Best Fashion Design Courses to Launch Your Stylish Career

Fashion is part of our everyday life. Every piece of clothing you put on was designed by someone, so why not you? If you have a creative mind and love playing with colors, shapes, and textures to create great outfits, you might want to take your passion to the next level by learning how to design clothing.

We’ve curated a list of great online courses that can help you reach your goals as a designer, whether you have small dreams or lofty aspirations for your future in fashion. After we show you the best online courses, we’ll also walk you through some “extra credit” options to help you deepen your skills, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about breaking into the world of fashion design.


Just like any creative field, there are many facets to fashion design. Before you get started, you should consider a few things to determine which classes are going to do the most for you.

Experience Level

Many people take an interest in fashion without having any formal training, and that’s great. But having a background in art, costuming, or sewing can be relevant. You might not be as much of a beginner as you initially thought.

One of the first things you will need to learn in fashion design is how to sketch out your ideas. If you have experience in visual art or other forms of design, you may already have some idea of how to do that. If not, never fear. Technical drawing is something that can be taught and perfected through practice, even if you’re no Van Gogh.

If you have experience creating costumes or sewing, you may also understand some of the concepts of aesthetic design, fabric types, patterns, and garment construction that will be taught at higher levels of fashion design.

Ultimate Goal

The skills you learn in fashion design are versatile and can help you in a variety of ways. Before you choose a course, it might be worthwhile to make a list of what you’re hoping to get from a class and what your goals are in fashion.

Some people are looking for a career shift. They want to work in the fashion field, perhaps for a clothing company. In that case, looking for a degree or certificate program can be useful to show your credentials and get your resume noticed.

But others might be looking for the background knowledge they need to start their own small, independent business. Opening an online store for your own small collection, selling handmade items in local boutiques, or creating custom items for a small clientele might be more your speed. In that case, you may want to focus more on practical skills and entrepreneurial-minded courses.

And, of course, some people are simply looking to increase their skills for hobbies they enjoy. Maybe you like creating your own unique clothing to have a fully bespoke wardrobe for a lower price, or maybe you’re a cosplay enthusiast looking to wow your friends at the next con.

No matter your goals, there are courses on our list that will help you understand the aesthetic and practical needs of the clothing you want to make.

Instruction Style

Some people like to learn independently at their own pace. Others need the structure of deadlines, and some people really like the opportunity to talk things through with someone to help them grasp concepts more fully.

Since these are online courses, you may feel like you’re missing the interactive aspects of learning, but that’s not always the case. Some of the courses on our list offer you the opportunity to submit assignments, ask questions of your instructors, or interact with other students on dedicated forums. If those resources are important to you and how you learn, that can be a big determining factor for which course you choose.

Keeping those factors in mind, here are some of the best online courses in fashion design for whatever level you’re at.

Top 10 Best Fashion Design Courses 2023

1. Best Fashion Illustration Class: The First Steps of Fashion Design: From Concept to Illustration

  • 1 hour Free with SkillShare subscription Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Teaches you through 3 interactive drawing projects
  • Level: Beginner
  • Instruction Style: independent, with access to an online community

Why we like it

This quick and easy class helps you nail down the basics of fashion illustration to start bringing your ideas to life.

Course Review

To get your ideas from inside your head onto the page, you’ll need the skills to do design sketches. This beginner-friendly course teaches you how to convey concepts like the shape of garments and textures of fabric. Through each unit of the class, you work on your own sketches as you follow the instructors.

The instructors for this class, Nolan Bellvance and Ava Hama, have their own design company that has created looks for brands like Gap and Theory. They start their class by teaching the basics of body proportions so you can sketch body figures as the basis of your garment designs. The course even helps you bring life to your body sketches by showing some simple ways to fill out your models with hands, feet, faces, and hair.

Most of the course focuses on how to draw clothes on the body, helping you understand things like the different types of fabric, their weight, and how they drape on a physical form. Adding details, texture, and color to your sketches will help bring your ideas to the next level.

