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Why study a fashion design degree abroad?

Fashion Design is a visual expression of art through clothing and accessories. It is based on the personal preferences of a group of people, resulting in a study which not only focuses on style, but also includes social behaviors of populations. Fashion designers create billions of clothing items for consumers each year. There are three main categories of fashion:

Haute couture

Haute couture is French for high-sewing. Haute couture garments are made to measure, i.e. made for individual clients. They tend to be quite pricey, with large amounts of attention and detail going into the creation and fabrics of the items. 

Ready-to-wear (pret-a-porter)

Ready-to-wear, or pret-a-porter, falls in between the haute couture and mass market categories. It is indeed referring to high-quality clothing, but the garments are bought off the rack and ready to wear and not made to measure. 

Mass market

Mass-market garments are ready-to-wear clothes, and made based on the current trends set by the large fashion brands. They are made from cheaper fabrics and produced by machine, as opposed to hand made, and considerably more inexpensive.

What kind of fashion design programs are available?

There are an array of study possibilities within fashion design out there, all you have to do is find the best option for you - here are some options to consider:

Students wanting to study a fashion design degree can choose from many countries; however, two of the most popular places to study fashion design are Italy and the United Kingdom. Both countries have world-renowned fashion capitals (Milan and London). Each city hosts Fashion Weeks during which designers can display their new clothing to fashion-influencing audiences.

A fashion design student admires her work

What can I do with a degree in fashion design?

Studying fashion design abroad is the perfect opportunity to build and develop a portfolio of work, something that is essential when looking for work within the fashion industry. Most employers look for designers who have a fashion design degree and specialized knowledge of the industry. Strong sales and presentation skills are valuable in selling ideas, and understanding the business side of fashion design will be of great benefit to any graduate fashion design student.

Once you've completed your fashion design studies abroad, a common option would be to work as a pattern maker or sketching assistant under an already established designer. There is also a high demand for fashion designers in apparel wholesalers, and once established, successful designers can be employed by high-fashion design houses, who offer design services to elite clients.

Careers in fashion design

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32% of those working in fashion design work for apparel, piece goods and notion merchant wholesales, while 19% are self-employed, 11% work in manufacturing, 9% in the film and television industry, and 8% in management of companies and enterprises. In general, fashion designers work many hours to meet deadlines or prepare for shows. Freelance fashion designers tend to work even longer hours and adjust their workday around the schedules of their clients.

Typical Entry-Level Education

Bachelor's degree

Number of Jobs

23,800

Job Outlook, 2016 - 2026

3% (Slower than average)

Average salary (based on years of experience):

0 - 5 years

USD $48,000

5 - 10 years

USD $67,000

10 - 20 years

USD $75,000

20+ years

USD $85,000


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