How To Become A Fashion Designer In Australia?

Students want to know how to become a fashion designer in Australia, including what their salary is.


When we talk about the fashion industry, fashion designers are at the forefront of the latest trends and styles — playing an artistic role by planning, designing, creating, and manufacturing clothing for various purposes.


Fashion designers are generally involved in creating a garment from the beginning of its conception until its manufacturing. So, if you think you've got the drive and the creative flair to become a fashion designer, you must combine your skills and pursue a career in fashion designing.


With a range of different fashion schools, fashion designer course types, and methods available for aspiring fashionistas, becoming a fashion designer in Australia has never been easier. Read the post below to learn everything about how to become a fashion designer in Australia and put your creative skills to use.



1. What do Fashion Designers Do?


Shoes, clothing, and accessories are all designed by a fashion designer. A designer sketches the clothing before creating the sample product. After that, the clothing design is submitted to the management for approval so that the prototype can be made.


Fashion designers are usually required to possess sewing skills to produce their first clothing sample. When the design is complete and given to a textile manufacturer or a factory, the designer must supervise the process to ensure that the garment produced fulfils the company's quality standards.


It is crucial to have a thorough understanding of different materials and fabrics to ensure that the product is comfortable and durable. Fashion designers are often required to display their creations at a fashion show to present their collection to customers and creative directors.


Additionally, it is essential to familiarise themselves with a variety of computer-aided design programmes and design software.

Furthermore, before being recruited, a fashion designer will normally be required to provide a portfolio to ensure that their fashion sense meets the company's expectations. It is also vital for them to keep up with industry trends so that patterns, colours, and styles can be tailored according to customer tastes.

Most fashion designing companies in Australia need prior work experience. However, internship positions are primarily open to everyone and can be unpaid or paid. Every job within the fashion industry is highly competitive. Some job posts solely rely on the designer's experience and talent, while others may require them to complete a fashion design programme.

Regardless of where you end up working, having plenty of technical know-how and a keen eye for fashion would be essential aspects of your ultimate success as a designer.


2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Fashion Designer

  • Maintain awareness of current local and global fashion trends.

  • Illustrate concepts through specification drawings and by producing storyboards.

  • Create patterns or collaborate with pattern makers to draft patterns from specification drawings or sketches.

  • Consult with stakeholders and clients to negotiate design solutions and determine the objectives of the design brief.

  • Control retailing and merchandising of garments.

  • Use computers to modify designs and develop and manipulate patterns. 

  • Select fabric, trim, and colour for sample garments, as well as cut them and use a machine to create the garment.

  • Develop and research materials and accessories for the production of garments.

  • Approve the final samples before they go for production.

  • Try and fit samples and discuss them with the sales, management, and manufacturing teams.

  • Participate in quality management and communicate with manufacturing workers during mass clothing production.

  • Complete the specification sheet by adding trim details and extensive sketches.

  • Contribute to costing estimates.


3. Steps to Become a Fashion Designer in Australia


Working as a Fashion Designer in Australia does not require any formal qualification or industry accreditation. However, having work experience or a portfolio of your work in the fashion industry, including a degree, is highly valued.


Here are some basic steps you can follow to become a fashion designer in Australia:


Step 1: Complete your Education


To be a part of the fashion industry, aspiring fashion designers must complete their education to hone their skills. Below are a few types of fashion courses you can choose from:


  • Certificate: A Certificate is an excellent place to start if you are looking for a degree that will give you a foundation for success in the fashion industry. You can choose to take up Certificate III in Clothing and Textile Production (MST30116) or Certificate III in Design Fundamentals (CUA30715).


  • By studying these courses, you will get the knowledge and experience to be a valuable employee in any organisation. You can also continue your education further if that's what you prefer.


  • Diploma: A diploma usually covers and elaborates on the subjects you have already studied during your certificate program. It enhances your overall skill-set and improves your job prospects by properly training you for the workforce.


  • You will learn plenty of things while pursuing a diploma, like how to present and develop design concepts, identify fabric handling requirements, apply quality standards, operate computers, estimate the cost for fashion items, and more.


  • Bachelor's or Master's Degree: A bachelor's degree in fashion design will provide you with a wide range of skills that will help you get into the industry. Furthermore, you can undertake further study and apply for a Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship), which will help you build a global fashion brand.


  • Online: Having a qualification has never been easier — thanks to the opportunity of learning different fashion design courses online. This gives individuals the flexibility to study from anywhere, especially those who are unable to study full-time because of other commitments.


With several fashion-styling courses available all across Australia, there are no geographical limits when it comes to studying a fashion design course.


Note: Eligibility requirements may vary between institutions, so you must visit their websites or contact them directly to get more information about the admission process. Usually, most institutions conduct an interview or ask for a portfolio of your work.



Step 2: Develop Skills with Hands-on Experience

Students must train outside of the classroom to sharpen their skills required to pull off a design, right from the concept to the final product. Participating in an internship programme with a personal stylist, clothes retailer, or design agency will help you achieve hands-on experience.


Students may also gain additional experience by volunteering at a design house.



