A Beginner’s Guide To Learn Fashion Design Process

Fashion as an industry has grown massively over the past decade. Today the subject Fashion design is considered to be one of the most creative courses out there. Whether you are a fashion student or a professional in the industry you must know the basics of the fashion design process and how it is done step by step. Here in this article, we will be sharing everything about the design process.


Before we get onto the fashion design process one should understand ‘what is fashion design?’ So let’s begin with that.

What Is Fashion Design?


Fashion Designing is a form of art that is dedicated to the creation of clothing and other accessories that are an essential part of someone’s lifestyle. Today fashion designing is majorly divided into two categories: haute couture and prêt-à-porter(ready to wear).

  • Haute couture collection is dedicated to a select few customers and custom-made to fit the needs of customers perfectly. An haute couture design house or a designer has to be part of the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture to launch a new collection of minimum 35 outfits twice a year in order to qualify.
  • Prêt-à-porter, on the other hand, are not custom made and are more suitable for large production runs. In the fashion industry, Prêt-à-porter or ready to wear clothing is intended to be worn without any significant alteration to the design. Designers or Brands use standard patterns, factory equipment, and faster construction techniques to keep the costs low.

Some fashion houses and labels produce mass-produced ready-to-wear (Prêt) lines while others offer garments that are not unique but are produced only in limited numbers.

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Everything You Need To Know About Fashion Design Process :


Stages Of Fashion Design Process(In The Industry):

1. Review the best and worst selling designs from the previous season as well as the current season. 

2. Research new trends in color, fabric, silhouette, and prints.

3. Plan and select fabrics and styles for the season.

4. Test the base fabric.

5. Take confirmation from directors and buyers.

6. Development and alteration to samples.

7. Bulk fabric approval.

8. Garment grading and manufacture.

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1. Review Best And Worst Selling Designs :

Although fashion is all about change and something fresh every time. Many fashion businesses recognize that their customers expect to buy the core items from each season.

As a result, most collections have a range of basics that shows the season’s trends through color and little amendments. And a range that includes more directional designs, some of which sell better than others. At the end of the season, fashion businesses undertake a ‘post mortem’, and record which sold well and which did not. If a trend is going strong for the next season, styles can be continued with minor changes. Although all these things happen with the help of an in-house designer, preferably trained in the same background of expertise in fashion from a reputed institution.

2. Research New Trends :

As we said earlier; fashion is always changing depending upon the season. So it is common for all fashion designers to seek inspiration for their new collection. For more exclusivity, fashion collections need greater innovation and originality. 

At the early stages of the research process, fashion direction will include textile trade shows that provide an insight into colors, fabrics, and prints. Sometimes fashion designers are sent overseas to attend international trade shows and collect unique product samples to take inspiration from. ‘Inspiration is everywhere’, so sometimes photographs are also taken to keep a record of the unique things they have come across. 

Another way of doing research on new trends is to depend upon on fashion forecasting services and journals that foresee the upcoming trends for the next season.

Q. How To Do Your Research process?


3. Plan And Select Fabrics And Styles For The Season :

Fabric plays a crucial role when it comes to making a new design collection. Selecting the fabric is one of the most important things in the design process. So one has to identify the right fabric that can enhance the look and appeal of the silhouette by providing functionality along with cost-effectiveness. Properties like tenacity, weight, construction, etc. are integral for choosing the best for fashion.

Also opting for the appropriate trims will complement the fabric and help to make the decision-making process.

4. Test The Base fabric :

After picking the right fabric it is important to test the fabric to ensure that it is fit for it’s intended purpose. Most of the time fabric testing is carried out by the manufacturer. In the process, the fabric undergoes different stages to prove it’s tensile strength, the stability of the fabric when cleaned or washed, and especially it’s durability. If it fails at any of these stages, it gets canceled by the manufacturer right away.

5. Taking The Conformation :

Although, designers are responsible for creating the collection. The tasks of the buyers and the director of the company is to generally authorize the spending of budgets. The call for the number of units per style and color options are decisions that likely to be made by the buyers and manufacturers.

6. Development And Amendments To Samples :

From ‘prototype’ samples of the new collection to production samples, all are first photographed for publicity before the ranges arrive in the stores. Early samples that are often called ‘toiles’ are normally used by fashion designers to determine the basic fit and measurements. In a typical fashion retail scenario, garment technologists first see the fit samples’ that are made by the manufacturer from a 2D specification sheet. And these are tried on models to assess the fit. If everything is not okay it would require some amendments. 

7. Bulk Fabric Approval :

Bulk fabric is the finished fabric that is going to be used in manufacturing. By this stage, the fabric may as well include a print and that will need to be tested for colorfastness. Failure at this stage may cause a significant problem for the business. However, very rarely professional businesses face failure like that at this stage of the fashion design process.

8. Grading And Manufacture :

Grading refers to the process of creating sizes that are smaller or larger than the base size. Once samples have been approved they are ‘sealed’ and the production takes place. The pieces are made according to the size scale of the particular design house or manufacturing unit. 

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As glamorous as it may seem on the outside, this is a brief about all the work that happens behind any piece of attire that you see in the market. Brands start preparing for the upcoming season, months before and the fashion design process begins. As a beginner, this guide should help you understand the process better before you start your own label or join a design house. 


  1. The Fashion Hand Book – Tim Jackson
  2. https://www.jdinstitute.com/what-is-fashion-design/
  3. https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/2860/what-is-fashion-design
  4. https://www.ellenschool.com/10-phases-fashion-design-process/

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