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How to become Accessories Designers?

Handbags, shoes, jewellery, belts, sunglasses: the segment of accessories is a crucial business asset within the fashion system. Within it, established professionals are employed, but also many up-and-coming creatives. Accessories Designers are among the most sought-after roles in the industry. These professional figures are in charge of designing and developing outfit-completing elements, by combining artistic skills and technical knowledge.

What do Accessories Designers do?

The creation of a fashion accessory is the end result of a process involving designers in different stages. Firstly, it is necessary to research and keep up to date with trends, even drawing inspiration from other worlds and languages such as art or culture. Everything starts with the concept developed within the creative team and the sketches of what the project will be in three dimensions. Choice of materials, finishes and technical features is important. Prototypes and samples, that will then be evaluated and perfectioned, move from a close collaboration with model makers, craftsmen and suppliers.

What skills should Accessories Designers have?

Accessory designers deal with all the stages leading to the final design. The required skills are diverse and often depend on the individual task.

  • Creativity and knowledge of trends: original ideas are the result of constant research and knowledge of the history of fashion and materials’ characteristics.
  • Design: in addition to the creation of sketches, designers take care of the design’s reproduction with modelling software such as AutoCAD, Rhino 3D or ZBrush, Marvelous Designer or KeyShot.

Team work: knowledge of accessory production processes and ability to relate to suppliers and creative teams, to transform designs into finished products.

How to become an Accessories Designer?

Technical competences, professional skills and knowledge can be shaped through training: the quickest route to becoming an Accessories Designer. At NABA, students in the Three-year BA Program in Fashion Design (link) develop the ability to analyse and elaborate concepts and ideas, and transfer them into complex projects. At the same time, they learn the sector’s specific design tools and methodologies. During and after studies, it is important to stay up-to-date and perfection modelling skills thanks to software.

What should I study to become an Accessories Designer?