How to achieve success as an Apparel Designer

A career as an apparel designer can be both exciting and rewarding, allowing designers to use their creativity and technical skills to create clothing and fashion accessories that are functional, fashionable, and aesthetically pleasing. In this article, we will explore the role of apparel designers, the skills required to succeed, and the career progression path they may follow. We will also discuss the growing importance of the apparel design industry and the economic outcomes that apparel designers may experience. Whether at the beginning of your career or looking to switch to a new field, a career as an apparel designer could be a great choice.

What does an apparel designer do? 

A career as an apparel designer involves creating clothing and fashion accessories. Apparel designers work with a variety of materials to create clothing and accessories that are functional, fashionable, and aesthetically pleasing. They may work for clothing and fashion companies, designing clothing and accessories for a specific brand or line. They may also function as freelance designers, creating clothing and accessories for various clients.

Required Skills to Become an Apparel Designer 

To become an apparel designer, you will need a combination of creativity, technical skills, and business acumen. Some specific skills that may be helpful for a career in apparel design include:

  • Creativity: Apparel designers need to be able to come up with creative and original ideas and designs for the clothing and accessories range. Their work may involve sketching, experimenting with different materials and techniques, and thinking outside the box.
  • Technical skills: Apparel designers need to be familiar with the materials and techniques used in the fashion industry and be able to create clothing and accessories that are functional and well-made. This may involve sewing, cutting, and finishing clothing and working with various fabrics and other materials.
  • Business skills: In addition to their creative and technical skills, apparel designers need to understand the business side of the fashion industry. This may include knowledge of market trends, consumer preferences, and production processes.
  • Attention to detail: Apparel designers need to be detail-oriented and possess the ability to create clothing and accessories that are well-made and aesthetically appealing.
  • Collaboration: Apparel designers often work as part of a team, collaborating with other designers, pattern makers, and production staff. Strong communication and collaboration skills are therefore essential.

A career in apparel design can be exciting and rewarding, allowing designers to express their creativity and contribute to the fashion Industry.

Skill training opportunities to become an apparel designer

There are a variety of options for skill training for aspiring apparel designers. Some possible sources of skill training for apparel designers in India include:

  • Fashion Design Schools and Universities: In India, many fashion design schools and universities offer degree programs in fashion design and related fields. These programs typically provide students with a broad education in fashion design, including courses in textiles, color theory, pattern making, and garment construction.
  • Sector Skill Council: For creating employment opportunities in the apparel sector, the Apparel Made-ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC), set up under the MSDE and NSDC, is offering a wide variety of certificate courses to youth looking to pursue a career in Apparel Design. The council imparts skill training to the candidates through its different training partners nationwide. Moreover, this course is being provided free of cost under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
  • Fashion design workshops and seminars: In addition to formal degree programs, many fashion design workshops and seminars offer more focused and specialized training in specific areas of fashion design. These workshops and seminars, available through fashion design institutions, professional associations, or individual designers, present valuable opportunities to acquire fresh skills and remain current with the latest trends and advancements.
  • On-the-job training: Many apparel design jobs in India offer on-the-job training, where new designers can learn the specific skills and techniques needed for the job while working under the supervision of experienced designers. This type of training can be a great way to gain practical experience and develop skills in a real-world scenario.

Future scope

There are several reasons for promising career opportunities in the apparel design field. Some of the critical factors that may contribute to these opportunities include:

  • The fashion industry is dynamic, constantly changing, and evolving, with new styles and trends emerging. This means there is always a demand for creative and innovative apparel designers who can help drive the industry forward.
  • The fashion industry is global, with designers working for companies and clients across Nations. This means there are many opportunities for apparel designers to work in varied locations and collaborate with designers and other fashion professionals from different countries and cultures.
  • The rise of e-commerce and online shopping has created new opportunities for apparel designers as more and more people buy clothing and accessories online. This has led to a growing demand for designers who can create digital content and visuals that appeal to online consumers.
  • As consumers become more environmentally and socially conscious, the demand for sustainable and ethical fashion increases. This has created opportunities for apparel designers who can make clothing and accessories using sustainable materials and processes and are committed to ethical and responsible fashion practices.

Career progression and economic outcome as an apparel designer

It may vary depending on several factors, including their level of education and experience, the specific industry they work in, and the region where they are employed. In general, however, some potential steps in the career progression of an apparel designer in India might include:

  • Entry-level apparel designer: At the entry-level, apparel designers in India may work as assistants or interns, helping to create clothing and accessories under the supervision of experienced designers. They may soon begin to develop their designs and portfolios and gain practical experience in the Indian fashion industry.
  • Junior apparel designer: As they gain experience and expertise, they may advance to the junior designer role, where they may be responsible for creating their designs and working with clients and production teams to bring their creations to life. They may also continue to develop their design skills and portfolio and gain a deeper understanding of the Indian fashion industry.
  • Senior apparel designer: With additional experience and expertise, apparel designers in India may advance to the role of senior designer, where they may lead a team of junior designers and oversee the design process for a fashion brand or company. They may also be responsible for presenting their designs to senior management and other stakeholders and making strategic decisions about the direction of the company’s design efforts.
  • Head of design: At the top of the career ladder, apparel designers in India may become the head of design for a fashion brand or company, where they may be responsible for setting the overall direction and strategy for the company’s design efforts. They may also be involved in the company’s high-level decision-making and strategic planning.

In terms of economic outcome, apparel designers in India can earn a decent salary, especially at senior and leadership levels. According to salary data from Glassdoor, the average salary for an apparel designer in India is INR 4,00,000 annually. However, salaries can vary depending on the specific industry and location, as well as the designer’s level of experience and expertise.

The apparel design field offers many exciting career opportunities for creative and talented individuals. With the right skills and experience, you can carve out a successful and fulfilling career in this dynamic and vibrant industry.


Dr Roopak Vasishtha – Chief Executive Officer

Apparel Made Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC)

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