It’s no longer necessary to earn a traditional four-year degree to start a career in the fashion industry. Fashion experts are very much in-demand, and the fashion industry is beginning to recognize the benefits of a less traditional form of online education and certifications. With so many online options in earning a fashion industry certification, you can easily start your journey towards becoming a fashion designer today.
What are the best online fashion design courses for beginners? You can learn fashion online by taking one of the best online fashion design courses for beginners, which include:
- Fashion Premier Academy
- IAP College’s Fashion Design Course
- Milan Fashion Campus’ Online Women Fashion Design Course
- International Open Academy’s Tailoring and Alterations for Beginners
- Coursera’s Sustainable Fashion Course
- Coursera’s Learn Fashion Course
- Udemy’s Learn to Draw Fashion with Adobe Illustrator Course
- Udemy’s Intro to Fashion Illustration Course
- MasterClass – Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design
Since there isn’t much information available online covering how people can learn fashion design online, we created this article to help. Below, we’ll cover how you can learn fashion online, the best online fashion design courses for beginners, and some general information about becoming a fashion designer.
How can I learn fashion online?
There are thousands of individuals across the globe who want to find their way in the fashion industry. However, it can be difficult to find the time to commit to full-time education. Often, these people lack the time or money to pursue their dreams. When that happens, then that person who has so much talent and passion to offer the fashion industry often winds up wasting that dream.
However, thanks to some new online learning certifications and classes, you can now start your path toward a beautiful fashion career, online and in the comfort of your own home. You’ll need to learn how to utilize your own time responsibly so that you can start developing your fashion design skills. You’ll also need to build your confidence so that you can take the leap and become a professional in the fashion design industry.
One final note before we begin, all of this applies to not only working in the fashion industry for one of the brands we all know and love but even if your goal is to break off on your own and become a fashion blogger.
The 7 Best Online Fashion Design Courses
What are the best online fashion design courses? None of the certificates and classes we listed below require any formal training, nor are they traditional degrees. However, what they do provide is the type of knowledge you’ll need to become a successful fashion designer. These courses are the beginning steps to once day you realizing your dreams of putting on your own fashion runway show! They are also affordable programs and will allow you to reach your goal quickly.
1. Fashion Premier Academy
The Fashion Premier Academy also offers you the opportunity to learn some skills you’ll need as a fashion designer. Once you enroll at the Fashion Premier Academy, you’ll start learning new fashion design skills like:
- Collection development
- Pattern making
- The business of fashion
- Marketing and branding
All classes at the Fashion Premier Academy are taught by Nino Via. Via worked in fashion design and has also taught the subject for years. Via’s courses are designed as video segments that will teach you skills like:
- Manufacturing practices
- Social media
- Fundamental design principles and techniques
- Building your brand
Using these skills, you’ll be able to make better decisions and create an excellent collection. That means you’ll have the foundational skills to make your successful brand as a fashion designer.
2. IAP College’s Fashion Designer Course
One excellent opportunity you have in learning about fashion online comes from the IAP College’s Fashion Designer course. IAP’s class will teach you everything you need to know to become a successful fashion designer, including:
- What the job of a fashion designer entails
- How you can develop your knowledge and create a successful fashion design career
- How to find a job in fashion design
- How to start your own fashion design business.
IAP’s Fashion Designer Certificate course is an online learning class that uses readings from one textbook, FabJob Guide to Become a Fashion Designer. Plus, this course is self-directed, so you can dictate when you do the work and study while you are at home. It was designed for busy working professionals, so it is considered a part-time program.
The school recommends that you complete their Fashion Designing Course within six weeks after you start. However, you don’t need to complete the course on this particular schedule. You are allowed to complete the course faster if you’d like, or you can take as long as twelve weeks. It all depends on how much time you have and what your schedule is.
The Fashion Designer Certificate Course is designed so that you can complete it quickly and without any teaching help. However, if you do need extra assistance or if you have further questions, you will have access to a faculty member that’s an expert in one more many of the types of fashion design, and that person will be happy to guide you and assist you.
Your assigned faculty member will be a valuable resource for you. By contacting that individual, you’ll be able to get some personal help and guidance. That way, you can succeed in your new fashion design career.
Fashion Designer Certificate Price
The Fashion Designer Certificate at the International Association of Professions Career College is designed to meet rigorous academic standards. That way, once you graduate, you can display your certificate with pride and receive acknowledgment about your achievement from potential employers.