Who Is It For?

If you need the skills to record your ideas and share them with others but don’t have much background in art, you might find this class to be valuable. The emphasis on building clothing designs from the body out is a really useful technique that gives you a great foundation for future studies and designs.

For people who already have the art basics of doing body forms, the course may not be as useful. It also does offer some important thoughts on the qualities of different fabrics, but it’s by no means comprehensive. If you have no experience with different types of fabric, you’ll definitely need to do more research on your own to fully grasp all the different types of fabric you may want to work with.

If you already have art skills but need to gain a better understanding of how to work with fabric and create patterns, a beginner pattern-making course might be a better place to start, as this course is fairly basic.


  • Teaches building sketches from the body out
  • Offers beginner-friendly techniques
  • Touches on fabric types and clothing details


  • Not as useful to those with an art background
  • Limited fabric information

2. Best Patterning Class: Pattern Making For Fashion Design (Part 1)

  • 1 hour $29.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Demonstrates various garment shaping techniques and how to pattern them
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Instruction Style: Independent

Why we like it

This course covers a wide range of patterning techniques so your clothing ideas can be turned into professional patterns to simplify garment production.

Course Review

This brief class is a crash course in all the essentials for creating a pattern. Instructor Nino Via shows how to turn designs on paper into shapely 3D designs that can be used as the basis for sewing clothing. His class starts with the basics of understanding pattern terminology as well as things like seam lines and fit, as well as what tools you’ll need to make patterns.

While it’s not a draping course, it does show some of the techniques for draping fabric on a dress form to start creating a shape. The course covers shaping techniques such as darts, tucks, and pleats to adjust clothing’s fit.

The class demonstrates the two main methods of patterning: pivoting and slash-and-spread. He teaches students how to use these methods for sketching out their own patterns. The class culminates in the students being able to use the course information to create a sloper, or shaped body form that they can further use as a basis for further patterning.

Who Is It For?

There are no prerequisites for this class, but it might be hard to jump into if you have zero prior knowledge of design or sewing. Still, even if you’ve never created a pattern before, you can get to grips with the subject matter of this course.

It does move quickly at times without using many examples to show the subtle changes from different adjustments. The draping techniques are also demonstrated on a dress form, which can be quite expensive. A beginner who isn’t looking to invest a lot will probably need to drape on themself, which isn’t demonstrated in the class.

Overall, this is a great starter class that will help you better understand how to create shapes and perfect fit in your designs. It will also give you a foundation for transferring your ideas to workable paper patterns.


  • Demonstrates several patterning techniques
  • Covers multiple ways to shape and fit fabric
  • Helps beginners understand fashion design terminology


  • Limited number of physical examples
  • Shows how to drape on a dress form, not a body

3. Best Sustainabile Fashion Design Class: Sustainable Fashion by Copenhagen Business School

  • 5 hours Free with Coursera membership Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Digs into the business of fashion and where it’s going in the future
  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Instruction Style: Optional graded assignments for certificate track

Why we like it

If the business of fashion is where you see your future, this class will help you understand ways to be more sustainable.

Course Review

More and more, people are becoming conscious of the impact of disposable products on the planet, and fashion is one of them. Major companies waste literal tons of unsold clothing each year, and consumers also often end up sending their clothing to rest in landfills. But, many companies are moving toward an eco-friendly model, and people want to look good without damaging the planet.

This class focuses on the business side of the fashion world and introduces you to several industry professionals throughout the course who are experts in this field. By looking at all facets of how clothing is made and sold, you learn about the three main concepts behind sustainable fashion and look at the business models that companies can adopt.

The course comes with a number of readings, assignments, and quizzes. If you are auditing the class, you don’t need to complete any of these, but a paid enrollment will give you access to grading and, once complete, will give you a certificate for your resume.

Who Is It For?

