Some of the central duties of a fashion designer, according to a summary report from O*NET Online, include:

  • The process of creating clothing from conception to the final product
  • How to select the right fabric for a project
  • How to do research to determine how a clothing collection will fit into the current marketplace
  • Identifying market niches for different design lines

These are some of the core subjects prospective students may encounter as part of the career training curriculum in an online fashion designer course.

Skills typically taught in fashion design courses

There are a number of skills that students enrolled in online fashion design classes can gain through their coursework. Based off a review of the curricula offered by a number of courses, some of these skills include:

  • Color theory
  • Sewing
  • Portfolio development and review
  • Fashion illustration
  • Supply chain management
  • Business planning
  • Computer assisted design techniques
  • Textile analysis
  • Apparel construction
  • Fashion techniques

Students may also get the opportunity to gain hands-on fashion experience by enrolling in an internship program.

Applying fashion design skills to the workplace

O*NET identifies the following five areas as key areas of knowledge for fashion designers:

  • Design: The ability to use the tools and techniques that go into
  • English Language: Spelling, grammar and composition
  • Production and Processing: Knowing how to maximize production through modification of materials and processes that go into manufacturing
  • Administration and Management: Fundamental principles of managing a complex operation
  • Sales and Marketing: Promoting and selling products or services

The communication skills that students learn in online fashion design courses can potentially help them work in the fashion industry. For example, fashion designers, according to the BLS, need to be able to communicate their vision to the people who work for them, creative directors and other designers, in order to move their fashion lines forward. These professionals must also be able to make important decisions about the direction of their creations.

The BLS states that there are other jobs that fashion design students can pursue with the skills they develop from their courses. One career is industrial design, which requires professionals to sketch designs and use computer software to create and improve upon them, ensure that the materials chosen for a clothing line do not exceed the established budget, examine designs to ensure they are practical and present designs to clients for their approval.


Fashion Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/fashion-designers.htm

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm

Industrial Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/industrial-designers.htm

Fashion Design, California College of the Arts, June 27, 2014, https://www.cca.edu/academics/fashion-design

Advanced Fashion Design, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, June 27, 2014, http://fidm.edu/en/Majors/Advanced+Fashion+Design

Fashion Program, City College of San Francisco, June 27, 2014, http://www.ccsf.edu/en/educational-programs/school-and-departments/school-of-business/fashion.html

Fashion Undergraduate Degrees, Academy of Art University, June 27, 2014, http://www.academyart.edu/academics/fashion/undergraduate-degrees

Fashion Design, The New School, June 27, 2014, http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/aas-fashion-design-programs/

"27-1022.00 - Fashion Designers," O*NET OnLine, July 18, 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/27-1022.00

Get more information on Fashion Design today…