Considering that it can cost thousands of dollars to pursue your education at a college, this online certification comes at a steal of a price. Also, IAP guarantees the quality of the course because of its expertise. This college has been creating online guides for non-traditional careers for over two decades.
Previously, the online certification course cost $300 and includes a textbook. If you consider the price of textbooks and the knowledge you’ll be receiving after you complete this program, that’s a steal. So, considering how expensive college courses are, this Fashion Designer Certificate comes at a very affordable price.
3. Milan Fashion Campus' Online Women Fashion Design Course
If becoming a fashion designer is something you want to achieve… Then this course from Milan Fashion Campus is perfect for you! Covering everything in the world of Women’s Wear design, from sketching, hand coloring, creating mood boards on photoshop to creating a modest collection. It incorporates everything you need to become a fashion designer!
In this course you will learn to create and launch a fashion collection successfully. If you are a designer, or a fashion design student that’s planning to open a fashion business and launch your own collection, in this course you will find the best suggestions to start your clothing brand.
Your teacher Angelo Russica will tell you everything he learned from working for big brands like Gianni Versace and other international brands in my many years of experience as a fashion designer and fashion consultant.
This course is divided into 6 course contents being:
- Fashion Sketching
- Hand Coloring
- Product Design
- Knitwear Design
- Collection Design
In which you will learn the foundation of fashion design and will be ready to create your own unique designs!
You will also be part of a community where you can share your work for feedback from teachers and fellow students. After completing the course you will receive a digital copy of your certificate and the richness of information learned throughout the course!
4. International Open Academy's Tailoring and Alterations for Beginners
Tailoring and alterations are the first step towards becoming a fashion designer! In this accredited course by International Open Academy you’ll learn how to find the right machine for you, pinning and sewing a straight stitch, and essential outfit alterations like how to slim, shorten, hem, and taper shirts, dresses, and bottoms.
Sewing supremo Carale Bowe (known as Stylish Dad) will be your professor and guide, teaching you how to make clothes that fit and flatter in easy-to-follow steps. Carale teaches regular people, like us, to stitch in the course of becoming a fashion designer.
This course consists of 5 modules covering the following topics:
Module 1: Getting Started
- Meet your instructor: Carale Bowe, tailoring instructor and YouTuber
- Finding the right type of machine for you
- Setting up your sewing station
- Getting to know and setting up your sewing machine
- Practicing stitches
Module 2: You’re A Tailor, Harry!
- All the basic tailoring terminology you need to talk like a real tailor!
- Essential sewing machine settings
- Stitch tension explained for beginners
- Beginner Sewing Project 1: Pinning and sewing a perfectly straight stitch
- Beginner Sewing Project 2: How to sew a zigzag stitch
Module 3: Transforming Tops
- Slimming a T-shirt for a great look
- Shortening T-shirt sleeves: easy shortcuts
- Shortening a T-shirt so it fits you!
- Slimming a dress shirt for both women and men
- Nailing dress shirt darts every time
Module 4: Better Bottoms
- How to taper dress pants the easy way
- How to taper jeans exactly how you like them
- Hem Method for Jeans 1: The original method
- Hem Method for Jeans 2: The new method
- Taking in the waist of jeans and bringing them to life
Module 5: Essential Dress Alterations
- Dress Alterations 1: Waists
- Dress Alterations 2: Hemming
- Dress Alterations 3: Darts
- Altered sweaters – simply
- Kids’ clothing – how to work small and succeed
After successfully completing the course you will receive a certificate of completion, to recognize your achievement. And you can immediately download your PDF course certificate from IOA.
5. Coursera’s Sustainable Fashion Course
You can also check out Coursera’s Sustainable Fashion Course if you are interested in a different online learning option. Although sustainable fashion sounds like it might be impossible, since many people wonder if fashion is something that can be sustainable, this class helps you understand the concept further. In truth, the fashion industry has grown to be more unsustainable since they use more natural resources and produce a tremendous amount of waste yearly.
However, that doesn’t mean that environmentally savvy students cannot learn how to contribute to sustainable fashion themselves, and that’s what this class is covering. Coursera’s Sustainable Fashion Course discusses the business model theory and how other business models are being used to create more sustainable corporations. By focusing on the business model theory, students learn how they can observe real-world fashion brands and see how they are trying to become more sustainable.
