Fashion Design


Fashion Design is an influential and creative medium offering a dynamic means of personal expression. Fashion is fast to react to global socio-economic and cultural events and represents contemporary concerns of the designer, the wearer, as well as providing a dialogue between the past and the present.

What to expect

Whitecliffe’s Fashion Design major encourages you to challenge ideas, re-examine boundaries and foster creativity while experimenting and developing the strong technical skills required for a future in the fashion industry.

The Fashion Design major focuses on design development and research, pattern drafting and garment construction. Industry targeted workshops include fashion technology, pattern drafting, and garment construction, design and concept development, tailoring and fabric manipulation techniques. Studio practice is complemented by courses in fashion history, theory, illustration, and professional practices. Classes are small and provide a nurturing learning environment with a strong focus on individual students.

2nd Year

In year two students investigate historical fashion and develop their own collection of contemporary designs.

3rd Year

In year three students design and develop a conceptually based range of garments reflecting a personal design style and practical experience is gained in years two and three through participating in Air New Zealand Fashion Week, and in the third and fourth years through internships in designer workrooms.

Click on the image below to view or download the prospectus


4th Year

Year four students work independently on a self-chosen, concept-based collection that reflects original thinking and an understanding of design theory.


Students in years two, three and four showcase their work on the catwalk at the Annual Whitecliffe Fashion Show, organise individual exhibitions and shows and participate in other Whitecliffe exhibitions.

Industry professionals provide invaluable feedback during individual student critique sessions and are regularly invited to lecture on industry topics. BFA graduates with a Fashion Design major gain employment nationally, as well as internationally, as design assistants, workroom assistants, pattern makers, assistant buyers and merchandisers, and design educators. Some Fashion Design graduates have also established their own labels.


Click here to see work by Fashion Design students.

Click here to see Whitecliffe Fashion Show videos.