How Do I Become a Fashion Director?

Laura M. Sands

You may become a fashion director by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a field related to fashion and deciding which segment of the fashion industry you would like to work in. As fashion director careers tend to be highly competitive, it is also important to also gain experience in the industry by working as an apprentice or intern while you train for a future career. Once you have acquired the education and experience needed to become a fashion director, you may begin to apply for jobs in this area.

Fashion directors help clients achieve a specific fashion statement.
Fashion directors help clients achieve a specific fashion statement.

A lot of fashion director training occurs while actually working in a fashion-related career. Most employers, however, prefer to work with directors who also have a four-year degree from a reputable college or university. Some fashion director requirements only require a two-year degree, but to become a fashion director who is able to compete for jobs on a broader career scale, experts recommend obtaining a four-year degree.

A fashion director must be able to spot good style and emerging trends.
A fashion director must be able to spot good style and emerging trends.

Fashion director duties will vary according to the industry one works in. For instance, a fashion director for a magazine may have an entirely different job description than a fashion director who works for a department store or a design house. It may, therefore, be a good idea to decide which area of fashion you would like to eventually become a fashion director in and try to obtain an internship, an apprenticeship or an entry-level position within that industry to obtain experience and add to your training.

Becoming a fashion director requires you to have certain natural skills and abilities, such as the ability to spot fashion trends, an eye for detail and creative thinking. Being able to translate your thoughts into a tangible design or display is also necessary to work in a fashion-related field. In order to become a fashion director you will also need to have strong leadership skills, as well as the ability to communicate well with others through a variety of mediums.

When you have earned the experience and training needed to become a fashion director, you may begin applying for such jobs. Using your existing contacts acquired while interning and working other jobs within the industry, you may learn of open positions for which you are qualified to apply. In addition to using your networking abilities to become a fashion director, you may submit your resume for open positions that are advertised elsewhere, such as classified ads and trade publications.

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Discussion Comments


@browncoat - I'm not sure if that's the best analogy. It seems to me like everyone connected to the fashion industry ends up working extremely hard, just because it's so popular.

I had some friends who studied design at university in order to go into fashion (I'm not sure what kind of job they wanted to get) and they worked the longest hours of anyone I know. It seems like a superficial industry in some ways, but there is a huge amount to know about it, and the goal posts are always shifting.

The thing is, though, they loved it. They would have been studying trends and styles in their spare time anyway, so it wasn't that much of an imposition to be doing it for longer hours than another student might be working.

And they always looked fantastic, which I guess is a bonus!


@clintflint - I don't know much about it, but I think it would really depend on the kind of fashion director you want to be. If you want to work in New York or Paris, you'd better be the cream of the crop and be able to work yourself to the bone in order to rise through the ranks to any kind of position.

But I'm sure that there are other positions in other places which don't take quite as much commitment. Just like actors who want to make it big go to Hollywood and pray, but actors who just want to make a steady living usually do local commercials and modeling gigs.


This seems like the kind of position where you'd really need to have a lot of drive to get anywhere. I imagine there would be a lot of unpaid internships and things like that before you could even come close to getting this position.

It makes me think of that film "The Devil Wears Prada" which is about the fashion industry. It's from the point of view of a person who wants to break into the journalism side of things, but I imagine she took a route that a lot of people who want to be a fashion director could also take initially.

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