The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Fashion Design Intern

Are you passionate about fashion? Do you dream of creating stunning designs that grace the runways of Milan, Paris, and New York? If so, becoming a fashion design intern could be your first step towards a glamorous career in the fashion industry. But what exactly does a fashion design intern do, and how can you land this coveted role? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about becoming a fashion design intern, from the skills required to the best ways to secure an internship. So, let’s dive in and start your journey to becoming the next big name in fashion!

What is a Fashion Design Intern?

A fashion design intern is someone who works under the guidance of experienced fashion designers to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry. Interns typically assist with various tasks, such as sketching designs, selecting fabrics, creating prototypes, and even helping out during fashion shows. This hands-on experience is invaluable for anyone looking to build a career in fashion design.

Key Responsibilities of a Fashion Design Intern

  • Sketching and Designing: Assisting in the creation of fashion sketches and designs.
  • Fabric Selection: Helping choose the right fabrics and materials for different designs.
  • Prototype Development: Assisting in the development of prototypes and samples.
  • Fashion Shows: Providing support during fashion shows and other events.
  • Research: Conducting research on current fashion trends and market demands.

Why Pursue an Internship in Fashion Design?

Internships are a crucial stepping stone in any fashion designer’s career. Here’s why:

Hands-On Experience

Internships provide practical experience that you simply can’t get in a classroom. You’ll get to see the day-to-day operations of a fashion house, learn about different aspects of fashion design, and understand the workflow of the industry.

Networking Opportunities

One of the biggest benefits of an internship is the opportunity to network. You’ll meet industry professionals, attend events, and build relationships that could lead to future job opportunities.

Skill Development

Working as an intern allows you to develop and refine your skills. From technical skills like sewing and pattern making to soft skills like communication and teamwork, an internship will help you grow as a designer.

How to Land a Fashion Design Internship

Securing a fashion design internship can be competitive, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you land your dream internship:

Build a Strong Portfolio

Your portfolio is your ticket to getting noticed. It should showcase your best work and demonstrate your skills and creativity. Include sketches, finished designs, and any other relevant work that highlights your talent.

Gain Relevant Experience

Even if it’s not directly related to fashion design, any experience in the fashion industry can be beneficial. Consider volunteering at fashion shows, working in retail, or taking on freelance projects.

Network, Network, Network

Attend fashion events, join professional organizations, and connect with industry professionals on social media. Networking can open doors and lead to valuable opportunities.

Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter

Tailor your resume and cover letter for each internship application. Highlight your relevant skills and experience, and explain why you’re passionate about fashion design.

Prepare for Interviews

Research the company, practice common interview questions, and be ready to discuss your portfolio. Show enthusiasm and confidence during your interview.

Day in the Life of a Fashion Design Intern

So, what’s it really like to be a fashion design intern? Let’s take a look at a typical day:


  • Arrive at the Studio: Start your day by arriving at the studio and checking in with your supervisor.
  • Team Meeting: Attend a morning meeting to discuss the day’s tasks and goals.
  • Sketching and Designing: Spend time working on sketches and designs, either for new collections or custom projects.


  • Fabric Selection: Head to the fabric store or check the studio’s inventory to select materials for upcoming projects.
  • Prototype Development: Work on creating prototypes and samples, making adjustments as needed.
  • Research: Conduct research on current fashion trends and competitors.


  • Fashion Show Prep: If there’s an upcoming fashion show, spend the evening helping with preparations, such as organizing outfits and coordinating with models.
  • Wrap-Up: Finish up any remaining tasks, check in with your supervisor, and prepare for the next day.

Skills Required for a Fashion Design Intern

To succeed as a fashion design intern, you’ll need a mix of technical and soft skills. Here are some of the most important:

Technical Skills

  • Sketching and Drawing: Ability to create detailed and accurate fashion sketches.
  • Sewing and Pattern Making: Proficiency in sewing and creating patterns.
  • Fabric Knowledge: Understanding of different fabrics and materials.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD): Familiarity with CAD software used in fashion design.

Soft Skills

  • Creativity: Strong creative skills and the ability to think outside the box.
  • Communication: Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Time Management: Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Teamwork: Ability to work well with others and collaborate effectively.

FAQs about Fashion Design Internships

What qualifications do I need to become a fashion design intern?

While formal education isn’t always required, a degree in fashion design or a related field can be beneficial. Relevant experience and a strong portfolio are also important.

How long do fashion design internships typically last?

Internships can vary in length, but they typically last anywhere from three months to a year.

Are fashion design internships paid?

It depends on the company. Some internships are paid, while others are unpaid or offer a stipend.

What should I include in my portfolio?

Your portfolio should include your best work, such as sketches, finished designs, and any relevant projects. Make sure it demonstrates your skills and creativity.

How can I stand out during the application process?

Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application, and make sure your portfolio is polished and professional. Networking and gaining relevant experience can also help you stand out.


Becoming a fashion design intern is an exciting and rewarding step towards a career in the fashion industry. With hands-on experience, networking opportunities, and skill development, an internship can help you build a strong foundation for your future. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream internship and making your mark in the world of fashion.

Authoritative Links

Good luck on your journey to becoming a fashion design intern! With passion, dedication, and hard work, you can turn your fashion dreams into reality.