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What does a fashion designer do and how to become one

What is a fashion designer?

A fashion designer is a creative professional who designs clothing using knowledge of industry trends, clothing materials, sewing techniques and clothing construction. They can either work for large clothing companies or smaller independent design labels. They typically have training in sewing and the different stages of clothing production. Designers may design individual pieces, but they can also design collections of products that share common themes and design elements. Fashion designers may work for companies that produce large quantities of merchandise and sell them at cheaper prices, or companies that specialise in luxury goods or haute couture, sold in small quantities at a higher price.

What does a fashion designer do?

Some of the primary duties of a fashion designer are:

  • Source materials – designers source the materials they want to use in their designs. They meet with vendors to determine the different types of material and their effects on the overall look. They also have extensive knowledge of fabric and material quality.
  • Oversee production – after they have created the sketches and selected materials, fashion designers will then need to oversee the production of their designs. Working closely with construction designers, the fashion designer will determine how to make a prototype as well as consulting on sewing techniques to make sure the finished product looks as they imagined it. Patternmakers use prototypes to create clothing patterns, which factories and sewers use to recreate each piece the same way. When fashion designers work independently, they may do the construction, patternmaking and sewing themselves, so it is important that they are familiar with these processes.
  • Present to buyers – Fashion designers sell their products to retailers, wholesalers, and sometimes directly to customers, which means that they also need to have proficient sales skills. Designers may also work with retailers to create capsule collections. They also create presentations to encourage fashion buyers to purchase their products and put them in their retail stores. One of the most common ways to do this is a fashion show.

What skills should a fashion designer have?

Working in the fashion industry can offer motivated professionals a fast paced, exciting lifestyle. Many designers work with a wide variety of people, travel the world, and make a career doing something they love. Certain professional and technical skills can, of course, give you an advantage as you pursue a career in this highly competitive industry. Although the full list is extensive, here are a few key skills that could provide you with such an advantage:

  • Sketching designs
  • Selecting fabrics and embellishments and sourcing suppliers
  • Sewing and creating physical pieces
  • Hosting model fittings and making alterations
  • Organising fashion shows
  • Communicating with clients and the media
  • Marketing designs
  • Promoting designs to creative directors and merchandisers
  • Overseeing production.

How to become a fashion designer

To become a successful fashion designer requires a series of skills that can be honed with effective training. The right education can set you on a path to use your creative talents in a business context so that you are equipped to navigate this competitive industry successfully. Combined with your own personal talent, an education from a highly respected institute, taught by experienced professionals can truly offer you a competitive edge. 

For information and advice about these and any other courses on offer, please feel free to get in touch and one of our experts will be happy to guide you.

How much does a fashion designer in the UAE earn?

According to data from, the estimated monthly salary for a fashion designer in the United Arab Emirates is AED 23,200, with an average monthly of AED 10,000. The estimated additional pay is AED 13,200 per month, which can include cash bonuses, commission, tips, and profit sharing. As you can see from the table, this can vary greatly, but the most likely range is from AED 6,000 and AED 40,000. 

Figure1: average monthly salary for fashion designers in the United Arab Emirates ( 

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