How to become a Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer

This role is the soul of a brand, the driving force behind each new collection. Discover the profession of the Fashion Designer!

Fashion Designer


Whether for high fashion or prêt-à-porter, an evening dress or a pair of jeans, behind those garments there is the creativity and work of the fashion designer.

The long process that leads to the creation of a collection starts with the research. The first step of the fashion designer’s work is the analysis of current trends to identify future ones. Starting from this study phase, a moodboard is built, which – through various tools (images, drawings, fabric samples, colors, etc.) – shows the theme of the collection. It is important that everything is consistent with the trends and the aesthetic codes of the brand. As soon as the collection plan is defined, we move on to prototyping: the sketches are reproduced on the computer and the paper patterns are made.

The training of a fashion designer combines heterogeneous disciplines. Technical skills (for example, the knowledge of materials and production processes) are combined with a solid cultural background, acquired through the study of history of fashion, costume and society. The deepening of the marketing processes completes the didactic training. The result of the fashion designer’s work is a product intended to be placed on the market to be purchased.

A crucial trait of the fashion designer is the curiosity that fuels creativity. Their work is nourished by stimuli and ideas that come from different worlds: literature, cinema, theatre, photography, but also lifestyle, gaming, comics. That is why it is important to keep one’s antennas straight and to have an open mind, ready to pick up the most diverse hints. Another central soft skill is the ability to interact: the fashion designer has to work in close contact with different interlocutors. Therefore, they must be able to communicate with both the more technical professionals, such as tailors and pattern makers, and the more creative ones, such as photographers. Last – but not least – is the aptitude for continuous learning: the fashion system changes rapidly and keeping up-to-date is vital.

Knowing how to draw is important but not enough! You need to be familiar with software that allows you to create ever more detailed and complex 3-D designs and models and, more generally, with image editing programs, starting with Photoshop.

The fashion designer usually starts out their career within a company. In this case, they focuse on a brand, for which they follow the fashion collections (men, women or children) or accessories (shoes, bags, jewels). Alternatively, they can join a consulting firm and work for one or more brands. Often, once solid experience has been acquired and a network of professional acquaintances has been built, the fashion designer can decide to launch their own business and develop their own brand.

The Fashion Designer can develop their skills within the Master in Fashion Design at Domus Academy. The programme is designed for candidates who have a first-level degree and/or professional experience in fashion design, but it is open also to those with a background in other disciplines, if they are motivated by the programme’s topics and possess a strong portfolio.

There are two types of Master in Fashion Design from Domus Academy. The Academic Master (60 ECTS credits) is developed over 5 modules, a curricular internship and a final project workshop and it allows to gain an Academic Master’s Degree accredited by the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), a qualification recognised in Europe and worldwide, as well as a Domus Academy Master Diploma. With the Double Award Master (90 ECTS credits), students have the opportunity to integrate the programme of study consisting of 5 modules, a curricular internship and final project workshop, with additional lessons and a more in-depth individual project thesis. With the Double Award Master, students can obtain an Academic Master recognized by the MUR and, in addition, a Master of Arts officially recognized by the British system (Privy Council) and issued by Regent’s University London.

Besides the 2 types of Master, students can also chose the 2-year Master of Arts in Fashion: Design, Art & Technology (120 credits), which offers an innovative vision and approach to creativity and the fashion industry. Its objective is to establish and anticipate cross-cultural directions of multi-faceted themes. The programme integrates art, fashion technology, and digital design within a new framework of multidisciplinary theory, practice, and experimentation.

The 2-year Master of Arts in Fashion: Design, Art & Technology is addressed to young professional who are interested in developing an innovative personal vision and direction within the fashion industry. Candidates should hold a first-level degree and/or have significant professional experience in the areas of fashion, art, or other design disciplines.

The Master in Fashion Design at Domus Academy covers the theoretical courses in Fashion Culture, Visual Representation, Fashion Marketing & Management, as well as the Professional Accelerator Activities and the workshops in Fashion Identity and Fashion Collection. Moreover, students can attend an elective workshop chosen among Fashion Brand Management, Fashion Buying, Fashion Styling, Retail & Visual Merchandising, Entrepreneurship through Design and Digital Communication.

The subjects of the 2-year Master of Arts in Fashion: Design, Art & Technology of Domus Academy include – for the first year – the courses in Art, History, Fashion and Style, Art and Fashion: between Theory and Cont. Practices, Phenomenology of Styles and Fashion, Society and Culture. The workshops in Fashion Design – Research and Methodology, New Materials, Alternative Fashion Expression and Contexts, Innovative Form Making. The Applied labs in Three-dimensional Design and Form Making, Materials Research and Experimentation, Fashion Digital Design Processes and New Manufacturing Processes.

Second-year courses include Advanced Communication and Aesthetics, Material Culture. Two activities chosen from the course in Multimedia Languages, the Accelerator Boot camp and the Generative Design boot camp. Workshops in Fashion Design – Ethics and Innovation, New Expressive Languages ​​and New Fashion Languages: Expanding and Emerging Technologies. The applied lab Fashion Laboratory 1 and 2 and the final thesis with the course in Theoretical Context Documented and the Degree Project.

The Master’s Programme in Fashion Design combines fashion studies with intensive studio practice. You will refine your own creative vision as you meet the challenge of designing new clothing and accessories for existing fashion brands. Your projects will combine conceptualization with textile manipulation, garment prototyping, branding, and image-based storytelling. You will develop a sophisticated understanding of the fashion industry and prepare for an exciting career within it.

During the 2-year Master of Arts in Fashion: Design, Art & Technology, you will deepen the mastery of multidisciplinary design approaches over a longer curriculum. You will work in a hybrid “phygital” environment, employing tools like artificial intelligence, algorithms, Web 3.0, and 3D printing to reshape the creative process. You will learn to interact across a variety of audiences developing horizontal skillsets and lateral thinking abilities as requested by the latest market trends.

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