By looking at examples of other businesses and how some in the fashion industry is trying to become more sustainable, students will learn how they can apply sustainable design to their design careers. That way, students can contribute to making the world and the fashion industry more sustainable. By the time the class is complete, students will know about the challenges and possible solutions so that they can create a more sustainable fashion design business.
6. Coursera’s Learn Fashion Online Course
Coursera also offers another excellent option online called the Learn Fashion Online Course. In this course, students will learn how fashion and luxury companies work hand-in-hand. Students will also be taught how to comprehend things like
The information in the course provides plenty of business models from well-known fashion experts that are there to guide students on their creative journeys. This class uses a case-study approach, emphasizing how strategic brand management in luxury and fashion can require much balancing. Students will be taught how they can encourage their brand’s value by nurturing brand heritage while also offering fresh, new ideas to the public.
7. Udemy’s Learn to Draw Fashion with Adobe Illustrator
If you’re looking to learn about fashion while using Adobe Illustrator, then Udemy’s Learn to Draw Fashion with Adobe Illustrator would be an excellent choice for you. This course will teach you how to use Adobe Illustrator so that you can draw fashion flats. That means you’ll be able to hone your skills and create beautiful, accurate product designs that will meet the standards necessary in retail and manufacturing.
This class is specifically designed for total newbies, so that means if you’ve never used Adobe Illustrator before, then this is the right class for you. You’ll learn about:
- Illustrator’s terminology
- How the Illustrator interface works
- The Design and product development process that’s used by fashion experts
- How Illustrator can be used in the design
- The tools and features in Illustrator that can help you make fashion drawings.
The Adobe Illustrator skills presented in this class are necessary for students to know how to work with fashion brands and retailers around the world. Many designers use Illustrator, but several of them don’t know how to use the program well. So, to help you get an edge into the fashion world, this course will show you how you can build your fashion designs with Adobe Illustrator.
Unfortunately, several Adobe Illustrator manuals, as well as online training courses, are generic and don’t cover items associated with fashion drawing. So, for many fashion designers, it can be hard for them to know how to develop and learn Adobe Illustrator to work in fashion. However, this class will help you learn all of the techniques you’ll need to know so that you can create excellent fashion flats. You’ll learn about the fashion product development process and how Illustrator can be used to assist you in this area of fashion design.
You’ll also learn several tutorials that will cover the functional tools so that you’ll be able to create your fashion drawings in Illustrator. The course ends with a series of garment drawing workshops, which allow students to use all of the skills they’ve learned in the course and put them to use.
8. Udemy’s Intro to Fashion Illustration
If you’re looking to dive more into fashion illustration, then consider Udemy’s Intro to Fashion Illustration course. This Udemy course covers many subjects in convenient steps, making things easy for students to understand. So, if you need to learn how to do a little fashion drawing, you’ll find what you need in this class. The topics of this course include:
- Drawing fashion figures
- Making interesting poses
- Using watercolors
Students will learn how they can make sketches that are motivated by both street style and other various fashion trends. It takes less than an hour to complete this class in most cases, and the information that’s available will be invaluable to anyone who wants to become a successful fashion designer and who know, maybe one day rival one of the best fashion designers in the world!
9. MasterClass - Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design
If you’re serious about learning how to design your clothes, then you are going to need to check out this course by MasterClass. The iconic designer Marc Jacobs will teach you the process for creating innovative and award-winning fashion in 18 lessons!
The course is made up of 18 guided lessons for you to learn and practice all there is in the world of fashion design. These lessons are unique and created as a hands-on format allowing you to learn alongside the finest in the world on projects and activities as part of a set curriculum.
The following are a selected few of the 18 lessons found in the course:
- Sketching Your Ideas
- Creative Process of Design
- Patterns & Muslins
- Developing a Collection
- Fashion Industry
And so much more!
In this program you’ll take an active role in the sessions by sharing your work with a supportive community of peers and receiving advice from qualified Teaching Assistants.
While the curriculum is designed to take you from beginning to end in 30 days, the information will be pre-recorded so that you may access all lesson materials at any time during your subscription!
10. MasterClass- Diane von Furstenberg Teaches Building a Brand
Last but not least here is yet another course by MasterClass simply because they offer some of the best online courses out there! In this online course by MasterClass, Diane von Furstenberg will guide you on how to build and market your fashion brand!
In her 20’s, Furstenberg convinced a textile factory owner in Italy to let her create her first designs. She then left for New York City with those same designs and later built one of the world’s most iconic and enduring fashion brands.