For students who are actively pursuing a career in fashion, it’s more than just being able to create a portfolio of great designs. Whether you’re trying to start your own small label or work with a major company, understanding how clothing is manufactured, sold, and disposed of is key.

With more companies leaning toward a sustainable model in the future, they’ll want designers who create clothing with the planet in mind. This class offers valuable professional development opportunities and gives you access to real-world professionals with years of experience.

This class won’t teach you how to design a garment, but it will help you better understand how it’s made and where it will go if it’s not sold. For a more hands-on design experience that still has an ethical, slow-fashion mindset, try the certificate course from Hong Kong Polytechnic.


  • Oriented toward careers in fashion
  • Prepares you for a major industry trend
  • Has real fashion professionals as guest lecturers


  • Not a class on how to create clothing
  • Certification is only available on the paid tier

4. Best Beginner Fashion Business Class: How to Create a Fashion Collection and Launch Your Own Brand

  • 40 minutes $29.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Focuses on designer with customers in mind and reaching them
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Learning Style: Independent

Why we like it

This class combines concepts that help you approach design from fundamental aesthetics while also being business savvy.

Course Review

In this class, the basics for creating a fashion line and finding your target audience are at the fore. New designers looking to launch their own small label won’t have a fleet of assistants and marketers behind them, so all of the work will need to be done independently.

Instructor Nino Via has created a curriculum of 8 lessons that give an overview of the skills you need. It starts with the fundamentals of designing your collection and giving it an overall theme, along with choosing which fabrics work best for your designs. Next, creating patterns for your designs, as well as the terminology you’ll need to work in this field, are covered.

The class offers a guide to helping students understand the manufacturing and distribution process and how to get your collection produced. It’s an overview of the process from beginning to end and, the class even helps students understand how to promote their line with social media after it’s been created.

Who Is It For?

For designers who may already have some idea of how to visualize their ideas but want to start developing their designs into saleable products, this course is a good starting point. It helps you to consider ways to create a harmonious collection to express your brand’s unique style, rather than just designing random pieces.

It also covers some of the basics of patterning and fabric types, which are covered in more depth in Nino Via’s other course on pattern-making, so several units of this class may feel redundant if you’ve already taken that one.

For beginners looking to manufacture and sell their own designs, this course does offer some valuable tips on getting your designs in front of people who will want to buy them, as well as how to choose a manufacturer and price your product. For a more in-depth look into manufacturing and how it can be done sustainably, we recommend Copenhagen Business School’s class.


  • Takes students from the design process through to marketing
  • Offers practical tips on pricing your designs
  • Helps you understand how to manufacture and sell designs professionally


  • Course overlaps with the instructor’s pattern-making class
  • Brief starter class that doesn’t go in-depth with the subjects

5. Best Fashion Subscription Course: University of Fashion

  • open-ended $19.99/month Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Explore a wide range of topics across a range of fashion types
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Instruction Style: Independent with online help available

Why we like it

If you like your learning a la carte, the University of Fashion gives you plenty of options to study elements of design according to your interest.

Course Review

Many online learning forums have been taking a cue from entertainment subscription services, and University of Fashion is following the trend. Their service allows you to pay a monthly fee (or pay for a whole year at a discounted rate) to have full access to a catalog of learning.

Lessons are taught by industry professionals and have high production values, making them easy to watch. Topics range from design basics like creating fashion sketches and fabric draping to sewing basics, patterning by hand or with software, and even the business side of designing and selling products. There are classes on specialty topics like designing for children’s clothing, creating accessories, and even lectures about the world of fashion.

Classes can be taken at your own pace and repeated as often as you like. While you won’t interact directly with the instructors or other students, you can submit questions that the site administrators will answer quickly to help you better grasp the subject.

Who Is It For?

This subscription is great for a range of levels. Since it offers instruction on so many topics, you can use it to refine particular skills you’re interested in. Many of their topics have beginner-friendly content, but they delve into more advanced concepts and specialty facets of design and fashion as well.

