17 Skills Every Fashion Designer Should Have To Succeed In 2021

Start A Fashion Design Business

In order to establish yourself as an expert in the fashion design space, there are specific skills and qualities you should have.

Quite a bit goes into becoming a successful fashion designer - from making key business decisions to initiating and overseeing the entire design process for your business.

We put together a list of 17 skills every fashion designer should have:

Here they are:


Customer Service Skills

Friendly communication with customers and the ability to address service issues is a critical part of the job.

Here are some customer service skills you may want to consider prior to becoming a fashion designer:

  • Professionalism: The way you act, present yourself, and respond to situations all leave an impression on your customer. It's important to stay professional at all times when handling customer requests or issues.
  • Problem-solving: When issues arise, it's important that you are able to think quick on your feet and address the situation with a calm and clear solution
  • Friendly-manner: This is an obvious one, but customers truly appreciate someone that can respond in a quick, efficient, and friendly manner.
  • Proficient in writing: These skills include the ability to write well-crafted emails, service tickets, and any other programs used by the business (ie. chat functions, SMS texting)


Design Skills

Whether you are the one designing the product or the decision-maker for the product, an eye for design is critical when becoming a fashion designer. Here's what this looks like:

  • Creative Thinking - the ability to develop or design different products or ideas
  • Visualization - being able to imagine or visualize how the product will look
  • Articulation - the ability to communicate what the design will look like and how it will be executed
  • Detail-oriented - paying close attention to all of the small pieces when designing or working on a project
  • Some technical skills - knowledge of the design software you are using to create the product or build prototypes.

Other skills that may be valuable to have when becoming a fashion designer include digital marketing skills, branding experience, and basic business knowledge.


Business Savvy Skills

When becoming a fashion designer, there are a few fundamental business skills you will want to learn in order to be successful:

  • Leadership and training skills: A great team starts with YOU. Make sure you have all company policies and training procedures in place prior to hiring your team
  • Decisive and self-confident: Over the course of your career, you will need decisions that could impact your business significantly. It's important you are able to think clearly and rationally about these decisions.
  • Ability to understand the financials: You don't need to be an accountant, but it is important that you are able to clearly understand and define metrics such as expenses, revenue, profit, margins, COGS, etc.
  • Strategic Thinking: Setting clear goals and benchmarks, identifying opportunities, risks. Ability to effectively communicate these insights to your team.

These are a few of many business savvy skills you should have (or work on) when becoming a fashion designer.

For a full list, check out this article here.


Crafty Skills

Whether you are on the creative side or the business side of your product, crafty and creative skills are a must for becoming a fashion designer.

Here are a few skills that are important to have for starting a successful fashion design business:

  • Knowledge of materials and their skillful use: It's critical that you are knowledgable about art supplies and able to get the most out of everything.
  • An open mind: The best fashion design business's are the ones that have a unique perspective and an open mind on life and .
  • Patience: Some of your work may take weeks, months or even years! This combined with starting a business will involve a lot of patience and trust in the process.
  • Energy & Focus: Starting a fashion design business means you will need to have a great deal of both physical and mental energy to think creatively, reflect, and focus.

Ready To Become A Fashion Designer?

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when it comes to becoming a Fashion Designer.

If you're passionate enough about becoming a fashion designer and embody just a few of these characteristics/skills, this could be a very lucrative career path for you.

If you're interested in learning more about how to start a fashion design business, check out our business ideas database here where we have step by step guides on how to start a business.

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