Malika Kapoor

10 skills you need to become a successful Fashion Designer

fashion designer

Before becoming a Fashion Designer, you should know what it worth to be one. Fashion designers are artists who combine their creative and technical perspective to create original, new, and creative clothing and accessories. They design clothing and fashion ranges, from high fashion to high-street fashion.

There are many more qualities to become a renowned fashion designer but these 10 listed below are the most important skills every Fashion Designer should have:


  1. History of fashion

To work in any industry, it is important to know the history. Every school/college/university has this as a basic subject. Regardless of the fact that you are an autodidact, you need to know the basics. History of fashion is a study of how and why silhouette, color schemes, style, fabrics changed over the period of time. It also includes international fashion like in France, China, Japan, England, and other counties. The history of Fashion creates a strong foundation in a designer’s career. Many silhouettes from history are repeatedly used in modern Silhouettes, as we all know “History repeats itself”.


  1. Knowledge of the Design Process

It is important to ask “What is a design process and why is it important?”

Design Process is to create a design that is innovative, authentic, and creative at the same time. It includes the process of getting inspired, developing mood boards, selecting colors, fabrics, and textures, creating silhouettes and rendering illustrations, creating flats, drawing, and costing. It’s important because it allows you to focus on how the elements of design work and will teach you, how they all come together and become a collection.


  1. Color Theory

Color is the first thing a customer notices. Each color has its meaning and emotion. Even if you get everything in your collection perfect but if you mess up with choosing the right color on the right garment it will be a flop show. Color theory is so important that many colleges, teaching creative arts, have that as a major subject. It’s important to know how color works on some backgrounds and shapes. There are many articles and YouTube videos on how to use the right color in your collection.


  1. Explore Fabrics and Textures

Your textile is your language of Fashion. It’s important to know names of fabrics, their fiber content, their difference, their texture, their flow, weight, which all fabrics can work together, their wash and heat care, etc.,

To create your own collection, it’s important to know your fabric and how you can manipulate them differently. Different fabrics are used for different occasions, which fabric to wear in which weather, what fabric suits a certain age, and your customer’s culture. Many designers use almost the same fabrics, what makes their garment extraordinary is the texture/ fabric manipulation they create on their fabric.


  1. Knowledge of Garment Construction

Garment construction is a method of cutting fabric into parts according to a pattern that fits the human form and then joined together by sewing. How much detail you learn and practice is the type of designer you become. Many of the designers know sewing, operating machines, and drafting while some don’t know anything except few hand stitches. It’s important to know enough about garment construction that if you ever have to guide your own label production team you should be able to show them what you want and how it can be done. If you want to work under a designer you need to know at least basics.


  1. CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. Nowadays fashion industry also requires the use of computers to illustrate, flats, spec sheets, editing photos, etc. People mostly use software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, and Procreate. There are some, not so famous, software like Auto sketchbook and Microsoft Paint, which are open source and free to use.


  1. Fashion Illustration

You don’t have to be an artist to illustrate. The reason to learn illustration to bring your imagination into life. What you are visualizing, your client or your production team won’t know. For them, it’s important that you know the basics of how to draw a sketch, how certain fabric will fall or look on the human figure and how well color combination is going to look like. You can use digital or hand illustration, it’s inconsequential as long as you could deliver the results.


  1. Business in Fashion

Fashion is just like any other business. Designing and manufacturing are not the only jobs of a designer. Sales, distribution, merchandising are as important as production in a brand. You need to learn how to budget, making market knowledge and strategy, and implementing it. Fashion Designers are entrepreneurs. It’s inconsequential, if you are going to build your own brand or would work under an established designer you need to know at least basics. Knowing what market, you are targeting and knowledge about costumers to advertise comes under the Business of Fashion.


  1. Visualization

If you are going to become a fashion designer, you already are creative. From designing your collection to sales everything depends on your vision. How your collection or brand would look like, what language your label or a collection will speak depends on your visualization.


  1. Ambition

To sustain the pressure of the industry or how far you can go depends upon how ambitious you are. Like any other industry, there are going to be many ups and downs, a strong drive, and unshakable ambition is the key to success. The biggest difficulty of the industry is to digest rejection and still continue to follow your passion. Skills are important but if you are not ambitious, you eventually will lose confidence and wouldn’t be able to last long in Industry. Your passion for fashion and love for the industry will keep you motivated and push you forward.



Malika Kapoor (MK) is a community where we want to help everyone, from student to entrepreneurs, to improve and raise their standard of living and encourage them to build a profitable business.

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