The skill of sketching and sewing are two of the fundamental skills that underlie most great fashion designers. Prospective employers will look at both your sketches and the finished items so it is important that both are of a high standard.
Read as many fashion related magazines as possible. As a fashion designer you have to be aware of fashion trends as this should have an affect on what you produce as you need to produce items that will sell.
Build a portfolio of your work as you go along. Try to make your portfolio as creative and varied as possible.
Take as many textiles and fashion related courses at school and college as possible.
Attend local and national fashion events. This will help you gain information on where the market is heading and what your future competitors are up to.
The best way to get noticed is to have people wearing your clothes so it may be worth investing and giving some of your finished items to your friends to wear. Your friends will then be able to advise anybody that asks them where they got their clothing from that you were the designer and your friends may also pick up feedback about the clothing whilst they are out and about.
When you are getting positive feedback about your clothing start approaching locally run clothing sores with some of your finished items and see if they will stock them.
Search out clothing companies and try to get an internship or work experience with one. If nothing else a Saturday job with a clothing shop can be a real insight in to the business. Whilst working at the shop you will find out how they source clothes and get a greater idea of which people buy which types of clothing.
Talk to as many people in the industry as possible to gain advice and helpful information.
Research the best colleges and universities to study fashion at and apply.
To be a successful fashion designer you have to be very entrepreneurial so as well as taking fashion courses also sit business and marketing courses as these will help progress you as a fashion designer.