This can be a great way to continue to sharpen your skills in different areas to help develop your career or to simply enrich your knowledge of your hobby. It’s one of the only courses that has some focus on sewing, which is useful if you want to focus on producing your own bespoke garments for yourself or to sell on a small scale.

Unfortunately, you won’t receive any certification for completing classes, so this won’t be a great resume booster. For a flexible course with certification, you may prefer IAP’s design course.


  • Offers instruction in a wide range of niche topics
  • Has information for all levels of student
  • Lectures by industry professionals


  • No interaction with instructors or fellow students
  • Does not offer certification

6. Best Online Fashion Degree: Online Fashion Design Degree by Academy of Art

  • 8 semesters $1,137/credit (financial aid available) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • This multi-year program gives the most comprehensive overview of skills for a design career
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Instruction Style: Fully Interactive

Why we like it

This fully-online BFA course gives you a well-rounded overview of the fashion world and how to be a part of it.

Course Review

Fashion design encompasses so many facets. This eight-semester degree course by the Academy of Art University takes the time to tackle them all. Drawing and developing designs is one of the foundations of the course.

From there, a detailed look at garment construction, understanding textiles, and the modern technology used to produce them are also covered. Even classes on fashion and art history enrich the program to round it out and help you understand clothing in context.

The BFA program is a liberal arts degree, meaning it also gives you courses covering basic general education subjects like writing, literature, and math-- all things that you will need for your future career. It also leaves room for you to choose elective subjects in your particular areas of interest.

The Academy of Art helps its students be prepared for a career in the fashion world by covering useful technologies that are being utilized by modern brands. It also harnesses technology in its online format, giving students online collaborative spaces to interact and receive feedback from peers. Students can also have their designs featured in runway shows, helping to get their work exposed to industry professionals.

Who Is It For?

If you are looking to earn a degree and are passionate about a career in fashion, this BFA program is a great choice. This comprehensive course helps you understand many facets of the fashion industry so you can start to discover your own niche. It also helps you start developing a network in the industry and get your designs out there before you graduate.

For someone who already has a related degree, the university also offers an MFA program for more in-depth subject study over the course of six semesters. There is also a professional certificate program for people interested in the BFA level fashion courses, but without the general education classes that give you a degree.

Of course, pursuing a new degree is expensive and time-consuming. For adults already on a career path, but looking to start breaking into fashion, it may be a bit much. For independent study, a more self-directed and less expensive option, like the one offered by University of Fashion, may be preferable. But if you want to have a degree behind you as you pursue a career in fashion, this is a great option.


  • Online interface to interact with professors and fellow students
  • In-depth multi-faceted training
  • Ability to participate in runway shows


  • Time-consuming course with general education classes
  • Expensive

7. Best Fashion Certificate Class: Fashion Designer Certificate Course Online

  • 6 weeks (flexible) $377 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Offers a professional certificate in fashion design
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Learning Style: Independent with instructor help

Why we like it

This part-time course is designed for busy adults who want a deeper dive into fashion design.

Course Review

This online certificate course is designed to be taken part-time over six weeks but has flexible options to allow you to take it over anywhere from four to twelve weeks as your needs dictate. After completing the coursework, you are presented with a completion certificate you can reference on your resume. This course has rolling admission and multiple start dates throughout the year, making it convenient for you.

The class covers five modules, starting with an overview of the fashion industry. It moves on to helping students develop skills in areas like creating designs by hand or with software, and understanding sewing techniques and material. The course shifts into a business focus for the last three modules to help you apply for design jobs, start your own business and understand marketing strategies.

While the course is independent, you do have the opportunity to receive personalized assistance from the faculty while you’re taking the class. The faculty can also give you personalized career advice to help you on your path.

Who Is It For?

If you’re a busy person who can’t dedicate the necessary time and money to enroll in a degree course but want to have something to show for all your time and effort, choosing a certification course like this one is a great option.

