Fashion design assistant

Fashion design assistants support designers to create new materials, styles, colours and patterns for fashion brands and labels.

Annual Salary

£14,000 to £23,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 2% more Fashion design assistant jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day tasks will usually include:

  • creating prototypes and tailoring garments
  • producing technical sketches
  • explaining technical and creative ideas to designers
  • sourcing fabrics and trimmings
  • creating mood, shape and trend boards
  • gaining approval from customers
  • working closely with factories and suppliers
  • participating in meetings with customers and fabric agents
  • inspecting products during the design process

You could join a company in a junior position before working your way up and taking qualifications to become a fashion design assistant. 

You could complete a higher education course before joining a fashion company.

You could also take a college course in fashion or textiles to learn some useful skills.

Experience in pattern cutting, using computer-aided cutting machinery and a working knowledge of design software may be helpful when looking for work.

Creating a portfolio of your work will help for course and job interviews. Your portfolio could include mood boards, designs and drawings.


You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

£14,000 to £23,000

Starter salary: £14,000 to £19,000

Experienced salary: £23,000

These figures are a guide.


You’ll usually work at least 40 hours a week, and may need to work longer hours and weekends to meet deadlines.

You’ll usually work in a studio or workshop, but you may travel to visit manufacturers. You may also go on research trips to visit art galleries, trade shows, or particular places or countries linked to a design theme.

With experience you could progress to designer, then senior designer or design director. As a design director you could create your own range and manage a design team.


You could also move into freelance design, working on individual projects, or self-employment, creating your own collections.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • an eye for design and colour
  • excellent presentation skills
  • excellent negotiation skills for working with customers and suppliers
  • strong pattern cutting skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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