17 Best fashion design courses online to become a fashion designer
The main benefit of becoming literate in fashion design is an awareness of trends, style, texture, and tailoring. And once you have gained the basics and laid out a foundation of knowledge, you will possess a skill set that can be applied to all other areas of interest.
Whether fashion design is your final destination or simply the means to the next goal does not matter. What does matter is that, once you have developed your eye (and taste), learning and experimenting become part of your everyday life.
These days multiple fashion schools operate online, making it possible for individuals to learn about design without getting involved in an expensive traditional setup. Below, we give you a tour of some of the best fashion design courses online.
Fashion Design Courses Online – Overview
There are many online courses for fashion design that range from pure theory to hands-on project work. If you want to learn to draw fashion pieces, there are some online programs. If you want to create your character or 3D models, there are also classes for this skill.
Some online fashion design courses focus on sewing and tailoring, while others on pattern making and 3D modeling, or color matching and color theory. Few fashion design courses actually combine several skills into one single program. This is because it’s hard to define ‘fashion design’ precisely because it means different things in different contexts.
When looking for an online fashion design class, it is essential to check which skills you can study in the following aspects:
- Technique – Sewing, tailoring, pattern making, 3D modeling, etc.
- Creativity – Drawing, character creation, color matching, etc.
- Business – How to sell your designs?
Which skills does a fashion designer need, and how to become one? Let’s look at all things related to fashion design so you can decide what you need for your career, side hustle, or hobby project. Furthermore, a good online fashion design course should not only show you how to sketch, but more importantly, it should teach you how to think.
Let’s take a look at 17 of the best fashion design courses online their content, structure, and learning goals. They are suitable for beginners and intermediates alike. Enjoy.
Best Fashion Design Courses Online 2023 – Top Picks
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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
Note: The following list of the best fashion design courses online cannot cover all the classes available. It aims to provide a solid starting point to build fashion design skills.
1. Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design – MasterClass
Marc Jacobs is one of the leading fashion designers. His MasterClass (visit website) will teach you the concepts of fashion design and also shares the recipe on how to become a successful designer. Students also learn about the creative process behind his collections.
Following his class, you will understand where he pays attention to detail and how he finds inspiration, chooses fabrics, develops a collection, and brings it to a runway show.
A lot of the resources that go into the designing process are about instinct, feeling, and taste. Marc will show you what to look for in a fabric, how he selects his models, and how he works with an array of different artists to bring his creativity to life.
The class also encourages you to take creative risks when you produce art and design. Sometimes it is best to stop listening to people who want us to conform to their version of what they think is reasonable, correct, or appropriate. If design thinking and the creative process is your learning goal, this is one of the best fashion design courses online.
Instructor: Marc Jacobs | For: All levels | Rating: 4.9 ★★★★★
Price: from $10/month. Access to all 180+ courses. Free trial.
Info: View course page. Compare pricing plans and browse all classes on MasterClass.
2. Fashion Design: Start to Finish by Jay Calderin – CreativeLive
Just because you have an idea does not mean it is time to start making it. Before you can begin any creative process, you have to understand what you don’t know. Fashion Design: From Start to Finish on CreativeLive (visit website) is a popular online fashion design class to will teach you to create a fashion line from the ground up. Step by step.
You will discover how to set up your business details, find fabric and materials, create a design board, pattern-making for apparel, and more. Participants also get the chance to put all of this into practice and work with real clients and use real industry professionals.
By the end, you will have gathered the skills to launch your fashion line from start to finish with the knowledge and connections necessary to make it happen. For beginners, this is one of the best fashion design courses online to build a solid skill foundation. This is one of the best fashion design courses online for ambitious beginners and entrepreneurs.
Provider: CreativeLive | Instructor: Jay Calderin | Lessons: 47
Level: Beginner | Time: 6-8 weeks | Rating: 99% ★★★★★
Info: View course. $149/year or 39/month. View CreatorPass plans for all online classes.
3. Sketching for Fashion Design – Beginners – Udemy
Udemy’s “Sketching for Fashion Design” (visit website) helps new designers use the pencil as their secret weapon. They will introduce you to a 9-head Croqui and how to use a Croqui as a template to start sketching fashion ideas.
You will study how to balance the body and use the Plumb Line to make sure your designs will hang correctly on the body. Furthermore, you will create “shirring/gathers” using simple pencil techniques. Later on, students learn to shade and color their sketches for that professional look and create a Fashion Diary or Journal for inspiration.
Sketching plays an important role when communicating ideas with your assistant and team or other designers. Before you hand off your designs to them, make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve by sketching out your idea. This is one of the best fashion design courses online to start developing practical and valuable sketching skills.
