Clothing Designer

Clothing designers apply their knowledge of style, line, colour, proportion and fabrics to the task of designing clothing. The industry covers a broad spectrum of work and a designer may slot in at various levels of creativity.

Clothing design is a very competitive field and only a few designers become trend-setting fashion leaders. Factories manufacturing garments for the mass market employ most of the clothing designers.

Clothing designers create clothes that can be produced within a certain price range and in keeping with current styles and trends. They get ideas for styles by scanning trade publications, visiting stores and travelling and observing lifestyles. They develop and record their ideas by making sketches, draping dummies and making patterns.

They select colours, fabric and trimmings for their designs and then prepare samples or model garments, which are checked carefully for appearance, fit and quality of work. If accepted, the samples are included in their lines and presented to sales personnel or private clients.

Fashion styling falls into this field and entails the selection and adaptation of high-fashion garments for lower-budget production for the mass market. A designer may also specialise in certain types of clothing, such as footwear, hats, or sportswear.


  • established couturiers, as fashion designer, pattern designer or fashion stylist

  • magazines, as a fashion illustrator

  • clothing manufacturers

  • textile companies

  • performing arts councils

  • self-employment, as a freelance fashion designer or own couturier business

Getting Started

  • practise designing and sewing your own clothes

  • put together a portfolio of your designs

  • observe fashion trends in stores and magazines

  • try and find part-time or vacation work in a clothing shop or factory

  • speak to a clothing / fashion designer about this type of career


Accra Polytechnic, Bluecrest College (formerly Niit Ghana College), Chinhoyi University of Technology, City Varsity, Design Academy of Fashion, Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design, FEDISA, Gaborone Academy of Education, Inscape Education Group, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kyambogo University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, LISOF, Livingston International University of Tourism, Makerere University, Motheo TVET College, Mukuba University, National University of Science & Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Red and Yellow School of Logic and Magic, Solusi University, Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, Tshwane North TVET College, Uganda Catholic Management and Training Institute, University of Johannesburg, University of Kisubi, University of Namibia, University of Swaziland, Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVTC), Vuselela TVET College, YMCA Comprehensive Institute, Zambezi Vocational Training Centre

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