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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

A Fashion designer will design clothing ranges and accessories. They may have control over a certain label or brand and will sketch multiple initial design ideas for items that they think will appeal to the people who might buy them! They will also use data collected from samples to ensure that the sizing's are correct.  The sketches will be discussed amongst other designers, passed up to the Design Manager where the design is refined and specifics are finalised, such as materials to be used, stitching, colour and range.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could do a college course, which will teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need to work in the fashion industry.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

The following local colleges offer courses in Fashion and Textiles:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.


You may be able to do an advanced apprenticeship in fashion and textiles and work as an assistant in a design studio. You could then develop your design skills on the job.

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You'll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree.

Courses are widely available and include fashion design, art and design or textiles.

You should look for a course that covers both design and technical skills to get the practical knowledge needed by the industry.

Some universities and colleges are members of the British Fashion Council.

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

Click here to search for a suitable course.

Career tips

You can create a portfolio of your design work to showcase your skills, which will help you at course and job interviews. Your portfolio should include mood boards, designs and technical drawings.

You'll need to get as much work experience or volunteering as you can, for example through an internship, as there's strong competition for jobs in the fashion industry. It will help you get a better understanding of the role, and to meet people who may help you to find paid work later.

You can find more details about working in fashion from the British Fashion Council and Discover Creative Careers.

Career Path and Progression

With experience you could progress to senior designer, head of a department (like head of women's wear design) or design director.

You could also go freelance or start your own company.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Costume designer
  • Dressmaker
  • Fashion design assistant
  • Fashion model
  • Footwear designer

Required Skills

  • The ability to create lots of ideas and translate them into sketches and designs
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong IT skills for working on CAD software and other design applications
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things

Salary Range

£20,000 to £80,000

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