4. Diane Von Furstenberg Teaches Building a Fashion Brand – MasterClass
Building a Fashion Brand is another MasterClass (visit website). This time it is Diana Von Furstenberg who invites you to dive deep into the fashion industry’s secrets to building a successful brand from scratch. If you are an entrepreneur, this could be a great class.
Diana Von Furstenberg will guide you through the whole process of finding a niche, creating a name and a logo, marketing your brand, and finding your audience.
The fashion design class will also analyze the structural chain of the fashion industry. It will continue with an introduction to the main areas in which it is necessary to be aware: the brand DNA, the image, and how to make it effective through social media and trends.
At last, Diana will share her thoughts and philosophy to start your fashion brand and what it means to be creative and become a good designer. This is one of the best fashion design courses online to better understand the business side of the industry. It goes along well with the Marc Jacob class, and other design courses available on the platform.
Instructor: Diane von Furstenberg | For: All levels | Rating: 4.9 ★★★★★
Price: from $10/month. Access to all 180+ courses. Free trial.
Info: View course page. Compare pricing plans and browse all classes on MasterClass.
Tailoring is a lost art, and it’s not the only one. But if you want to sew well, you can use it to create your custom clothing. You don’t need a sewing machine to do this, but you’ll need good fabric, a fine hand-sewing needle, and lots of patience. This course (visit website) is all about re-exploring this art and applying the skills for your own purposes and projects.
If you are starting from scratch and trying to design your garment, here are some critical elements of good tailoring: measurements matter, block patterns give shape and style. While fabric cutting is vital for professional results, stitches and finishing set your garment apart and make it last longer and look better.
Whether you are a novice looking for an introduction to sewing or an experienced sewer who wants to move on to the home sewing of more complicated garments, this is among the best fashion design courses online to create your own clothes.
6. Pattern Making for Fashion Design – Udemy
Udemy’s comprehensive course (visit website) is a complete guide for anyone interested in pattern making and drafting. The class is a collection of lessons based on extensive research on pattern drafting. It has been built from scratch to meet the requirements of entry-level fashion design students and those who want to learn this craft online.
Udemy helps you understand how pattern-making works, why we need patterns, and what we can do with them when we have them. If you consider pursuing a career in fashion design or plan to enroll in such a school, this class is one of the best fashion design courses online to teach you the basics of pattern making.
7. Sustainable Fashion – Coursera
Business models are essential tools in the transformation towards more sustainable enterprises. The Sustainable Fashion specialization (visit website) will teach you how those business models work. As a student, you will also gain insights into which elements of the business model theory are essential when trying to change them to increase sustainability.
Further along, get to know the challenges and opportunities of implementing circular business models, and understand the various tools that companies use to measure and report sustainability.
Senior executives and managers, who want to better integrate sustainability into their businesses, will probably like this online fashion design course. It’s also suitable for entrepreneurs who plan to start a business or social enterprise and want to know the topics before investing time or money in their project.
8. Shaw Academy’s Fashion Design Course Online
Shaw Academy’s fashion design course online will teach you the essential concepts, techniques, tools, and means to succeed as a fashion designer.
During the fashion design online class, you will acquire the basics of fashion illustration and gain a thorough perception of the design process. You will gain hands-on experience in drawing and sketching techniques that you can use in your crafts and designs.
A fashion design certificate from this class can be the first stepping stone to a professional career in the industry. The knowledge and skills you acquire may open doors to careers in design, pattern making, sewing, retail management, or merchandising.
Shaw Academy designed this for a person who wants a comprehensive understanding of the design process from start to finish. Even people who have been in the industry for millennia could learn a thing or two from this fashion design course online.
Publisher: Shaw Academy | Certification: Yes | Level: All | Modules: 4
Duration: 4 weeks | Price: Subscription | User Rating: 4.9 ★★★★★
9. Fashion Designer Certificate Course Online – IAP Career College
Fashion is about making people feel good about themselves. To do that, you have to follow the needs and desires of your clientele. It’s no use creating an outfit that has people running for the hills. The IAP Fashion Design Certificate will teach you that. Well, not making people run, but knowing what will work in your niche and what not.
This fashion course aims to prepare graduates with the skills and experience needed to work in the international fashion industry. You will know how to research and design new collections, market and promote yourself and your selections. Moreover, students learn how to run their fashion empire from start-up through to maturity.
And remember, classes that are taken through an accredited college will generate better job chances and higher salaries than those taken through non-accredited institutions. This program is one of the best fashion design courses online to get recognized certification.
Provider: IAP Career College | Type: Fashion Design Certification
Duration: 6 weeks. 2-4 hours/week | Pricing: from $149 with Certificate.
