To become a successful fashion designer, you must work extremely hard. Nothing comes free, cheap or easy to those would become the top designers who are featured on the world’s stages. The schools featured on this site are top tier, and will teach you the solid fundamentals necessary to reach your goals.

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More About Apparel/Textile Design

Fashion Designers help create the billions of clothing articles, shoes, and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Designers study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing and accessories, select colors and fabrics, and oversee the final production of their designs. Clothing designers create and help produce men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, including casual wear, suits, sportswear, formalwear, outerwear, maternity, and intimate apparel. 

Footwear designers help create and produce different styles of shoes and boots. Accessory designers help create and produce items that add the finishing touches to an outfit, such as handbags, belts, scarves, hats, hosiery, and eyewear. (The work of jewelers and precious stone and metal workers is described elsewhere in the Handbook.) Some fashion designers specialize in clothing, footwear, or accessory design, while others create designs in all three fashion categories.

The design process from initial design inception to final production takes between 18 and 24 months. The first step in creating a design is researching fashion trends and making predictions of future trends. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on trend reports published by fashion industry trade groups. 

Trend reports indicate what styles, colors, and fabrics will be popular for a particular season in the future. Textile manufacturers use these trend reports to begin designing fabrics and patterns while fashion designers begin to sketch preliminary designs. Designers will then visit manufacturers or trade shows to procure samples of fabrics and decide which fabrics to use with which designs.

Once designs and fabrics are chosen, a prototype of the article using cheaper materials is created and then worn by a model to see what adjustments to the design need to be made. During this time, designers usually will narrow down their choices of which designs to offer for sale.