Fashion and textile design

There are a variety of roles ranging from high street and haute couture through to production and business management within the fashion and textile industry. Design covers a wide area from fashion apparel, accessories, knitwear, weave, print and interiors (soft furnishings, upholstery and carpets).

Getting in and getting experience

Most entrants to design roles usually have a fashion or textiles design degree. If you don't, it would be advantageous to take a foundation course in this area, London School of Fashion have short courses available.

Recruitment agencies, sometimes advertise opportunities in design. The main thing is to have a strong portfolio of work that you can show to potential employers or alongside previous work experience in the sector.

Employers are looking for a genuine interest for the sector as well as strong technical ability and an understanding of garment technology, production and commercial awareness.

Good interpersonal and communication skills are vital to work in this industry particularly in terms of networking with suppliers and businesses. Other key transferable skills include organisational, time management and project management. Having a creative flair for colour and a feel for fabrics as well as visualising and design skills through using tools such as computer aided design (CAD) are also important.

There are no formal graduate schemes, therefore the best option for getting work experience in the industry is through:

  • Speculative applications to high street or independent fashion labels. Speculative applications will help you understand more about the fashion industry and enable you to develop the skills that you need.
  • Networking with design houses and studios.
  • Attending trade fairs which usually advertise their events on the relevant institute websites.
  • Working freelance may be another avenue to explore.

Further information: