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Career as Fashion Designer

Last Updated On 29 Apr, 2021

Career as a Fashion Designer

About Fashion Designer

Fashion designers are creative, innovative and determined individuals having knowledge and awareness of the fashion market requirements. Fashion designers have to be interested in learning new things and reading journals, magazines, and books on fashion design history and new trends. The profession of fashion designing involves a set of skills that range from market research and creativity to sketching and fabric selection. It is a profession that requires designers to constantly be in tune with market trends. To be successful, fashion designers must have a good understanding of the audience's lifestyle, customer needs and requirements.

A career in fashion is referred to as fashion designing which is the art of inventing/innovating or adding beauty to clothing by using certain accessories. The job of a fashion designer includes sketching fashion ideas, cutting out and sewing the clothing item, attending fashion shows, using tailoring skills to perfect the fit, drawing patterns to create garments, selecting fabrics and any special additions for the outfit and reading magazines to keep up with the latest fashions. Hence, a strong business sense plays an important role in the successful career of a fashion designer.

Eligibility to become Fashion Designer

To be eligible for admission in fashion designing, the candidate must clear 10+2 or its equivalent from a recognised school board in India. After completing class 12, candidates can prepare for the entrance examinations like NIFT, NID. Candidates can also appear in CEED, UCEED, AIEED, and other entrances for admission in UG & PG design courses.

Types of Job Roles Fashion Designer

The conceptualisation and development of intricate design details of a fabric are the work areas of a fashion designer. There are various job profiles for fashion designers after pursuing a fashion designing course, however, taking a job will depend on your interests and skills. Following are some of the job profiles for fashion designers that one can opt for:

Retail Manager:

A retail manager is responsible for ensuring that promotions and marketing gimmicks work smoothly, sets daily targets for the staff, and ensures customer satisfaction etc. He/she also heads the human resources and finance department in smaller enterprises.

Fashion Coordinators:

Fashion coordinators look after the advertising and promotions of the brand. They work closely with fabric dealers to bring out the best of products.

Fashion Stylist:

A stylist isresponsible for choosing the entire wardrobe of a fashion show. His/her job is to pick the right pieces from anyone’s wardrobe or from a designer’s collection, which would suit the client’s character, body type, the kind of occasion the dress is getting selected for.

Fashion Consultant:

As a fashion consultant, one has to keep a close eye on the latest trends of the market. The role of a fashion consultant also requires individuals to be keen observers of the changing fashion trends.

Textile Designer:

Textile designers work both independently or as part of a design team in both indusrial and non industrial settings. They are responsible for designing 2D patterns, both repititive and unique for knit patterns, weave and printed fabrics etc.

Make Up Artist:

Make up artists are hired for fashion events, weddings, pre-wedding photoshoots, bridal makeup, for models and celebrities. These artists are different than beauticians, as they do not take up normal beauty treatment jobs.

Sketching Assistant:

He/she is responsible for making technical sketches of garments for various presentations. These sketches are used as specifications on the designing and fabrication of the garments.

Fashion Journalist:

The fashion journalist has a job to write or report about latest fashion trends for a magazine. To be a fashion journalist one should to know the latest fashion trends and be in touch with the news of the fashion world.

Employment Sector/Industry for Fashion Designer

There are a variety of employment opportunities for a fashion designer in the different sectors/industries. Some of the top sectors that require fashion designers are mentioned below:

  • Corporate businesses

  • MNCs

  • Consulting Firms

  • Colleges and universities

  • Garment stores

  • Textile mills

  • Media Houses

  • Leather companies

Top Recruiting Companies for Fashion Designer

The job of a fashion designer includes great imagination and focus. To prove as an asset for the recruiting company, a fashion designer must possess creativity in order to develop unique ideas. Few of the leading recruiting companies for fashion designer where one can find employment opportunities are listed below:

  • Raymonds

  • Allen Solly

  • Adidas

  • Spykar

  • Pantaloons

  • AND

  • Swarovski

  • Bata

  • Lifestyle

Planning to choose Fashion Designer as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Fashion Designer

Great fashion designers salary always shows an upward moving trend. However, hard work and a conscious effort to update the latest trends play a vital role in the fashion industry. The salary of a fashion designer also varies widely from designer to designer depending on level of education, experience and skill.

Following are some relative salary figures for different types of fashion designer:

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Retail Manager




Fashion Stylist




Textile Designer




 Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Fashion Designer

To prepare for fashion designing entrance exam, one needs to refer the best books and other study material. Choosing right study material for preparation is very important to obtain good score. Below are some of the best books and study material for career in the field of fashion designing:

  • NIFT Exam Guide by Verma

  • Concepts of Pattern Grading

  • NIFT Exam Guide by Dr. R. P. Datason

  • NIFT Entrance Exam- Self Study Guide

  • Popular Master Guide NIFT by R. Gupta

  • NIFT/NID/IIFT Entrance Exam Guide by R. Gupta

Pros of becoming a Fashion Designer

  • The work of fashion designer is very creative and fun provided you have an eye for fashion. It all about coming up with new innovations which are trending or could trend in the future among people.