This course does focus more heavily on the professional side of being a fashion designer, so brand new beginners may feel that it doesn’t offer enough actual design and patterning technique instruction. For a certificate course that’s much more focused on garment construction, the class from Hong Kong Polytechnic may be more your speed.

Most of the course is also based around the textbook Fabjob: Guide to Becoming a Fashion Designer, which is included as an ebook with the class. If you want to save money, you could just purchase the book and study it on your own, but the certificate and having access to the instructors for answers and advice does add to the class’s value.


  • Flexible part-time course for busy people
  • Career-oriented curriculum
  • Access to faculty for career advice


  • Not much focus on design fundamentals
  • Based on a book you could independently study

8. Best Design and Construction Class: Professional Certificate in Fashion Design and Creation

  • 3 months $178 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Delves into the nuance of designing for body types
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Learning Style: Independent with hands-on projects and instructor feedback

Why we like it

This course focuses on the nitty-gritty of how to design, fit, and create clothing with hands-on practice assignments.

Course Review

This course is split into two modules: one on trousers and one on skirts. During these classes, students get a masterclass in measuring the body, designing and patterning clothes for different body shapes, and assembling garments. The course’s online class resources help you understand the nuances of all the different styles of skirts and trousers and how to incorporate these details into your designs.

As one of the only classes that covers body measurements and garment construction in-depth, it gives a truly well-rounded look at the design process. This helps designers understand the process not just from an artistic point of view but also from a functional point of view as the class asks them to actually create a physical garment to be graded by the instructors.

One of the goals of the class is to prepare students to really grasp how to design for the body. Rather than creating trendy but ill-fitting fast fashion that will end up in a landfill, the class encourages students to design pieces that will be well-fitting to bodies of different shapes and sizes so that pieces can be cherished for years by their wearers.

The course has the option to audit it, or you can pay the fee to have access to all the resources, have your assignments graded, and receive a certificate.

Who Is It For?

For would-be designers who are interested in knowing the process of creating a piece of clothing from the inside and out, this is a great class. It may be a bit intimidating if you have no sewing skills, but you’re just creating a sample to show proof of concept and fit, so it doesn’t need to be professionally finished. And no sewing machine is required-- hand-stitching is fine.

While this class is really admirable in its depth of information about both design and fit, it focuses on lower-body garments. These, especially trousers, can be tricky and intimidating to fit, but not all of the techniques here can be transferred to other garments. If you’re trying to master bust darts and princess seams, this may not satisfy your needs. For the best experience, pair it with a course that focuses on upper-body patterning, like this pattern-making class.


  • Well-rounded course on both design and construction
  • Helps you understand body type and fit
  • Extremely detailed look at pants and skirts


  • Assignments involve sewing
  • Doesn’t touch on upper body fitting

9. Best Fashion Management Class: Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies

  • 12 hours Free with Coursera subscription Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Focus on management and branding strategy
  • Level: Advanced
  • Learning Style: Independent with checkpoint assignments

Why we like it

For people with a background in fashion, this class offers valuable instruction to help you level up your career.

Course Review

Fashion is business, and there’s no way to separate the two. From the biggest to the small brands out there, knowledgeable managers help keep the industry moving. Focusing specifically on luxury brands and various fashion business models, this class helps give students an understanding of business strategy in the fashion world.

Unlike other courses, it gives a unique perspective on branding and the idea of heritage within established fashion brands. It also addresses issues like creating an online presence for brands and how to cultivate an image.

Throughout the course, there are supporting texts to read and interviews with professionals from the fashion industry to gain their personal perspectives. At the end of certain modules, there will be quizzes to complete to ensure that you have fully grasped the essential concepts of the course.

Who Is It For?

If you have a background in fashion but want to advance to a management-oriented career, this class can be a great leaping-off point. There is an optional certificate track that can become an asset to your resume to show that you’ve been boning up the skills you need to take a higher-level job at a fashion company, be it fast fashion or a luxury brand.

