How to Become a Costume Designer?

4 minute read

Ever wondered who designs clothes for your favorite historical dramas like the Crown or popular fantasy movies like Black Panther, Interstellar, Devil Wears Prada? Well, that’s the job of a Costume Designer. It has been a tremendous part of theatre, musicals, movies, and shows. If you are someone who loves to design clothes and dreams of working in the entertainment business then this is a great opportunity for you. Keep reading to know more on how to build your own path in the world’s largest costume design industry.

What Does a Costume Designer Do?

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Costume designing includes various activities. When we hear this word, we simply imagine a person drawing and cutting a piece of cloth. However, this profession is so much more. Some of the responsibilities are given below:

  • Keeping an eye on the current fashion trends and predicting the upcoming trends
  • Crafting and stitching a sample required for the project
  • Gaining full knowledge and details about the characters to design costumes for them
  • Coming up with creative ideas to meet the requirements of the client
  • Discussing the ideas and changing the details according to the client’s needs
  • Using various tools like sketching, photographs and computer software to create rough design
  • Handing over the final draft to the client and finishing the costume.

Types of Costume Designers

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There are various types of Costume Designers working in the fashion industry. Sometimes, the different types of Costume Designers collaborate to meet the best costume requirement. Given below are some of the most popular ones: 

Skills Required to Become a Costume Designer 

Becoming a successful Costume Designer requires a lot of skills. If you have those skills, you don’t have to worry much about your future, as you will be prepared for any uncertainty. To become a Costume Designer, you must have the following skills:

  • Creativity
  • Great Observation 
  • Drawing Skills
  • Budgeting
  • Fashion Designing
  • Updated with Trends
  • Communication Skills 
  • Visualisation
  • Management of Time
  • Flexibility

How to become a Costume Designer: Step-Wise Guide

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There are certain requirements that you need to fulfill before going into the costume designing industry. We will go through the steps one by one to help you understand easily. 

Schooling: You should clear class 12th with the right subject and a minimum of 50%. However, the stream doesn’t matter, but you must fulfill the minimum percentage.

Graduation: To do graduation, you have to appear for entrance exams. The popular entrance exams in the fashion field are: 

You get two options in graduation, which are: 

  1. BA in Fashion Designing 
  2. BSc in Fashion Designing 
  3. BSc in Costume Designing
  4. BA/BSc in Fashion Technology

Post-graduation: The option in post-graduation are mentioned below:

  1. MA in Fashion Designing 
  2. MSc in Costume Design and Fashion
  3. Masters of Fashion Technology

Internships: Candidates can intern at multiple fashion houses, entertainment production companies, boutiques, advertisement agencies, and new media houses to get experience.

Top Universities and Courses

University  Location Courses Offered
Central Saint Martins UK Undergraduate Courses: Womenswear, Textile, Menswear, Jewelry, and Knitwear Design, Fashion Design with Marketing, Communications, Fashion History, Journalism
Graduate Courses: Fashion, Fashion Communication
Kingston University UK Programs Offered: Fashion Design
Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts Belgium Programs Offered: Fashion Design
Parsons School of Design US Undergraduate Courses: Fashion Design, Strategic Design, and Management
Graduate Courses: Fashion Studies, Fashion Design, and Society
Fashion Institute of Technology US Programs Offered: Fashion Design, Accessories Design, Fabric Styling, x Fashion Merchandising Management, Illustration, International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries, Jewelry Design.
London College of Fashion US Programs Offered:   Bespoke Tailoring to Cordwainers Fashion Bags & Accessories, Cordwainers Footwear to Costume for Performance
Bunka Fashion College Japan Programmes Offered: Fashion Design, Fashion Technology, Fashion Marketing and Distribution, Fashion Accessories and Textiles
ESMOD France Programs Offered: Fashion Design, Fashion Business, Fashion Styling, Fashion Buying, Brand Management, and Fashion Promotion
Polimoda Italy Undergraduate Courses: Fashion Design, Footwear and Accessories Design, Fashion Technology.
Graduate Courses: Collection Design, Shoe and Bag Collection Design, Fashion Brand Management, Fashion Buying, and Product Management.

Top Universities in India

  • NIFT, New Delhi
  • NIFT, Bangalore
  • Symbiosis College of Design, Pune
  • UPES – University of Petroleum and Energy Studies
  • Maeer’s MIT Institute of Design (MITID), Pune
  • Indian Institute of Art & Design (IIAD), Delhi
  • LISAA School of Design (LISAA), Bangalore
  • AJK College of Arts and Science
  • Bharathidasan College of Arts and Science

Career Opportunities

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As said before, costume designing has a wide scope. Some of the career opportunities for a costume designer are following:

  • Garment and textile industry
  • Textile and fabric manufacturing units
  • Branded fashion showrooms
  • Television and Film Industry
  • Boutiques
  • Independent fashion designers
  • Teaching in fashion designing

Average Salary

If you have a required degree and some experience in the costume designing field, you are likely to get an attractive salary. In India, the salary may vary from 3.5 lakhs to 6.6 lakhs per annum. Although it also depends on the type of role you will play. 

Best Books for Costume Designers

Also Read: Learn the best Success Lessons from Sabyasachi!

This was all about how to become a Costume Designer! If you have a sense of design and have got an appreciation for it, you must consider going into this field. If you wish to know how to navigate this exciting career option then contact Leverage Edu for a free 30-minute session today! 

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