Fashion designer

Fashion designers design new clothing lines and adapt design to current fashion trends. The job involves conceptual work, which includes research, sketching and development work, and the presentation of an idea indicates materials, colours, patterns and other aspects of clothing. Sketches of clothing and accessories are then used as a basis for tailoring. Prototypes are then made for clothes and the design is entered for production and presented in various ways.

As a fashion designer, you could work independently or in collaboration with others, such as tailors, seamstresses, stylists and agents. Those who work for larger companies can specialize in specific parts of the design process, such as material selection.

Main tasks

• developing ideas for the production of clothing and accessories
• choosing materials, buttons, zippers and everything else related to the combination of clothing and accessories
• marketing and presenting the design
• finding manufacturers and ways to import the goods
• gathering one’s own designs in a portfolio to present to customers and colleagues
• bookkeeping and preparation of budgets and business plans

Competence requirements

Fashion designers must have artistic talent and an understanding of culture, as well as keeping up with innovations in the industry. Since fashion is closely linked to the zeitgeist, it is important to have an understanding of people’s everyday lives and the development of communities related to the markets for which the product is designed. It is necessary to have organizational skills and be able to work under pressure. It is also important to have interpersonal skills and the ability to supervise the work of others. Knowledge in making business plans and bookkeeping is beneficial.


The Fashion design program at the Iceland Academy of the Arts is a three-year program leading to a BA degree.
Related disciplines such as design and innovation, clothing technology, and dressmaking and tailoring are taught at the Technical College, as well as the clothing and textile elective study paths of art study options of several secondary schools.
Preparatory studies are also available at Myndlistarskólinn í Reykjavík as well as diploma studies in textile design.

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