This isn’t a design course, per se, but rather a class that helps you delve into the behind-the-scenes work that helps keep fashion brands afloat and understand the branding and manufacturing that determines which designs a brand actually puts out to their customers.

For someone just starting out, or looking to be an independent designer, this course may not be as valuable, but if you intend to make your life’s career with fashion brands, it’s good information to know. It will help you understand how fashion businesses function and prepare you for a future in management.

If the business side of fashion intrigues you, we also recommend the Copenhagen Business School’s course on Sustainable Fashion, which looks more to an ethical future of fashion.


  • Focuses on higher-level careers in fashion
  • Delves into business and brand identity
  • Helps you understand digital marketing


  • Doesn’t teach design, but fashion management
  • Focuses mainly on luxury brands
  • No info on ethical or sustainable fashion

10. Best T-Shirt Design Class: The Definitive Guide to T-Shirt Design and Manufacturing

  • 1 hour Free with Skillshare subscription Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Walks students through everything from conception to pricing
  • Level: Beginner
  • Learning Style: Independent with online learner community

Why we like it

The ever-popular t-shirt is a great way to start designing, and this class helps set you up for success.

Course Review

T-shirts are the uniform of the modern age. They can be simple pieces of cotton, or they can be works of art and statements of identity and belief. Many brands get started by introducing a simple shirt, and in this video Jeff Staple (of Staple Design and Reed Space) takes you into the world of t-shirt design.

His course helps you understand all the different ways to decorate and design shirts, whether it’s silk screening or hand-drawn designs. This class helps you understand the impact of design on this blank canvas, the different kinds of t-shirts there are, how to produce tees for sale, and how to price your product. It helps you understand the huge range within this seemingly simple garment, and shows you how you can be creative with it.

Skillshare offers an online community, so you can talk about your designs with other students taking this class and even share ideas with them.

Who Is It For?

If you’re just starting out and want to make wearable clothing right away, a t-shirt design is a great beginning. It allows you to develop your aesthetic and start experimenting with artistic elements without having to first create a new garment. Tees are a fundamental part of casual and street fashion that anyone can wear.

T-shirt design isn’t only for fashion designers. Anyone who wants to see their art out in the world or create a wearable piece of marketing for their business can use a tee-shirt to put their work out there. So this course could be valuable to people who aren’t necessarily in the fashion business, but related art and design fields.

Of course, this is a rather niche subject that can also be considered more graphic design than fashion design since you have little to do with the actual shape and cut of the garment. For a course that better prepares you to work in fashion on a broader scale, you might prefer a certificate course like our pick from IAP.


  • Practical tips on manufacturing and pricing
  • Comprehensive info on different types of tees
  • Encourages creative and artistic design


  • Only discusses the niche of t-shirts
  • More geared toward graphic design than clothing

Frequently Asked Questions

You might be feeling excited to get started as a fashion designer, but you also might still have a few lingering questions. We’re here to help.

If you’re looking to get started in a design career, there are a few different routes you can take. For people looking to do something more traditional, such as start as an entry-level designer in a larger company, it’s best to start by getting the credentials that those companies will be looking for.

The safest bet is to go through a degree program, such as the one offered by Academy of Art University. A degree program will give you a comprehensive overview of the skills you’ll need, and many also offer career counseling and assistance.

Getting an internship is often the next step for many. This gives you hands-on experience as well as connections in the industry. As you study and intern, you should also be building up your own personal portfolio that you can submit to companies.

Of course, some people will also take less traditional routes to a career in fashion by starting their own business.

To become a designer, you’ll need to have an eye for fashion and a strong aesthetic sense. Beyond that, there are plenty of practical skills that different courses will help you to develop.