Step 3: Get More Knowledge about the Business of Fashion


Behind the artistic flair of the fashion industry is the business understanding required to keep an organisation running. Hence, students must become familiar with what goes on behind the scenes, like in the sales, finance, and marketing departments. They should also learn about the creative side of the industry, particularly if they want to start their own fashion business.


Step 4: Build a Portfolio
Future fashion designers must build a portfolio that demonstrates their talents and artistic abilities to show their creative side to prospective employers. You can put together a professional portfolio by including the work you completed during your degree programme.


Furthermore, you must approach each task as though you are about to present it to your future boss. Portfolios enable individuals to display various skills, such as pattern making, sewing, and sketching.

Step 5: Keep Up with the Latest Trends


Every season, the fashion world changes. Hence, designers need to stay updated with the latest trends. This can be accomplished by reviewing business magazines and journals on a daily basis.


4. What are the Skills Required to Become a Fashion Designer in Australia?

You will need to master a few key skills to become a successful designer. Some of these attributes are referred to as soft skills, and others are known as hard skills. Generally, soft skills include interpersonal and social skills that provide leadership and communication abilities.


On the other hand, hard skills are teachable skill sets or abilities that are easily measurable. Below is a list of hard skills and soft skills that will be essential for your success as a fashion designer:


Soft Skills


  • Time Management: When you get immersed in the creative process, it is easy to lose track of time. Learning how to maximise your time is an essential component of running a profitable business as you progress through your way to become a successful designer.


  • Effective Communication: If you want to run a design company by yourself, you will need to learn how to collaborate and communicate efficiently with others before working as a designer. Communication is an important part of a designer's job as it helps them convey their exceptional ideas and ensure that everybody gets along.


  • Accepting Criticism: If you have not already discovered it, one of the first lessons you will learn as a designer is that your colleagues in the fashion industry won't be shy to critique your work. To survive the bullying from snobbish magazine editors and other designers, you will need to have good ego strength. And if you can undergo this scrutiny without crying, you will only become more robust.


  • Self-confidence: The fashion industry is fiercely competitive. You cannot achieve success immediately, and you will have to work hard hours and overcome several obstacles on the way to the top. Overall, the ability to maintain a high degree of self-confidence is essential for impacting the fashion industry.



Hard Skills


  • Sketching/Drawing: The majority of exceptional design ideas emerge on a piece of paper. Hence, you must possess self-taught skills or get some kind of creative experience and knowledge to sketch a simple human form.


  • CAD (Computer-aided Design): When you have a basic understanding of what you want to draw on paper, you can then use CAD software to move your imagination into the digital world. Many designers today choose not to use paper and instead generate all their brilliant designs on digital platforms.


  • Business Skills: You need to start honing your business skills now if you do not want to spend the remainder of your life working with someone else. Remember, a successful designer's life is full of making quick decisions that can make or break their business. A strong understanding of money is also an integral part of a leading designer's portfolio.


  • Fashion Research: Lastly, you will require a clear understanding of how the fashion industry works before designing your first piece of clothing. The study is an unexpectedly necessary part of a designer's daily routine, and you will have to determine if you want to rely on trend reports or do your own research.



5. How to Become a Fashion Designer Without a Degree?

If you always wanted to become a fashion designer but cannot waste three to four years in college or cannot afford education, do not be discouraged as you can pursue a career in fashion design even without a degree.


There's a fair chance you will be able to make it without a degree if you are ready to work hard, have raw potential, and have gained the basic skills needed for an entry-level job in the fashion industry. Here are some tips you can follow to become a fashion designer without a degree:

  • Start drawing and filling sketchbooks.

  • Learn and develop your Illustrator, Photoshop and CAD skills.

  • Build up a solid portfolio with your creative designs and ideas.

  • Take advantage of fashion-related courses available online to learn as much as possible.

  • Try to connect with fashion industry brands and make an effort to obtain an internship with a brand manufacturing company.

  • Send practical or theoretical applications to companies where you would like to work.

  • Improve your basic sewing skills through books, magazines, or the internet.

  • Visit galleries and museums, and aim to understand and learn the history of art and costume. This would be a valuable resource for any aspiring fashion designer.

  • Try to register and participate in all fashion design-related events, stitching and sewing competitions.

  • Make sure to participate and register for fashion-related events and sewing and stitching competitions.



6. How Much Do Fashion Designers Earn in Australia?


According to PayScale, the average junior fashion designer salary in Australia for individuals with less than one year of experience is up to AUD44,102 (this includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay). An early career average salary for fashion designers with one to four years of experience is around AUD56,238.


The mid-career average salary for fashion designers with five to nine years of experience is estimated to be AUD68,208. Whereas, an experienced fashion designer with ten to nineteen can earn a compensation of up to AUD78,247. And finally, the senior fashion designer salary in Australia for individuals with more than twenty years of experience is around AUD90,000.


Note: Fashion designer salary in Australia may vary according to the location and the skills you've gained.


Now that you know everything about becoming a fashion designer in Australia, you are ready to explore the field and live the life of your dreams.



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