Fashion Design

If you love being in synch with what’s in style – the latest in fashions, hair styles, cosmetics, and more, and you are willing to work hard, putting in long hours, a career in the fast-moving world of fashion design in Iowa could be a great career choice for you!

Fashion designers and stylists create clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, usually for casual and business wear, although some designers still focus on the traditional evening wear. Stylists pick out clothing for different occasions (think Red Carpet!, think mother of the bride!) that are suited to a particular individual, flattering their body size and shape, as well as hair, skin, and eye coloring.

State License Requirements

ou don’t need a specific license to work as a fashion designer or any other position in the fashion industry. However, there are professional and trade organizations that may be of benefit to your career, and that you should consider looking in to.

Education Details

There are many different careers you can pursue in the fashion design industry. You may choose to work in retail, merchandising inventory and helping customers select items that work for them. You can go into buying, where you travel across the globe going to shows to see the latest designs on offering by different designers, and then select which designs you will purchase for your store to sell. Fashion design is offered as a major in two Iowa universities: Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa. These programs lead to a four year bachelor’s degree. The curriculum for the major in apparel, merchandising, and design at Iowa State University in Ames teaches courses in fashion design, textiles, apparel production, fashion history, merchandising and marketing strategy, product development, business practices, and consumer behavior. If you wish to pursue the field beyond the four year bachelor’s degree, Iowa State University also offers master’s degree and doctoral degree programs. Of course, you may choose to enroll in a fashion design school out of state. New York City is home to Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and Parson’s School of Design, both of which offer fashion design and merchandising majors, and the state of California offers several degree programs in fashion design. Of course, New York City is the very epicenter of fashion and design in the United States, so you would get to be right in the middle of the action!

License Renewal
License Renewal Hours
License Renewal Period
Job Outlook Increase
Between 2012 - 2022

In the state of Iowa, fashion designers earn an average salary of $64,030 (O*Net 2016). While the demand in this industry is expected to stay about the same between 2012 and 2022, the design field is fast-moving, and there is always a need for fresh ideas and young talent!

Working as a Fashion Designer

Fashion design is one of the most strenuous and demanding industry in terms of working long hours and busy weeks. Fashion is constantly changing, and what was fresh and new yesterday is old hat today. Fashion designers must always be on the look-out new trends and styles, often from the mostly unlikely of places. You must be able to wear different hats and perform many different tasks within a day. For example, you may need to meet and consult with clients, make sketches and designs, cut patterns, sew, drape, and fit. If you work in merchandising you will be arranging fashion and accessory items in attractive displays to catch the customer’s eye and bring in sales. One way to get a start in the fashion design field is by working as a personal shopper/stylist in a department store, shopping the store for items that will both please and flatter a specific client. Personal shoppers/stylists often develop relationships with some of their clients and are asked to select suitable items for different occasions over time. Good listening skills are critical for fashion designers. If you choose to become a buyer, you will travel the world, selecting the styles you will then have produced to sell in your store to consumers. Or, you may get your start in business as an assistant to an established fashion designer. All of these options and more are available to people in the fashion industry in Iowa. Iowa hosts an annual Fashion Week filled with runway shows and clothing exhibitions featuring the latest styles and design in fashion from Iowa designers of apparel and footwear. Everything from long johns, to windbreakers, to hooded sweatshirts can be seen, as well as the more traditional casual, business and evening wear for men and women. The latest colors are also featured. It is an exciting event that features a veritable who’s who of Iowa society!

State board Contact Information

Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences
Lucas State Office Building, 5th Floor
321 E. 12th Street Des Moines, IA
Phone Number: 515-281-0254
Fax Number: 515-281-3121

The Iowa State Board of Cosmetology can help you with any additional questions you may have about the licensing process.


Find the Beauty Schools in Iowa that interest you below,

Aveda Institute Des Moines

6905 Mills Civic Pkwy. Suite 120,
Des Moines (West), IA 50266

Program: Cosmetology

Do What You Love For some people, beauty doesn't just catch their eye; it catches their heart. If you're drawn to the beauty industry, let Aveda Institute Des Moines guide you toward a Do What You Love For some people, beauty doesn't just catch their eye; it catches their heart. If you're drawn to the beauty industry, let Aveda Institute Des Moines guide you toward a fulfilling future. We prepare students for creative, successful and rewarding careers in the salon and spa industries. Embrace your raw talent. Get excellent education. Pursue your passion. Choosing to enroll at Aveda Institute Des Moines is choosing to nurture your natural ability. At Aveda Institute - Des Moines, we provide the following programs: • Cosmetology • Esthetics • Massage Therapy Love Your Community As a student at Aveda Institute - Des Moines, you can join a growing, strong, sustainable network of salon and spa professionals. We're one of the fastest-growing networks in the beauty industry. What does that mean for you? As a graduate of Aveda Institute - Des Moines, you can find professional support in virtually every facet of the beauty industry. Whether you're interested in working at a salon, resort or owning your own business, you can continue to benefit from joining the Aveda network throughout the lifetime of your career. Be Inspired. Be Nourished. Be Refreshed. Aveda education teaches, nourishes, refreshes and connects people who are pursuing their passions in the beauty industry. We were founded on caring for you and for the Earth. As a result, the Aveda brand is rooted in environmental sustainability. As a student, you can gain a thorough understanding of our huge line of earth-friendly products. We provide: Organic ingredients and practices Plant-based alternatives Responsible packaging Wind-powered operations Environmentally sound options At Aveda Institute - Des Moines, we are passionate both as artists and as citizens. As a student, you'll be encouraged to seek out ways to make the world around you a better place to be. Contact Us Today! Answer beauty's call. Contact Aveda Institute Des Moines today and do what you love!  
Read more
American Hair Academy

304 South Iris Street,
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641

Program: Cosmetology

Welcome to American Hair Academy If you've ever considered becoming a cosmetologist, the time is now. In fact, there's never been a better time to pursue your beauty training and enjoy a job Welcome to American Hair Academy If you've ever considered becoming a cosmetologist, the time is now. In fact, there's never been a better time to pursue your beauty training and enjoy a job you will love! Employers are looking for skilled beauty workers, and graduates of schools like American Hair Academy are sought after by top salons. If you're an artistic person who appreciates helping others look and feel great about themselves, let American Hair Academy guide you toward your professional goals! As a cosmetologist, you'll enjoy flexible scheduling, increased earning potential and working in the exhilarating beauty industry. About Us At American Hair Academy, we base our success on the success of our students. If you have the desire and the confidence to achieve academic advancement, we can give you the tools you need to reach your professional goals. You'll learn from dedicated instructors who are invested in your future. We train students for careers in various positions in the beauty industry, including: • Stylist • Color specialist • Product representative • Platform artist • Salon manager • Salon owner • And more! American Hair Academy also makes every effort to assist our students with career placement. Financial Aid At American Hair Academy, we believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to benefit from higher education. That's why we provide financial aid to those who qualify. We'll help you explore your options so you can decide on the best way to pay for your education. Licensure & Accreditation • Licensed by the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Professional Licensure • Accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) For more information about our cosmetology program, including federally required disclosures please click:
Read more
2020-08-03 22:11:09