I want to become a clothing designer – where to start and where to study?

Such a profession as a clothing designer has been and will be fashionable at all times. Applicants are still lining up today. True, the path of a designer or fashion designer is not as easy as it seems. Some started at school, others came to the fashion industry from a completely different field, and the career of the third became a rather long and multi-step ladder. How to get into the world of fashion? Where to start, and is there any point?

The content of the article:

The essence of the work of a fashion designer – where is a specialist in demand?

Who is a clothing designer? This is a specialist who presents to the world his sketches of original clothing models in line with the latest fashion trends. What is included in the work of a specialist? Designer…

  • Develops product designs.
  • Draws up technical / assignments for their design.
  • Applies information technology in the design process (or at the design stage) of products.
  • Carries out the organization of the work of performers.
  • Supervises the process of making clothes.
  • He is engaged in the registration of applications for samples for the examination of projects and provides products for certification.
  • Carries out the development of patterns.

What should a designer know?

  • The history of the development of fashion / costume.
  • All major trends in fashion.
  • Basics of modeling / designing clothes.
  • All key provisions of regulatory documents.
  • The basics of organizing the work of an enterprise, as well as the basics of managing it.
  • Methods of making clothes (approx. – industry / technology).
  • Characteristics / purpose of those / equipment.
  • Etc.

designer at work

Where can a designer work?

  • At light industry enterprises.
  • In fashion houses.
  • On an individual basis (private orders).
  • In salons or ateliers.
  • In the design studio.
  • In textile and haberdashery / garment production.
  • In an experimental workshop.

Designer or fashion designer – who is more important, and what is the difference?

Today, both professions are popular in the domestic labor market. They can quite successfully combine and replace each other. The fashion designer can be classified according to the direction of work:

  • Constructor (development of drawings, changing the features of clothing according to the customer’s sketch).
  • Technologist (selection of a sewing method, search for processing methods, simplification of the process of creating clothes).
  • Artist (creation of sketches, elaboration of finishing, drawing of a structure).

The most popular is a versatile fashion designer capable of combining all stages of clothing creation.

The designer is more involved in designing things, generating new ideas.

  • Defining the concept of the collection.
  • Development of sketches, designs, technologies.
  • Defile script creation.
  • Participation in advertising campaigns.

See also: I want to become an accountant – where to start and what do you need?

Pros and cons of being a fashion designer

Before plunging headlong into the world of fashion, weigh the pros and cons. Not everything goes so smoothly in the fashion industry, and the path to the stars, bypassing thorns is a rare rarity.

Cons of the profession:

  • Physically hard work – you will have to work a lot and constantly, often in an emergency mode.
  • It is impossible to go beyond what is determined by the customer.
  • Independent coordination of the entire process.
  • High competition.
  • Quite often – independent searches for customers.
  • Lack of guarantee of high income.



  • With a successful combination of circumstances – world renown.
  • High fees (again, if fortune turns its face).
  • Favorite creative work.
  • A prestigious profession.
  • Development of creativity.
  • Working out useful connections.
  • Participation in interesting projects.
  • Demand in the labor market.

To participate in an elite fashion show (according to the haute couture rules), the designer provides up to 60 ensembles. And each piece must be 50-80 percent handmade. And given that sometimes it takes up to 5-6 months to make one dress, only fans survive in this business, which cannot imagine life without such experiments.

How to become a clothing designer without education and experience – should you start training and where?

Of course, without appropriate training, it is almost impossible to take a start in this profession. A designer is not only naked enthusiasm, but also knowledge, practice, constant movement forward. How to bring your dream closer? Understanding …

Where to study?


Future designers receive education in art and specialized schools, design schools, as well as fashion institutes, training centers and other institutions. The most basic:

  • MSTU them. A.N. Kosygin (state).
  • MGUDT (state).
  • MGHPA (state).
  • MGUKI (state).
  • MHPI (commercial).
  • National Institute of Fashion (commercial).
  • OGIS, Omsk (state).
  • South-Russian University of Economics and Service, Shakhty (state).
  • Costume Design Institute, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg (state).
  • Light industry complex N 5, Moscow.
  • K-j of decorative and applied arts. Karl Faberge N 36, Moscow.
  • K-well technological N 24, Moscow.
  • Clothing Engineering School (SPGU), St. Petersburg.
  • Moscow Industrial College.
  • Ivanovo Textile Academy.

For those who have similar opportunities:

  • Central Saint Martins College.
  • Royal College of Art and London College of Fashion, London.
  • Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.
  • British course BA Fashion Degree at BHSAD, Moscow.
  • British Higher School of Design.

And also Saint Martins, Istituto Marangoni, Istituto Europeo di Design, Parsons, etc.


Where to start and what to remember?

  • Decide on your preferences. Where are you strong? Where do you want to go? Making clothes for kids, yoga pants or maybe accessories? Research your target audience.
  • Read more. Subscribe to all fashion magazines and blogs, check out biographies of fashion designers.
  • Follow new trends and look for your fresh ideas.
  • Develop artistic taste and a sense of proportion, an inner sense of proportion.
  • Look for practice and use any opportunity for development: fashion boutiques, familiar fashion designers (as an apprentice or just an observer), clothing factories, etc.
  • Develop your abilities: 3D thinking, technical skills, combining textures and colors, drawing, fashion history, etc.
  • Sign up for additional courses. Look for training opportunities with established designers.
  • Hone your sewing machine and hand sewing skills.
  • The most difficult skill is sketching and pattern making. Pay special attention to this point.
  • Expand your knowledge of fabrics – composition, quality, draping, breathing, deformation, types, and more.
  • Look for your style! Gathering information about designers and borrowing something for yourself is not enough. You need to look for your original and recognizable style.
  • Visit fashion stores and fashion shows, analyze information in the media, watch modern trends. In general, keep your finger on the pulse.
  • Get busy building your portfolio. Without him today – nowhere. Put your best work into a portfolio, a detailed resume, freehand sketches and comp / designs, pages with your concept, colors and fabrics, and other useful information. It is best to create your own website for the portfolio, so that your works and products can be viewed at any time and from anywhere in the world. Design your logo as well.
  • Learn to do business at your favorite job. Learn the basics of marketing and doing business, look for opportunities to sell your original products – cinemas / theaters, online stores (your own or someone else’s), exhibitions, etc.
  • Look for work, do not stand still. You may have to work as an apprentice, but this is also a step forward. Send your resume to design workshops and even fashion houses – maybe you will be lucky enough to find an internship, work as an assistant, etc. Do not forget about online advertisements, about work for theaters / cinema.


  • Try to wear clothes that you create yourself.
  • Participate in competitions for young designers – in all that you can “reach”, from your internal (at the university) to external (ITS and Russian Silhouette, Grass Design Week and Admiralty Needle, etc. Be aware of all the significant events of the year and try not to miss any in which you can take part.

And believe in yourself. Competitors, hairpins and criticism, periods of downtime and lack of inspiration – everyone goes through it. But on the other hand, there is a favorite job with a solid income ahead.

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