Many fashion designers receive their training through a fashion design program at a college or university. Some attend schools dedicated to the study of fashion design, while others choose programs based in traditional colleges. Fashion design degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Some schools even offer MBA programs that focus on the business side of the fashion industry.
Those who want to enter a fashion design program are often expected to develop basic skills before applying. A fashion program may require prospective students to submit their portfolio and pass design and sewing tests when they apply. Designers may teach themselves these skills or take classes to develop these skills before college.
Students in fashion design programs learn about textiles, sketching, sewing, draping, and creating patterns with the help of CAD software. They also learn about the history of fashion, trend forecasting, and the business of fashion. Students may create their own collection as a senior project. Collections and other student work can be valuable additions to a designer’s portfolio. Designers pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees may focus on a particular type of design, such as children’s wear, intimate apparel, knitwear, or sportswear.
Design students in some programs take on internships to put their knowledge to work under the guidance of experienced professionals at large design houses or in fashion merchandising.