Basic Skills Required For Any Fashion Designer

Being a fashion designer is one of the most interesting and challenging jobs out there.

Glamorous fashion shows and events are merely the the surface levels. Behind the scenes are individuals, working hard to continually push themselves to imagine new ideas, perfect and make new creations. For them to do this, such people need to have a certain set of skills.

Whether you have raw talent or just a strong passion for fashion, you need to acquire some basic skills that will serve you through out your career as a fashion designer. These skills are multi faceted are are not just limited to being able to draw or think up new ideas, it takes more than that. Check these basic skills required for any fashion designer.


  • 1

    Develop A Sense Of Artistry Through Curiosity and Creativity

    One of the characteristics of a fashion designer is the ability to turn the ordinary into the elegant. A strong imagination is required to convert your imagination into reality.

    Fashion is vibrant and those in the business need to be innovative.We are surrounded by inspiration from the moment we are born but being able to fine-tune your mind to focus on the little subtleties around us is a skill.

    Can you connect to everything and nothing? Can you see the elegance through chaos? Create a movement from the bundle of fabric and raw materials in your hands, seeing what others cannot?

    Curiosity and creativity work hand in hand to bring in diverse, new ideas that no one has seen before. Step out of your comfort zone and get inspired. Find out about latest fashion trends, past trends or innovative designers you can learn from to get a well rounded view.

    You want to be at the center of the industry (as an underdog) to understand the world you want to get in to. Learn all you can and be prepared.

  • 2

    Excellent Communication

    Since you will be dealing with people you will need to communicate your ideas clearly and precisely for all to understand. As a designer after having the image of how you want the outfit to be your next step is to make sure what you envisioned is clearly translated on paper or on the runway.

    With excellent communication you are sure that people working with you can see your vision for themselves. Bad communication can ruin everything, and as someone wanting to ensure perfection of your ideas, you ought to communicate effectively even for the most “irrelevant” of details.

  • 3

    Strong Drawing Skills

    Illustrations whether reflected on paper or rendered via a computer is one way to reproduce your "mental work" for the world to see. Whether drawing comes naturally to you or not, you need to have drawing skills when starting a career in fashion design. It is easier to illustrate a concept than to create an actual mock-up.

    With this skill, you have full control of your creative process allowing you to  It is one thing to imagine something and it another thing for someone to draw it for you.

    Nobody can get the right picture or image if you do not literally draw them the picture in your head.

  • 4

    Detailed Knowledge of Materials and Fabrics

    Knowing about the various materials and fabrics available to designers cannot be emphasized enough. Fashion is ultimately meant to be worn. Without the right fabric to give you the right texture, the right feel and even the right color, you risk ruining a great design.

    It is your imagination coming to life and having the ability to differentiate between materials, what works and what does not, how to play up colors with different materials and how to combine different textures of materials depending on what you have to produce or offer, is very important

  • 5

    Sewing Skills

    Most fashion designers have a team of people that work for them in this area, and not all fashion designers are sewing experts, but they have good sewing skills. This is very crucial in the implanting of your outfit, for it to be right, the stitches ought to be right and neat. Some designers are known by their stitches, by just looking at them, (signature stitches from Coco Chanel, Vera Wang and all the way).

    To the trained eye, the work of each designer is unique and can be clearly seen. So as the designer who conceived the look, you want the fitting and mold to mesh in the way you envisioned. This means having strong sewing skills, with this you can identify which areas needs adjustment or recreation to fit your desired look.

  • 6

    Business Skill

    An innate sense of entrepreneurship is also required because fashion is a product that is consumed. Knowing when to release a new product to take advantage of  favorable market trends or conditions ,when to release a new fashion line, how to market your designs, which market demographic to target in your marketing campaigns. These are a few examples of the business decisions you need to make if you want to be a good fashion designer. To sustain your career as a fashion designer, you need to be able to maintain a viable business or at least know how to make your creations sell-able.

  • 7

    Detail Oriented

    Successful fashion designers are attentive to smallest areas. As an aspiring designer, you cannot pass off things casually because everything you produce will undergo scrutiny by fashion enthusiasts and other designers. This does not mean you should turn into a micro-manager controlling the most minute thing. This is counter-productive.

    A fashion designer should be aware of the big picture but it is the small strokes that added up to a create something great. Whether it is clothes or business, no part of the production line can be neglected. Fashion designers do not put their names on fashion labels for no reason.

  • 8

    Team Player

    If you are going to succeed as a fashion designer you will need to know how to work with different people to create synergy from various talents. You cannot be a jack of all trades, even if you think you understand the various fields. From tailors to accountants the world of fashion is filled with different types of specialized talents besides designers.

    Working together and sharing ideas that will help the art look better is an essential tool to attain results. Use the diversity and creativity within the industry to inspire you. Do not let your creative arrogance blind you to this fact.

  • 9

    Technology Skill

    Technology is making huge inroads into fashion nowadays and as a budding designer you need to equip yourself with the latest tools to be a leader in your field. From digital drawing, three dimensional printing to the use of social media to share ideas with other designers, a good grasp of available technology puts give you a good pace to move up. Remember technology cannot make up for other core designer skills but if a certain skill can compliment or even enhance your job as a fashion designer then go for it.


  • 11

    Competition skill

    Fashion in its own making is a world of its own, there are people that are ready to step on your head to get to the next level and that includes your head. As an aspiring fashion designer you have got to be competitive in nature and be ready to do what it takes to keep head above water. You should possess a fighting and a never give up spirit which should project across to yourself, your team, colleagues and eventually to the world. You can’t afford to settle for anything less, because the stake are high in this business, if you win, you win and likewise if you lose.  Failure is not an option.


  • 13


    Some people have the talents but don’t have the people’s skill, basically one without the other won’t get you far enough, except you are naturally gifted. Some if not most people study this areas and attain degrees to acquire the best skill. It is dog eat dog world out there and you would want to be trained, groomed and prepared to be a fashion designer.

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