5 Essential Skills You Need to Become a Successful Designer


If you are considering launching your rewarding career in the fashion industry, you have chosen the right time to do so. After a year of sluggish growth, the global fashion industry is now hotter than ever, with annual growth expected to hit a staggering 21.9% in 2021, as people look to spend on luxury and quality like never before.

With this breakneck growth comes unprecedented demand, as overstretched fashion houses and retailers look for skilled fashion professionals to help them get beautiful clothes on the racks as quickly as possible. However, being a successful fashion designer is easier said than done.

Although you don’t always need formal education and training to succeed, you do need the essential skills that will help you get the job done and thrive in the industry. With that in mind, read on to find out the five essential skills you need to become a successful designer. 

1. Creativity

This is probably the single most important thing that any successful fashion designer needs in spades. Your success will depend on your ability to stand out from the competition and create garments that are at once unique and applicable to a wider audience. Fashion thrives on originality and it is therefore imperative to bring a truly creative mindset to everything you do.

2. Business Acumen

Being a designer is about so much more than drawing up concepts for dresses. You need to know how to take advantage of trends, keep production costs low without compromising on the quality of your garments, and negotiate with suppliers, buyers, and advertisers every single day. All of this requires a strong knowledge of good business practice and a killer instinct that will allow you to spot opportunities as they arise.

3. The Right Software Skills

Fashion is a very technical business nowadays. Many employers will specifically ask designers if they have the appropriate knowledge of how to use the most popular design software suites in the industry. One of the platforms you will probably need to master is AutoCAD, a design and drawing software suite that is used across the global fashion industry for creating concepts. In a highly competitive job market, knowledge of using AutoCAD can set you apart from other candidates, so make sure to take the time to brush up on your software skills. 

4. Clear Communication

A good designer must be able to communicate their vision clearly to every stakeholder in the value chain. This means being able to expertly convey to your seamstresses and artistic directors how you want your garments to look. It also means being able to communicate with management and sales regarding how a marketing campaign should look. All of this requires expert communication skills that are focused on getting results. 

5. An Eye for Beauty and Style

Finally, you cannot ignore how important it is to have a highly-trained eye for beauty and style. As a successful designer, you should be able to instantly know which cut works best on certain body types. You should know how to seamlessly blend different color patterns and understand how to best accentuate certain assets. A lot of this can be learned, but it also tends to come naturally to the very best designers.

Fashion is an incredibly competitive industry, but also an incredibly rewarding one for those who make it. That’s why it is important to master these essential skills now and get your career off to the best possible start. 

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.