How to Become a Fashion Designer Online

Nov 13, 2019

Although fashion design is hands-on, students may still enroll in online degree programs and build their practice online. Learn about how you can prepare to become a fashion designer online below.

Fashion Designer Career Overview

Fashion designers conceptualize and create clothing items that range from couture to wholesale. They primarily work in clothing establishments, whether in a small design house or a large-scale apparel company, but they may also be involved in costume design for theatrical and/or film productions. Practicing fashion design in person makes it easier to learn and collaborate but becoming a fashion designer using online resources is definitely feasible.

Required Skills Artistry and creativity; technical knowledge in clothes production and CAD programs; detail-oriented; communication and decision-making skills
Job Growth* 1% for 2018-2028
Median Salary* $72,720 in 2018

Source: *U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Becoming a Fashion Designer Online

To prepare for a fashion design career online, aspiring designers need to obtain a fashion-related degree from an accredited school with an online program and then assemble a final portfolio before gaining hands-on experience and building contacts. Most steps can be done online, but activities such as internships and networking must typically be done in person.

Step 1: Earn a Degree

There are several schools across the U.S. that offer bachelor's degrees in fashion design that can be completed online. These schools are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and typically require applicants to submit some sketches or complete basic sewing courses first. Students can choose from programs that focus on areas like costume design, fashion marketing, fashion merchandising, fashion product development, fashion styling, and fashion visual merchandising.

Within these programs, students might learn about the latest technologies in fashion design, including CAD, 3D printing, and product lifecycle management software, as well as learn about clothing construction, merchandise planning, global retailing, and other relevant skills needed for a career in fashion design. Schools give learning materials and lectures online and students must submit class requirements online as well.

Step 2: Gain Experience

After graduating with a degree in fashion design, aspiring designers may gain real-world experience by interning with fashion companies, securing entry-level jobs within a design house, or working as freelance fashion designers. In these positions, they can gain hands-on experience in selecting fabrics, clothing construction, styling, draping, and developing a theme. It might also be possible to choose an area of specialization, such as clothing, footwear, or accessories.

Through an internship, they can also learn important skills that cannot be taught in the classroom, such as how to network and build relationships with clients. They could also become heavily involved in the design process and learn to collaborate.

Step 3. Network and Build Your Practice Online

Prospective fashion designers should build their presence online and create an online portfolio to showcase their work and share with potential clients. With just an Instagram page and a website, fashion designers can already strengthen their connections and branding, and they can build a following by engaging with the target market through other social media. Various software applications have made it possible for fashion designers to give consumers a better idea of what they are selling even without visiting a physical shop.

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