If you're a fashion lover you might be wondering how to become a fashion designer or how to improve your skills after having taken a course or two. Luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help the beginner fashion designer learn more about the industry and craft or get inspiration to keep learning.
These books, podcasts, and online courses won't make you into fashion designer overnight, but they can provide guidance and knowledge as you begin to develop your career.
When you’re new to any industry the lingo can seem confusing at first. Fashion design is no different. This dictionary contains 2,000 entries that will have you speaking like a fashion pro in no time. And with illustrations by fashion illustrator Zakee Shariff, it’s a little less dry than your typical dictionary.
If you even think you might want to start your own fashion label after design school, then you should read this book. Written by Mary Gehlhar, a consultant who has worked with hundreds of designers, the book contains advice from industry experts on every aspect of setting up your own brand, from creating a business plan to producing a fashion show. Even if you don’t think setting out on your own is in your future, this book still gives great insight into the business aspects of the industry.
If you are a fashion drawing beginner and want to improve, this book is a great resource. With examples of how to draw figures from start to finish, instruction on how to drape clothes on a drawn figure, and guides for sketching various types of clothing, you'll feel more comfortable with a pencil in hand in no time.
This free online course created by The Museum of Modern Art looks at over 70 garments and accessories from around the world to explore what we wear, why we wear it, and how it is made. While you won’t learn how to design or construct a garment through this course, you will gain an understanding of all life cycles of clothing, from everyday to couture, and how fashion is related to politics and identity which will help you become an all around better designer.
When you finish your fashion design certificate and start searching for jobs you will soon realize there’s more to the industry than just sewing and patternmaking. This course, which costs $35 on Udemy, will teach you the basics of fashion research and why it’s an integral part of the design process.
Podcasts & Webisodes
Though no longer updated, this BBC resource has video content on everything from career progression advice and advice on starting your own brand to moodboard masterclasses and behind the scene looks at different fashion brands. The videos vary in quality, but everything is free so you can easily explore and see what can help your grow as a beginner fashion designer.
Heidi, the creator of The Successful Fashion Designer podcast, went from working as a receptionist to being a partner at a design firm. Her podcast is full of career tips for the beginner fashion designer, whether you see yourself working for a big design house, setting out as a freelancer, or starting your own brand. Download a few episodes and listen to this on your train ride to school - you’ll be inspired to keep working hard toward your dream!
While there's a lot you can teach yourself, the best way to become a fashion designer is hands-on training with experienced instructors. Check out New York School of Design's fashion design certificate program where you'll learn the technical skills needed to kick start a career in fashion.
What are your favorite fashion resources? Do you have any tips on how to become a fashion designer?