Getting a foot in the door of the fashion industry can be daunting. It’s an extremely competitive world which requires creativity, an ability to work alongside strategists and keep up with rapidly changing trends whilst engaging with a demanding client base always on the look-out for new and exciting creations. That being said, fashion can be very exciting and fulfilling career option for graduates whose love for the fashion industry is only paralleled by their determination to leave their mark on it.

Fashion designers create apparel for the female, male and childrens' market. There will work on a variety of clothing and accessories from sportswear to baby clothing.  


Graduates will need to have developed and then be able to demonstrate the following skills to a potential recruiter: 

  • a good eye for colour, texture and shape
  • an understanding of the characteristics of fabrics and how they can be used
  • technical skills such as pattern cutting and sewing
  • the ability to spot and develop trends
  • drawing skills
  • the ability to use computer design packages
  • an understanding of production processes
  • the ability to solve problems
  • commercial awareness
  • the ability to work as part of a team    

(National Careers, 2015)

Many of these skills you will have developed whilst studying at university. Take the time to look through the list and try to think of an occasion when you have demonstrated these skills. Try to identify your weaknesses and consider how you might improve your profile. Using the STAR structure will help you to reflect upon, identify and provide evidence for the whole range of skills you will have developed throughout your time at university, including work experiences such as internships, placements and voluntary or paid part-time work.

Career Options

Fashion designers are employed within a variety of settings such as:  

  • high street fashion - this is where the majority of designers work and where garments are mass manufactured (often in Europe or East Asia). Buying patterns, seasonal trends and celebrity catwalk influences play a key role in this design process. It is a commercial area and heavily media led
  • ready-to-wear, also known as prêt-à-porter - where established designers create ready-to-wear collections, produced in relatively small numbers
  • haute couture - requires large amounts of time spent on the production of one-off garments for the catwalk, which are often not practical to wear. Designs are usually created to endorse the brand and create a 'look'.                                                                  (Prospects, 2015)

You find profiles on the broad range of job roles in the fashion industry through Creative Skillset

Graduates also use their transferable skills to work outside of the fashion design industry in roles such as marketing, visual merchandising, retail management, event organising, creative design and public relations.

Next Steps

Visit our pages on Finding and Applying for Jobs in Fashion , Becoming a Freelance Fashion Designer and Work Experience and Networking in the Fashion Industry

Last modified: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 14:14