Courses in handbag design are often included in undergraduate degree programs in fashion merchandising and design. However, several schools offer associate and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in accessory designing for students interested specifically in the creation of original handbags. In these programs, students learn about design techniques and tools, as well as handbag style, material and construction. In addition, some schools may offer handbag design courses as part of continuing education certificate programs in fashion design.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in handbag design courses:
- Fashion types and styles
- Illustration and design
- Portfolio development
- Accessory design
- Software systems
- Fabric manipulation
- Textile construction
- Specializations in design
List of Common Courses
Accessory Fashions Course
This course can be a part of both associate and BFA degree programs. It presents students with an overview of the apparel and accessory fashion industry by presenting various types of accessories, such as shoes, belts, hats, gloves and handbags. It also teaches the various phases of design, construction, and marketing. Most programs offer this class early in the program and require no prerequisite courses before registration.
Sketching in Design Course
Very early in most accessory design degree programs, students receive instruction in basic sketching and rendering. The creation of 2-dimensional technical drawing is also emphasized. Some classes require students to contribute designs to a professional portfolio that demonstrates sketching skills in basic accessories, such as gloves, handbags and belts.
Computer-Aided Design Course
Fashion designs are not limited to hand drawings only, and students of both associate and bachelor's degree programs are often required to learn computer-aided design software. This course teaches students to convert 2D drawings to 3D illustrations of their accessory designs. Instruction usually includes software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
Textile Materials Course
This course is common to most accessory design programs. It teaches students about various types of fabrics, their construction, quality and care. It can also include a studio element with demonstrations of fabric weaving, dyeing and other aspects of natural and manufactured textile construction. Some programs have separate classes that allow students to work with leather, fur or plastics and corresponding decoration techniques.
Handbag Design Course
Handbag design can be taught through one or more courses, depending on a student's degree level and concentration. Introductory courses usually examine handbag designs and their development over time, as well as contemporary models. Students are also taught handbag pattern-making and construction skills. Advanced classes teach complex handbag designs, reconstruction mastery and repair techniques.