Fashion Design Internship Tips

Fashion design internships are among the most highly sought after internships in the world. These internships are extremely valuable future career assets for designers in all areas of fashion. Fashion designers are highly motivated people, very creative, and every internship is a potential battle for personal recognition among talented people.

Finding fashion internships

Finding the right internship is the big issue for aspiring interns. The range of fashion design internships is highly variable, because of the number of fashion designers, and the very different nature of their work. There are several types of fashion internship, created by definition of the work involved:

  • Mainstream designers: These designers form a major part of the industry. Their internships are particularly valuable for those seeking good all-round knowledge of the industry, and to learn the important production, distribution and costing aspects of mainstream fashion. These designers also include the very important children's wear market, the biggest financial market in the industry. Children's wear design is a particularly valuable career internship.
  • High fashion: The name brands of global fashion are usually up market Western designers. Internships are hard to get, but invaluable as career assets, indicating very high standards of training in this lucrative market.
  • Niche market internships: Niche markets are specific demographic markets. Youth or "Tween" fashions, for example, are important niche markets in which designers are allowed a lot of freedom of expression in design.

To find the right internship for your career, it's strongly recommended to thoroughly research designers in your preferred field. You will particularly need to check out the requirements for interns in terms of qualifications, expertise, and portfolio expectations.

Internship interviews

The primary issues in fashion design internships are:

  • Technical skills: Interns must have strong technical skills in production techniques and an excellent knowledge base. Questions regarding technical skills relate to skill sets and competencies.
  • Design skills: It's important to ensure your portfolio designs are a good match with the internship provider's core business.  This part of the interview is where internship applicants must show evidence of their design abilities, design techniques, assembly techniques, and finished products. Color, cuts, materials, and patterns are essential parts of the design issues which must be addressed in your portfolio. Bring specifications with you to the interview, in case they're needed.  You can also use them to show your techniques more effectively.
  • Business skills: Some internship positions provide very high value exposure to the business side of the industry. The fashion business is based on a consumer market, in which cash flow and overheads are fundamental aspects of the realities of the trade. If you've applied for one of these internships, you can expect to be asked many questions related to the business aspects of your training. It's strongly advised to revise those areas thoroughly prior to an interview.

Your presentation at the interview is very important. To succeed, you must be a standout applicant, showing both motivation and strong communications skills. Engage the interviewers, show your skills, and make it clear you're the designer they want. Your knowledge of the designer's own work is excellent proof that you understand their business.