10. Fashion Design and Creation – HK Polyux, edX
Renowned Hong Kong-based Polylux offers the Fashion Design and Creation course, that will teach you how to work with skirts, trousers for men and women, jeans, or capri pants. The class explains how to create a great fit in any lower garment using graded specifications, your measurements, and your understanding of making them correctly.
Coming out of the online fashion design classes, you will be able to convert your measurements into a grading system to fit you perfectly. You will also learn about the art of creating handmade made-to-measure garments that flatter your body shape.
By the end, you know to design your garments using basic industry-standard drafting methods for creating patterns. The program also provides technical skills in sewing techniques to achieve professional finishings on garments, including hems and seams.
Students should have some experience in sewing techniques before enrolling. This might be among the best fashion design courses online for those having an intermediate level in sewing and also like the edX platform for developing their skills with a global institution.
Provider: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, edX | Type: Professional Certificate
Duration: 3 months. 3-5 hours/week | Pricing: $199 with Certificate.
11. Fashion Design Courses – University of Fashion
Bridging the gap between the worlds of fashion and technology is the University of Fashion, one of the first online platforms that connect students with industry experts. They have an extensive library of online fashion design courses. The video lessons range in difficulty from Beginner, Intermediate through Advanced.
The University of Fashion currently offers hundreds of video lessons in its library, with more being added frequently. They provide all of the tools you need to design clothes, including pattern making, sewing, CAD art, business and marketing skills, etc.
Provider: University of Fashion | Type: MicroMasters
Duration: Self-paced. | Pricing: from $19.95/month.
12. Learn to Draw Fashion With Adobe Illustrator CC Beginners – Udemy
Fashion drawing (visit website) is one of the most famous areas that people want to get into. Fashion illustrators are in need in almost every industry, be it designer houses, fashion magazines, textile companies, fashion schools, etc.
Given the demand for fashion illustrators, the profession offers many career prospects. The course covers the core concepts of fashion drawing in great detail, and once you complete it, you will be able to create your designs confidently. You will also draw them in Adobe Illustrator CC using various tools available in this software.
You can even take up freelancing work after completing this program and make it your full-time profession. Students don’t need to have any previous experience with the software and the instructors will explain everything step-by-step. At the end of this fashion design course, you will have a portfolio ready to show to potential employers or clients.
13. The SnapFashun Fashion Design Course
We all know that fashion design is some of the most creative work out there. Fashion designers are talented people who turn blank papers into beautiful designs. SnapFashun has designed this class to give you a strong foundation in using Adobe Illustrator.
In easy-to-follow videos, this fashion design course offers a step-by-step guide to learn and understand basic design principles and how to use them on the computer. From there, you will discover color schemes, color theory, proportions, anatomy, and more.
Students also learn what type of settings to use when printing their designs and where to find inspiration for their next fashion design project. After completing, you will be able to create professional-looking fashion designs using Adobe Illustrator.
Provider: Betty Hurd | Bonus: Access to Illustrator, Snapfashuin libraries
Duration: Self-paced | Pricing: from $113 with certificate.
14. Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies by Erica Corbellini – Coursera
At the heart of all successful retailing operations is the ability to provide an experience that fulfills customers’ needs and adds value to their lives. Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies by Coursera (visit website) teaches the business side of the fashion industry.
In the past two decades, the retail industry has been experiencing a growing number of changes. The evolution of fashion retailing has been influenced by many factors, such as society’s culture and the economy. Customers’ expectations have increased to a point where they have become more sophisticated about their shopping experience.
In response to these trends, a company should undergo a series of processes to redefine its business logic and find solutions for this transformation. Erica Corbellini will help you investigate how fashion retail companies deal with changes in their business logic. One of the best fashion design courses online to develop relevant business fashion skills.
15. Fashion Management: Create Your Own Sustainable Brand – FutureLearn
Fashion brands are complex constructs. A fashion brand is a powerful asset, both in its value and its growth potential. The fashion industry is one of the most competitive in the world, with consumers regularly treated to new trends and styles. That makes it difficult for brands to maintain their identity, particularly in an increasingly digital world.
The overall aim of this online fashion design course is to equip you with the knowledge you need to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the global fashion industry. Putting this training into practice can help support your organization’s growth by effectively managing your brand. One of the best fashion design courses online for entrepreneurs.
Provider: Institute Francais de la Mode | Duration: 11 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Introductory | Price: $39/month. Free trial.
16. The Future of Fashion and Media with Condé Nast – FutureLearn
Learn about the key issues that affect the future of fashion and media. Together these two industries are responsible for a vast amount of the visual content we consume, from television to social media. This fashion design class is offered by Condé Nast.
