote my design services, I want to ensure that what I’m discussing is honest, interesting and valuable.
My freelance designer journey is still very much in its infancy, so any help from search engines is a must. I will take you through a route that is based on my experiences as well as how things have changed.
Firstly, to state the obvious, you’ve got to like clothing. From the age of fourteen-sixteen, we were living on the outskirts of Norfolk (think fields) and without being legally old enough to drive, my mum finally caved and bought a Sky TV subscription. I had Saturdays to myself and watched Fashion TV religiously, where back-to-back catwalk shows and interviews with designers gave the impression of the ultimate industry to be part of. It looked so appealing being surrounded by the best in their field and amongst those who are passionate about their craft.
It’s a good idea to get some retail experience as well as interning in the early stages, I worked as a Topshop Sales Advisor for four years part-time between my studies, it’s a great way to meet like-minded peers and stay up to date with trends. Also, the discount. I studied on a four-year course, which included a foundation year at UCA @ Epsom, a specialist arts uni with a wealth of resources just outside of London.
There are many branches of design to consider such as; bridalwear, activewear, childrenswear, costume and many more but go with what you’re most drawn to or what you love researching. There may be jobs available in menswear but if your thing is womenswear then keep on that route – there will still be jobs available.
Fashion TV may no longer be around, but every social platform is a window to trends and influencers. Something I haven’t yet mentioned and is a pretty important part is funding. Degrees aren’t cheap, especially now where tuition fee’s are around £9,000 p/y. However, student loans exist for a reason. I went with the maximum of everything route (tuition fee’s and living costs) and I was left in the region of £35,000 of student debt. Yes, it’s not fun but I would never have had the opportunities I’ve had without it.
Something that’s apparent now more than ever is sustainable fashion, so if you’re interested in natural dying processes or recyclable fabrics, this is such a crucial part of the future of clothing design. Lastly, please don’t be discouraged by people telling you how hard it is, surely most careers come with challenges?