Having art skills so you can create visualizations of your ideas is important. Many designers now use specialized software to streamline the process, so experience with technology and the ability to use this type of software is also important. University of Fashion does offer some instruction in that area.

Having some understanding of the business side of fashion can also be valuable. You can better understand how brands take ideas from their initial conception to being something that consumers will buy with the help of classes like this one on fashion brand management or this one that focuses on techniques for developing sustainable fashion.

Beyond just holding the title “designer” people with fashion training can work in various facets of the fashion industry. Even within fashion brands, there are staff members who support the main designers by developing patterns and size-grading them to fit a range of bodies. Working with fabric suppliers and marketing are also important support roles.

Working in management is also an option as well as working with retail stores to place clothing. Some people who work in fashion journalism also have a background in design. If you love the world of fashion, there are plenty of different careers you can pursue with a design background. Even film and theatrical costuming often employ fashion designers for their productions.

Starting a business can be tough, and there are a lot of logistics to consider. However, many entrepreneurs take the plunge every day.

With a background in design, you can start your own small fashion brand using platforms like Etsy, Squarespace, and even Instagram to sell your work. You might make bespoke pieces for private clients, especially if you have a sewing background, or you might design a collection for small-scale manufacturing.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get started is t-shirt design. Print-on-demand shirt services allow you to upload your one unique t-shirt art, select the style and color of shirt you want to place it on, and they will print as many shirts as you need. You won’t need to batch order tees in advance, customers order, and the printing company does the work.

Extra Credit

models on catwalk

Now that you have an idea of what kind of online fashion design course is right for you, you may be wondering what else you can do to give yourself the best possible leg-up in this competitive, fast-paced world.

Sewing Skills

While not every designer is brilliant at sewing, having some practical sewing skills can really make a difference for you. A well-rounded designer understands every part of the process, so their designs are more than theoretical pieces of art, but rather garments that can actually be produced and worn. You can also start creating samples of your own designs which can make a big impact. Seeing your design come alive off the page can help you tweak it in various ways.

If you’re looking to manufacture one-of-a-kind items for a small clientele yourself, sewing skills are essential. Even as an indie designer who will be using small-scale manufacturing, wearing your clothes out into the world and photographing them for social media can be a great way to generate hype for your brand before your stock is even ready to be sent out.

Build a Platform

Many brands and artists harness social media to gain a following and get noticed. Even if you’re just starting out, an Instagram account with sample designs or a blog or vlog about fashion can be a great way to get noticed by potential customers or employers. If you’re seen as a tastemaker, people will be eager to wear your fashion.

Remember, plenty of fast fashion brands like to rip off styles from smaller designers, so learn about how to protect yourself from intellectual property theft.

Stay up to Date

Fashion is always shifting and changing, so it can seem tough to keep up with it, but if it’s your passion, you should keep abreast of the latest trends, influencers, and which brands are making waves. From there, you can niche down and key in on the kind of fashion you’re interested in and who your target audience is.

Just remember, most new styles come from alternative fashion communities first.

Understand Fabrics

Painters need to understand the differences and strengths of watercolors over oil paints, so if fashion is your art you’ll need to understand fabric. Start by getting to know what’s in your closet and understanding the weight of different fabrics, how they breathe, how they drape.

It’s also worthwhile to take a trip to the fabric store to explore the hundreds of different varieties they stock and get to know how they look and feel. This will help you be able to design with specific fibers in mind and create more realistic depictions of how the fabric will behave.

Designing Your Future

people designing clothes

Fashion is art we all wear every day. If you want to be a part of that world, helping create the trends of tomorrow, moving toward more sustainable solutions, or fitting a better range of shapes and sizes, studying fashion design is a great way to do it. Whether you want to just beef up your skills to create unique clothing for yourself, start a small business, or launch a career with a major brand, there are classes on our list to get you started.

Whatever your goals, we hope we’ve helped to better envision a future where your dreams of being a designer are possible. The world of fashion needs some fresh perspectives, so why not yours?