In her first online fashion design class, Diane teaches you how to build a brand. You’ll learn how to create a visual identity, build loyalty, stay true to your vision, and launch your product.
The topics covered in this course are the following:
- Discovering the Industry
- Developing Your Product
- Product and Market Research
- Building Your Brand DNA
- Social Media
- Brand Extensions
Just to name a few!
This curriculum is structured to be completed in 30 days. But, the content is pre-recorded so you can still have access to all session materials at any time during your membership.
Can you get a fashion degree online?
Yes, you can earn a fashion degree online from several colleges, like:
However, online fashion degrees typically take at least three to four years to complete. They are also much more expensive compared to many of the other certifications and programs we included on our list. In reality, you don’t necessarily need to have a degree in fashion to work in the fashion industry. Many of the above-listed courses and certifications will give you the knowledge you need while saving you a lot of time and money.
So, while you can pursue the traditional college route to earn a fashion degree, it will take a lot more time and cost you more money. Learn what is fashion merchandising? and guide yourself with the basic knowledge before taking another specific route with a degree.
Is a degree in fashion design worth it?
In many cases, that depends on who you ask. However, for the most part, it’s not necessary to earn a four-year degree in fashion design to pursue a career in the fashion industry. As long as you know how to make clothes, design your creations, and you’ve got some form of certification or education to back yourself up, it shouldn’t be challenging to pursue a career in fashion.
Do fashion designers make a lot of money?
Fashion designers do earn a decent level of income. Chron.com mentions that fashion designers average about $31.33 hourly, which adds up to about $65,170 yearly. The lowest-earning ten percent of fashion designers only make $33,740 annually. On the other hand, the highest ten percent earn well into the six figures at $130.050 per year.
How to Study Fashion Design Online
The best way to learn fashion design online is to find a way to study it at home, and we’ve given you plenty of options for that above. To begin your studies, you’ll need to focus on the mechanics and how the fashion industry works. Learning those topics in detail will help you obtain sound knowledge about how the industry works. By comprehending the industry better, you’ll increase your chances of becoming a part of the fashion world.
If you can’t commit to a formal degree in fashion design, don’t worry. You can use our other listed opportunities above. There are a number of ways to become a fashion designer! The classes and certifications we have on our list can give you the training and certifications you need to succeed in the fashion industry.
Learn to become a fashion designer at home
Entering the industry of fashion design has always been regarded as something that is almost unobtainable. With all of the millions of people in the world that are aspiring to become a famous designer, it can seem so saturated with competition everywhere you turn.
This can be especially intimidating if you feel that you do not have the correct resources to meet this goal on your own.
With many people taking the path of fashion design school and courses in order to learn everything they need to know and get out onto the scene of designers, it can seem like a daunting task to keep up with those who seem more educated and experienced.
However, contrary to what you might think, it is not very difficult to teach yourself all of the same things, right from your own home. The best part about this is that it won’t cost you anything. You will just need to find the right resources and be determined to succeed.
So, how can this be done? The answer is the internet. Just like almost any other skill or job in the world, you can learn fashion designing all by yourself with things that you can find on the internet.
This probably seems shocking, given the fact that many people will spend thousands on schooling for this kind of thing. It is not something that is out of reach, though, especially in this day and age.
If you need to find out how to start your own nail technician business or get a quick tutorial on microblading, your first instinct will probably be to do a quick google or YouTube search. Learning how to become a fashion designer is really no different.
In this section, we will be giving you the full blueprint of how you can learn fashion designing at home, by coming up with your own course and teaching yourself everything you would learn at a fashion designing school.
While we can’t guarantee that you will end up being successful in the world of fashion design, you will be able to get a leg up and know exactly how to learn the skills that you need for the potential to become known for the work that you will produce.
Take a look at the list down below to get a general outline of how you can achieve something like this.
This is how you can learn fashion designing and become successful at home (only using the internet):
- Find out what you need to learn to be successful
- Look for some free online courses
- Turn to fashion gurus and blogs of experienced designers
- Study the patterns of the most successful designers
- Make alliances with people in the industry
- Watch YouTube tutorials
- Acquire all of the needed materials
- Come up with a clear plan of action and long-term goals for your fashion career
First of all, you will need to find out everything that you need to learn in order to be successful. If you know nothing about fashion design, you will probably be going into this blindly, not knowing where to even start.
