A career as a fashion designer is a well-known desired career for individuals who enjoy style and creativity. This career path can be fabulous for anyone who has a sense of creativity and a passion for fashion. The fashion industry has gained immense popularity in recent years. Therefore, this career path offers numerous opportunities with high earning potential. Starting a career as a fashion designer can seem challenging. However, it is a career that is achievable with dedication and commitment.


A fashion designer is a skilled craftsperson who designs clothes, accessories, and other fashion products. As a fashion designer, you can frequently work for design houses or fashion brands. However, you can also run their fashion labels. To pursue a career as a fashion designer, you can start by earning a degree. However, you can also have a lucrative career as a fashion designer without a degree. This would require time and dedication, but it may be a rewarding route for those who are self-driven and passionate.


In this piece, I will walk you through the steps and skills needed to start a career as a fashion designer.


How to Become a Fashion Designer

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    This is an important requirement in your career as a fashion designer. This program can give you in-depth knowledge in areas such as design principles, garment construction, textiles and business. Additionally, if you want to work with big fashion brands and industries, a bachelor’s degree can give you an added advantage. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in fashion design or a related field.

  2. Develop your Skills

    As a fashion designer, the most important thing to work on is your skills. You should have an eye for colour and texture, an ability to visualise concepts as well as good sketching skills. Additionally, you should learn how to cut and sew all types of fabrics as a fashion designer. You can build these skills personally or learn from an experienced fashion designer.

  3. Gain Experience

    An internship program is very useful in pursuing your career as a fashion designer. You can apply for internships while studying as an undergraduate as well as after graduating. This opportunity can give you important practical experience in the fashion field as well as the opportunity to network with professionals in the industry.

  4. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    You need to have a niche of interest to enable you to focus as a fashion designer. You can start with what interests you most as a person. However, you can expand your area of expertise as you grow and become an expert. You can choose areas such as Knitwear, bridal wear, men’s daywear, men’s evening wear, women’s daywear, women’s evening wear, etc.

  5. Build a Portfolio

    A portfolio of your completed designs is required to demonstrate your design abilities to potential companies or clients. This will demonstrate your skills as well as your commitment to learning in this field. Your portfolio can include areas such as sketches, images of finished clothes as well as other relevant work you have carried out.

  6. Familiarize yourself with Design Software

    The world is evolving as most careers use technology to work. As an aspiring fashion designer, you should familiarize yourself with design software. You should learn software such as computer-aided design (CAD), Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

  7. Obtain a Master’s Degree

    This is not a compulsory requirement. However, you can consider pursuing a master’s degree as you grow as a fashion designer. This degree can provide you with advanced skills and knowledge in fashion. Additionally, you can have the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of fashion with the experience you gather.

  8. Gain Work Experience

    After completing your education, you should work towards gaining work experience before launching into the fashion industry. This is vital for building your skills, and reputations and gaining clients. Additionally, this can enable you to learn from experts who can guide you from making mistakes as a fashion designer. You can work as an assistant or a related role.

  9. Network with Professionals

    It is vital to establish professional contacts with other fashion designers. You can do this by attending fashion events and getting connected with experts. This may provide you access to career opportunities. Additionally, you will also be able to stay up to date on the latest practices and technologies.


Types of Fashion Designers

  1. Costume Designer: Costume designers work on costumes for theatre productions, films, TV programmes, and other live performances. Additionally, they collaborate with directors as well as producers to ensure that their designs are consistent with the production’s objective.
  2. Haute Couture Designer: Haute couture designers make exclusive, luxurious outfits for particular clients. They make their clothes with the best fabrics and resources as well as the most skillful designers.
  3. Bridal Designer: Bridal designers produce wedding dresses and other bridal clothing
  4. Ready-to-wear Designer: Ready-to-wear designers produce apparel which can be mass-produced for sale in retail stores. They create apparel that is both attractive and useful while taking into account budget as well as consumer demand.
  5. Sportswear Designer: Sportswear designers offer athletic clothes and accessories for various sports such as yoga, running, and tennis.
  6. Children’s Wear Designer: Children’s wear designers make clothes and other items for infants, toddlers, and children.
  7. Accessories Designer: Accessories designers make stylish accessories such as jewellery, purses, and shoes.


Skills Needed to Become a Fashion Designer

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Creativity
  3. Artistic Ability
  4. Strong Sewing Skills
  5. Teamwork
  6. Knowledge of Current Fashion Trends
  7. Strong Visualization Skills
  8. Computer Skills
  9. Decision-Making Skills
  10. Detail-Oriented


Universities in Africa that Offer Fashion Design

  1. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  2. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Mansoura University, Tunisia
  4. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  5. North-West University, South Africa
  6. Cairo University, Egypt
  7. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  8. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  9. Rhodes University, South Africa
  10. Mansoura University, Egypt
  11. Alexandria University, Egypt
  12. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  13. University of Ghana, Ghana
  14. Covenant University, Nigeria
  15. University of Monastir, Tunisia
  16. Makerere University, Uganda
  17. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  18. American University in Cairo, Egypt
  19. University of Botswana, Botswana
  20. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  21. Tunis University, Tunisia
  22. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  23. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  24. Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  25. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  26. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  27. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  28. University of Calabar, Nigeria
  29. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  30. University of Fort Hare, South Africa


In Conclusion, pursuing a career as a fashion designer can be an exciting and rewarding journey. However, this career cannot be fulfilling if you do not have the needed skills. Furthermore, another success of this career is networking and building relationships. You need to build relationships with professionals as well as clients. This will enable you to have access to opportunities to work with various clients and brands in the industry. Overall, the most important requirements to have a successful career as a fashion designer are passion and dedication. This will be the key to your learning and thriving as a fashion designer.


Good luck!

Click to discover an extensive list of local and international schools offering courses and programs in various career path
Share This Post: If you think this post can be helpful to somebody else, please share it using the buttons below!