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October 29, 2012 / NextStepU

Major Monday – Fashion Design

Can’t find anything in your closet that you want to wear? Think that you could come up with something that’s better? If you’ve got a creative spirit with an eye for passion then you might want to consider declaring a major in fashion design.


According to the College Board, this major is offered at both the associate’s (2-year) and bachelor’s (4-year) level. Typical courses that students take in this major include color and design theory, fashion sketching, history of costume, pattern drafting, textile fibers and fabrics, apparel construction techniques and computer-aided fashion design. Students should be prepared to spend a lot of time outside of class in the studio drafting sketches and improving drawing skills. While it does require a significant amount of time and effort, perfecting studio work will not only improve your work but also start to build you a portfolio.

What to know before you apply

Fashion design isn’t just about having a passion for clothes and wanting to pursue a career in the industry. Fashion is a combination of creativity, patience and the ability to be detail-oriented. In addition, learning how to use computer-aided fashion design is something students should be prepared to do, especially with the overall movement toward digital outlets. When looking for what schools to apply to, students should be aware of whether the institution offers the latest fashion design software, provide an outlet for students to present their work and offers the opportunity to study in a city like New York or Paris where fashion is prominent.


Most students who pursue this major will likely for be looking for a career in the fashion design industry. The average yearly salary for fashion designers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was $73,930 as of 2011. If students wish to pursue different outlets in the creative field, they could consider interior design which averages $52,810 per year as of 2011 or set design with an average salary of $54,890.


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