They also significantly impact how we present ourselves to others – from what we buy to how we style our hair to what make-up we use. In this short course, Condé Nast will introduce you to some of the most exciting research in design and media.
This course will provide you with the foundational knowledge of digital marketing and branding strategies required to start this exciting new field. You will leave with the skills needed to manage your brand effectively. One of the best fashion design courses online if you see your future in the media industry and want to build a solid knowledge base.
Provider: Condé Nast | Duration: 15 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Introductory | Price: $39/month. Free trial.
17. Fashion Design by Academy of Art University
The Academy of Art University offers one of the most popular and best fashion design courses online. Fashion Design is suitable for fashion-minded design students and aims to establish a thorough grounding in the study of style and style development.
The Fashion Design course curriculum focuses on the techniques of pattern-making, draping, and designing for apparel construction. In addition to these basic techniques, students will gain insights into the textile industry and the basics of knit fabrics.
Academy of Art University created this learning path to prepare students for careers in fashion design. Students can obtain different degrees or certificates from the university. You will have a solid understanding of trends in fashion and the technical skills necessary to develop original designs for your collections or those of others.
Provider: Academy of Art University | Type: Degrees – BFA, MFA, CERT
Duration: up to 36 months. Pricing: available on request.
How to Choose the Best Fashion Design Courses Online?
Before choosing the best fashion design courses online students should conduct relevant research and even test trial a few classes. Furthermore, it is all about goals and skills.
Here is a short and summarized guide on how to choose the right fashion design courses online out of the 17 classes we have discussed above:
- What is your main goal? What do you want to achieve by taking the course?
- Is this course relevant to you? Read the course description closely.
- What are other students say about it?
- Check the instructor of the fashion design course. Do they have solid experience in teaching, or are they just a beginner?
- What is your budget for this course? Can you afford it for the length of the course?
Fashion Design Courses Online 2023 – Summary
Wrapping up our tour of the best fashion design courses online. As you may have seen, one can argue that there is no actual best fashion design course out there, but only the one that perfectly fits your needs. There are too many different skills to learn and no single class can teach them all in one go. That is right.
What we did is curate fashion design courses that have gained a good reputation, are suitable for beginners and intermediates, and focus on core topics and skills. They come from different learning platforms and vary in focus, values, and type of inspiration.
The main aspects you should pay attention to are structure, price, deadlines, feedback delivery system, variety of available fashion design courses, and other advantages. Then choose the study that offers these key features for you.
This set of fashion design courses is a good starting point for people interested in learning the basics of fashion design. We hope this exploration was helpful to you in distilling down the best content to help you start your fashion career.
Best Fashion Design Courses Online 2023
- Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design – MasterClass
- Fashion Design: Start to Finish by Jay Calderin – CreativeLive
- Sketching for Fashion Design – Beginner Course – Udemy
- Introduction to Garment Construction – Skillshare
- Pattern Making for Fashion Design – Udemy
- Diane Von Furstenberg Teaches Building a Fashion Brand
- Sustainable Fashion – Coursera
- Shaw Academy’s Fashion Design Course Online
- Fashion Designer Certificate Course Online – IAP Career College
- Fashion Design and Creation – HK Polyux, edX
- Fashion Design Courses – University of Fashion
- Learn to Draw Fashion With Adobe Illustrator CC – Udemy
- The SnapFashun Fashion Design Course Online
- Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies – Coursera
- Fashion Management: Create Your Own Sustainable Brand – FutureLearn
- The Future of Fashion and Media with Condé Nast – FutureLearn
- Fashion Design by Academy of Art University
List of Fashion Design Schools 2023
- California College of the Arts (CCA)
- Institut Français de la Mode (IFM)
- Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM)
- Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York
- IED School of Design, Barcelona, Spain
- Parsons Paris Fashion School
- Atelier Chardon Savard – Fashion Design School Berlin
- LIM College New York – Fashion for Business & Media
- London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins
- University Arts London (UAL) – Online Fashion Design Courses
- Istituto Marangoni – Milano, Paris, London, Shanghai
- Polimoda Fashion School, Florence, Italy
- Fashion School Amsterdam – Fashion Design Distance Learning
- Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
- Fashion Institute South Florida
- Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Fashion Design Bachelor
- National Academy of Arts (Sofia, Bulgaria)
What are the best fashion design courses online 2023? Which online fashion design classes have you taken? Let us know in the comments.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to some providers of fashion design courses online. courselounge may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. It does not add any extra costs. All reviews, opinions, descriptions and comparisons expressed here are our own.