It helps in this situation to find out what they are teaching in fashion design courses, and you can figure out how to teach the same concepts to yourself. This method will be discussed later on in this article, though.
Additionally, you can look for some free online courses. The main point of teaching yourself all of these skills at home is to avoid the cost of fashion design school. However, there is nothing against free courses!
If you are able to find some great lessons and classes online that you can take without paying anything, you will really be able to jumpstart your home fashion design career. This topic will also be dissected in the later sections of this article.
Along with finding out what you should actually learn on the books and possibly finding an organized course to help you do so, there is another important aspect of learning any industry or job.
This will include learning from the people who are already successful at the same thing that you are trying to do. In order to get some valuable information that you might not learn through courses and books, you can start following the blogs and social media of successful fashion designers.
Some of them might offer some helpful advice that will point you in the right direction when you are ready to start your career.
Fashion gurus on YouTube and social media can really help you out a lot, too. These will be the people that post the really helpful informational videos online that will tell you about real life experiences and what to expect in certain situations.
If you are making your own clothes at home and you get stuck, you will be able to find some easy video tutorials online as well. When you are learning something all on your own, there will be a lot of trial and error that you will have to go through.
In these circumstances, it is helpful to have these types of online resources, as well as some of them in person. To be more specific, it would be beneficial to make alliances with people who are already in the industry.
Similarly, you can become friends with someone who is in school for any of the types of fashion design or pursuing a related career. You might be able to get some helpful pointers and advice, and even learn a thing or two from a real fashion design course.
Once you have compiled all of the resources that you will be using to learn how to be a fashion designer at home, you will need to gather all of the materials that you will need. This will take some additional research, but some of the basic materials you might want to grab include a sketch book, some colored pencils, and a sewing machine to start.
Along with learning everything that you need to know about designing, you should have a clear vision of where you are going with it.
Come up with some long term goals of where you see yourself in years down the line, and make some real plans to get there. After all, there would be no reason to do all of this if nothing will come from it at the end!
You also need to build a focus when it comes to learning fashion design at home. You’ll want to select a future career path, and that requires pinpointing a particular area of fashion design that you want to study. You’ll need to choose this area of study, and then you’ll know where you can go from there.
Free Online Fashion Design Courses For Beginners
Along with teaching yourself about the fashion design concepts that were mentioned previously, you might want to get some extra assistance while you are trying to learn all of the most important lessons.
This assistance can include organized lessons that are already prepared for you, challenging quizzes and tests, and other helpful resources that will further you in your career and help you land one of the coveted fashion design jobs!
When you are in search of things that will help you become the fashion designer that you have always wanted to be, but you still don’t want to spend money on any formal courses, you can get around it by finding free ones online.
That’s right, you can actually find real fashion design courses online without paying a single penny! In this section, we will be going over the best free online fashion design courses that even beginners can follow along with to reach their full potential in the fashion industry.
Here are some of the best free online fashion design courses for beginners:
- Fashion Drawing Tutorials at Fashion Era
- Textile Design Entrepreneurship at Utah Education Network
- Craft of Costume Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Fashion
- Fashion Entrepreneurship at Business of Fashion
- Fashion History at Business of Fashion
- Fashion Business Basics at Business of Fashion
- Sewing Essentials Online Video Course at Sewing Workshop
As you can see, a lot of the titles of these free online courses are in direct relation to the topics that were discussed previously in this article. Therefore, you can find a lot of the specific lessons that are taught in real fashion courses online for free!
For instance, you can learn how to draw your own designs with the Fashion Drawing Tutorials at Fashion Era online. Additionally, you can learn everything you need to know about the history of fashion portion at Business of Fashion.
While these courses might not teach you about fashion design from A to Z as far as the course scope that is offered in design schools, you can get some more insight on the topics that you are teaching yourself.
For example, if you are reading ebooks and online articles about textile designs in order to teach yourself, you can go on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website to make sure that you are covering everything the you need to.
All in all, it helps to give yourself a well-rounded education and acquire lessons from everywhere that you can get them. Going the extra mile will never hurt you, it will only help you go further in your fashion career.
As you can see, becoming a fashion designer all on your own is not as difficult as you might have though when you first heard the idea. Fashion designing can be a very freeing and rewarding career, and you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to achieve it.
With the help of all of the useful tips that were offered throughout this article, you should be able to come up with more ways than one to teach yourself everything you need to know about the fashion industry and what it takes to be the successful fashion designer that you have always dreamt of becoming.