How to become a fashion designer in the UK

If you’re telling your career’s advisor that you’d like to be the next Stella McCartney, then you’re not necessarily picking a career that’s unattainable. A career in the fashion industry in the UK would mean that you’ll be working long hours to hit short deadlines but you’ll be doing a job you love. Whether you’re thinking about working in high fashion or designer ready-to-wear fashion, we’ll tell you how to become a fashion designer in the UK.
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Colour and shape

You’ll need a good eye for colour and shape to do this job. Pattern cutting skills and sewing are also a must. Spotting trends and understanding fashion has to be something that comes naturally to do. You’ll normally need a relevant degree though to get your foot in the door.


Take a course that teaches technical and design skills as this will give you the knowledge necessary to get on in this industry.

What to expect

You’ll need to be able to work to a set of design instructions, which are known as briefs. You’ll be asked to produce mood boards in this job. These are a collection of items that capture a certain mood. They could be fabrics, colour samples or images. You’ll also be asked to develop basic shapes through pattern designs. Practical requirements of the job include the ability to accurately estimate material costs, finding reliable suppliers and supervising the creation of clothing samples.

Work and conditions

This is not a 9 to 5 business. You’ll be asked to work weekends and you’ll cover long hours to meet deadlines when a new collection is about to launch. Starting salaries are between £18,000 and £22,000 depending on experience and location, which could rise to as much as £60,000 if you become a senior designer.

British Fashion Council

Check out the British Fashion Council’s official site – britishfashioncouncil.com for information on colleges in your area that are members as these institutions offer the best training for a job as a fashion designer.

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