How to become a footwear designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification in footwear design, or a fashion design qualification that includes footwear.

You should look for courses that teach both the design and technical skills needed by the industry.

The British Fashion Council is a good place to start looking for courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a higher apprenticeship as a fashion and textiles product technologist.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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Work

You could start as a design assistant in a studio and learn on the job. With further training, you could begin to produce your own designs.

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Career tips

It's very important to put together a portfolio of work that you can take to interviews. This should include designs, technical drawings and mood boards to show your creative talents.

Further information

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • create 'one off' designs (haute couture)
  • base your designs on a theme for the coming season (ready-to-wear, high street)
  • use computer aided design (CAD) software, graphics packages and traditional hand-drawing techniques to create your designs
  • research design ideas
  • follow a brief
  • adapt existing designs
  • work closely with the design team
  • produce samples before agreeing the final design
  • send technical instructions to the manufacturers to produce the final product

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio, from home or in a workshop.

Career path and progression

With experience within a company, you could progress to senior designer, design director or head of department.

You could also become a freelance designer, employed by companies to work on specific projects, or become self-employed and launch your own collection.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a footwear designer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Footwear Foundation Degree

  • Provider: LEICESTER COLLEGE
  • Start date: 23 September 2021
  • Location: Leicester

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

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