• Fashion Design merges sketching and general visual skills with the power of the imagination. Parsons fashion students have always been on the cutting edge of style. Fashion Design offers a variety of courses, from the general (e.g., Design Sketching) to the specialized (e.g., Costume Design).

    Fashion Design Certificate Requirements

    • Fashion Design Basic Core OR Color Theory, Design Sketching I, and Construction Techniques I
    • Construction Techniques II
    • Fashion history elective
    • Fashion Flats
    • Two (2) elective* courses

    Note: Core classes are only offered in fall and spring.

    *Electives are Parsons courses that meet for (9) nine or more sessions on campus or online. Courses meeting for fewer than (9) nine sessions count as half of an elective and would need to be combined to fulfill one elective requirement. 

    If you have taken Basic Core, please register for Construction Techniques II as your next required class. If you are beginning your certificate and are not taking Basic Core, you must register for Construction Techniques I.

    Fashion Design Basic Core

    This intensive course is aimed at those who wish to begin the study and practice of fashion design. It provides students with a foundation in the construction and graphic skills necessary for a career in fashion design and related industries. The course is taught in two sections, one in fashion design sketching and concept development, and the other in sewing and construction methods. Each section is taught by a separate instructor, who covers basic skills and professional practices. Topics covered include form, color, and pattern; fabric selection and textiles; pattern drafting and draping; drawing from the model and the purpose of the design sketch; and the development of fashion concepts, research, and clothing line development. Students are expected to complete regular weekly assignments and keep a standard fashion source book throughout the course. 

    Color Theory

    Discover color and its implications for designers and artists. Study ideas of space and the use of color to solve spatial problems. Look at color harmony and the way colors interact, as well as color qualities and combinations. Online students must have access to a scanner. There are no prerequisites. 

    Design Sketching I

    In the fashion world, new clothing designs are presented in the form of hand-drawn sketches before being chosen to go into production. Designers start with a croquis, a quick sketch of the traditional fashion figure that serves as the basis for the design of clothing and accessories, and then add color and details to the garments. This is a basic course in making a designer’s sketch, working from live models to learn drawing skills, fundamental anatomy, and the dynamics of movement in preparation for producing fashion illustrations. Attention is given to both the fashion figure and human proportions. 

    Construction Techniques I

    Learn basic draping, flat patternmaking, and sewing techniques, along with principles of design. Topics covered include three-dimensional muslin interpretation of skirts and bodices, developing slopers, and constructing a garment. Bring to the first class a #2 pencil, pins, paper scissors, and one yard of lightweight muslin. 

    Fashion Flats

    Flat sketching is an essential part of garment production. It communicates details in the design and construction of a garment, from concept to marketing. This course introduces the professional techniques used to create fashion flats, ranging from traditional hand sketching to the use of Adobe Illustrator to produce sketches digitally in a vector format. Prerequisite: Mac Basics or equivalent; experience with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop is a plus.

    Want to go further?  Explore the AAS degree program in Fashion Design at Parsons.