How to Be a Fashion Designer?

To be or not to be a fashion designer is a tough choice. Fashion designers are not people you get introduced to all the time. And successful fashion designers are usually too busy or secretive about sharing how they got the job. So, it can be a dilemma whether you should take the plunge and invest a small fortune in an unknown future.

No rewarding career in life is ever made to be simple. Fashion design is no exception. Famous designers work extremely hard for their fame and money. But one thing is for sure – if you plan from the start to dedicate yourself, half the battle is won.

Many professionals in the fashion industry will readily agree that fashion students nowadays think they deserve a paycheck without “paying their dues.” What dues, you ask? Most of them might sound like modern-day slavery. This includes frequent 18-hour workdays, weekends spent at work, fetching coffee for the entire department, and being criticized and picked on constantly by co-workers.

Fashion Designer

Yes, the horror stories you see on reality TV are true- at least some of them. In a creative industry, anything can happen, so be prepared for it.


Still want to be a fashion designer come hell or rain? Here are three mantras you should memorize:

1) Your portfolio is your design identity

Just like how celebrity models value their looks and work on maintaining their charm, you have to do the same for your portfolio. Future employers and the public will judge you based on your skill in designing fabulous pieces. And your portfolio will show them exactly what you are capable of.

Being in school will force you to leave your comfort zone. No matter how hard you work, procrastination can sometimes be hard to beat. So, the best way to get the most versatile fashion design portfolio would be to enroll in a fashion course. With the right training and dedication, results are often impressive.

2) Understand why people dress the way they do

Even though global fashion is now mainly influenced by top fashion cities like Paris, New York, and London, people worldwide still dress differently. The Japanese wear kimonos, the Indians wear saris, and the Chinese wear cheongsams. A true fashion designer has the EQ to understand customers’ wants and needs.

Are people feeling warm in tropical climates? Do others need to cover up for religious reasons? What kind of jobs do they have? Are your designs simplistic yet stylish enough to be worn every day?

When it comes to fashion psychology, the variables are endless. Yes, you may argue that it is more fun to design for haute couture. But in reality, fashion is more of a business than an art. Even the rich from the highest echelons are still humans. One of the best ways to grow as a fashion designer is to create clothes for everyday people. The exciting bit about fashion is that it changes every day. So, no two days will ever be the same.

3) Find a good fashion school

It can make all the difference in your life. Good schools have the facilities you need. And they also hire lecturers who are well-connected within the industry. Have plans to be an international fashion designer? Consider enrolling in an international school. This allows you to meet many sorts of people from around the world. And it can help you learn more about understanding people, as mentioned earlier.

While in school, you will work on assignments necessary to build the best portfolio before you graduate. You will make your fashion collections, sketch your best designs, and pay homage by studying the various methods and designers that made fashion history. A fashion design student’s life is nothing short of colorful and exciting.

If you feel your country may be too conservative for full creative expression, an alternative is to study fashion abroad. Countries like Australia and Singapore are ideal for an English-speaking environment and career opportunities after graduation.

Feeling adventurous? Studying in developing nations can help you save money on craft materials. Countries with strong manufacturing industries allow you to build a contact list of reliable suppliers. This will come in handy when you want to start your label. Living costs in a developing nation are also less costly, so you spend less on your education. Countries like China, Thailand, and Sri Lanka can offer this experience.

Want to find out more about studying fashion design abroad?

Everyone’s case is unique, and we want to give the best advice that works for you. To ensure quality education every semester, there are limited seats in Raffles. And they are filling up fast! Need more information? Fill outt an inquiry form, and an experienced education consultant will provide a free consultation.

Donald, International Admissions Director of Raffles Education Corporation, a leading education provider in the Asia Pacific operating 36 fashion design colleges across 33 cities in 13 countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Sri Lanka & Indonesia). Certifications such as Advanced Diplomas and bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees are also offered in various design disciplines such as visual communication, animation, multimedia, interior design, product design, jewelry design, biomedical, Infocomm Security, and early childhood.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.