  • The profession of fashion designing involves self satisfaction. A fashion designer comes up with new and improved trends to influence people to start using that particular clothing or accessory. So, if the product is used by large number of people, then the fashion designer will have the utmost satisfaction knowing that people are using something that has been his/her innovation.

  • A career in fashion designing can prove very promising for those who love to travel. A career in fashion designing offers a lot of opportunities of traveling abroad if the clients are residing over there.

Cons of becoming a Fashion Designer

  • There are no fixed working hours for fashion designer. Usually the working hours of a fashion designer is long in order to meet deadlines and order supplies.

  • The fashion industry is competitive and exhaustive.The stress that the individual has to encounter in this field can come in a number of different forms and if the person is unable to tackle stress, then, it can cause a disrupt and an eventual loss in the fashion business.

  • The income or the pay scale of a fashion designer is hard to predict. A person who wishes to practice the art of fashion may not have a fixed financial stability. So it can be said that the income of a fashion designer is unpredictable.

Career path for Fashion Designer

In the field of fashion designing, employers usually seek applicants with creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of the production process for clothing, accessories, or footwear. Designers must be able to express their vision for the design through illustration. In order to be a part of this profession, and how to become a fashion designer, one must have the following academic qualifications:

Subject Combination - Any Stream

FAQs about Fashion Designer

What are some best fashion designing colleges in India?

Some of the top-notch fashion designing colleges in India include NIFT Navi Mumbai, Pearl Academy New Delhi, IIAD New Delhi, NIFT Delhi, NIFT Bengaluru, Arch Academy of Design Jaipur, Vouge Institute of Art and Design Bangalore, JD Institute of Fashion Technology Navi Mumbai, LISAA School of Design, Bangalore, JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, NIFT Hyderabad etc.

Name a few of the popular fashion designers in India?

Some of the famous fashion designers who have successfully paved their path to the apex are Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rohit Bal, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Anju Modi, Masaba, Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla, Masaba etc.

What are the disadvantages of becoming a fashion designer?

Fashion designing is a glamorous career option for the aspirant although it has its share of disadvantages too. There are no fixed working hours and deadlines are often unrealistic to meet. An individual has to encounter cut-throat competition and is required to keep producing ideas that are out of the box which becomes exhausting. Achieving financial stability and building reputation requires a lot of time and patience. However, with dedication and hard work, the road towards success is not far away for a fashion designer.

How much money does a fashion designer make?

The starting salary for a fashion designer is INR 1,74,000 per annum, mid-level salary is INR 3,87,000 per annum and senior-level salary is INR 10,00,000 per annum. It should be noted that the salary varies from person to person and organisation to organisation. The figures aforementioned are subject to change.

Name a few of the career alternatives for a fashion designer?

Few of the career alternatives for a fashion designer are fashion illustrator, fashion predictor, fashion stylist, pattern cutter/grader, fashion stylist, fashion coordinator, textile designer, fashion consultant, retail manager, sketching assistant etc.

Which skills are required to become a successful fashion designer?

The skills required for acing a career as a fashion designer are uniqueness, creativity, fine eye for details, problem-solving skills, multi-tasking, time-management, flexibility, visualisation, interpersonal skills, business sense, adaptability and a sharp awareness of the upcoming trends. A capable candidate can pick up the rest of the skills on the way.

Do you need to be good at drawing to become a fashion designer?

Being good at drawing is not a mandatory requirement for a fashion designer although it is considered as a powerful skill. In the present scenario, most of the artwork is being done through computer software which does not require hands-on drawing. Candidates can either develop this trait by getting enrolled in some design school or they can cover it up by polishing other major skills required by a fashion designer.

Is an undergraduate degree enough to become a fashion designer?

Fashion designing is a creative field. It does not possess any hard and fast rules of qualification. A candidate with an undergraduate degree can easily shape up his/her career as a fashion designer. If an individual has the right skill set, creative instincts and sufficient knowledge, a formal degree just adds up more value to it.

It is difficult to become a fashion designer?

With the increase in acknowledgement for the fashion industry, the competition for skilful fashion designers is continuously expanding. Becoming a fashion designer is not a difficult job if an aspirant has the required work ethics, knowledge and apt skills. A candidate must also be willing to learn and develop new traits to successfully sustain as a fashion designer.

What does a fashion designer do?

The responsibility of a fashion designer is to keep an eye on the latest fashion trends, visualise and design clothes, footwear and accessories for retail companies or consumers by using CAD (computer-aided design) or hand.

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