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How to become a fashion designer in South Korea from India

Are you enthusiastic about fashion design? To become a fashion designer in South Korea from India requires a blend of passion, creativity, education, and determination. If you’re interested in pursuing fashion design, there are a couple of options available to you. One option is to study in India first and then consider moving to South Korea.

Another option is to directly apply to renowned South Korean universities that are known for their fashion design programs. To move to South Korea, you may also need a visa. So you must first find a school to study fashion design and then register with it.

How to become a fashion designer in South Korea from India
Become a fashion designer in South Korea from India.

Once you move to South Korea, you can apply for a fashion university there. Then, you can achieve acceptance and receive a “Certificate of Admission.” Finally, apply for a student visa (D-2 visa).1 Forget the traditional fashion capitals of Europe! Many aspiring designers are drawn to the vibrant and innovative scene of South Korea, which offers exciting opportunities for the future. South Korea offers a captivating blend of timeless elegance and modern edge, resulting in a distinctive and undeniably Asian style that goes beyond just K-Pop.

This comprehensive guide equips you, the Indian fashion enthusiast, with the essential steps to navigate your journey from dream to reality, transforming your passion for design into a successful career in the heart of South Korea. Let’s dive into how to become a fashion designer in South Korea from India.

Why South Korea is the new hotspot for aspiring Indian designers

South Korea is the new hot spot for aspiring Indian designers because they have a cultural exchange between them and inspiration. Is it a new hotspot for aspiring Indian designers? There are some factors for why:

Cultural exchange and inspiration

South Korea’s cultural landscape is fertile ground for innovation because of its long history of blending traditional and modern practices. Dynamic street style, K-pop clothing, and the effortless fusion of Korean tradition and contemporary fascinate Indian designers.

Collaborations between them

The collaboration between Korean and Indian fashion brings together the rich traditions of both cultures, resulting in a collection of unique and modern designs. The design incorporates elements from Korean and Indian culture, including embroidery, prints, traditional fabrics, and colours. Resulting in a unique creation that captures the spirit of both cultures.

The global influence of K-Pop and K-Drama

Many of you love K-pop idols or have watched K-drama. Me too! Idols from K-pop and K-drama stars have an immense worldwide fan base. Their style choices significantly impact trends worldwide. Indian designers are inspired by the vibrant energy of Korean pop culture and aim to incorporate it into their creative work.

Growing Fashion Market and Influence

The fashion industry in South Korea is world-renowned for its inventive designs, state-of-the-art technology, and culture that sets trends. The distinctive fusion of old and new in South Korean design has long mesmerized onlookers throughout the globe, from the crowded streets of Seoul to the illustrious catwalks of international fashion weeks.

Understanding the role of a fashion designer: From designing clothes to haute couture

A fashion designer, who is also sometimes called a clothes designer or couturier, is very important in the process of making clothes. “Fashion designer” can mean a lot of different things, from ready-to-wear lines to haute couture works. A couturier, on the other hand, usually only makes high-fashion clothes that are specifically made for each client.

People working in the fashion industry are responsible for crafting designs for clothing and entire collections. They have a strong understanding of high clothing, designer-prepared to-wear, and high-street fashion. Many people in the fashion industry focus on designing clothing for specific target markets, such as sports enthusiasts, men, or children.

10 tips for aspiring fashion designers from India to South Korea

The top 10 for aspiring fashion designers are:

  1. Find your voice: Craft a unique style and research both markets.
  2. Master your craft: Improve your design skills and become proficient in software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and CAD.
  3. Embrace textiles: Explore traditional techniques from both cultures.
  4. Build a portfolio: Display your best creations (sketches, photos, technical flats).
  5. Network & collaborate: Make connections with industry professionals and fellow designers.
  6. Social media savvy: Create an online presence and showcase your design journey.
  7. Sustainability matters: Use eco-friendly materials and ethical production.
  8. Business mindedness: Master the art of fashion business, financial planning, and marketing.
  9. Target your Audience: Research fashion trends and cater to a specific niche.
  10. Persistence & education: Gain experience (internships) and consider a fashion design degree.

From the vibrant shades of India to the Seoul fashion catwalks

India’s vivid hues and intricate textiles provide a wealth of inspiration for fashion designers. Prepare yourself for a South Korean fashion scene that embraces minimalism and bold silhouettes. It’s absolutely crucial to embrace this contrast. Discover how to incorporate the lively essence of Indian embroidery and prints into your designs, seamlessly blending them with the sleek lines and inventive silhouettes that are popular in Korean fashion.

Understanding the Korean fashion dynamics for Indian designers

The fashion ecosystem in Seoul has unique characteristics that may be different from what Indian designers are familiar with. Here’s a concise guide to help you integrate smoothly as you transition to becoming a fashion designer in South Korea from India:

  • Respect Hierarchical Structures: Adherence to hierarchy is a core aspect of Korean culture. Showing respect is paramount when interacting with mentors, peers, or industry seniors.
  • Business Card Etiquette: In Korea, business cards are essential. Ensure you carry a dual-language card and engage in the formal exchange ritual with grace.
  • Stay Trend-Conscious: The Korean fashion market is evolving swiftly. Keeping up with trends and consumer preferences is essential for staying relevant.

Strategic steps to launch your fashion brand in Seoul

Step 1: Improve your skills

Strengthening your design skills prior to arriving in South Korea is essential. Get ready to unleash your creativity and master the art of fashion design in India or through convenient online courses. Develop your technical skills in sketching, draping, and pattern-making to become a true fashion virtuoso.

Crafting an impressive portfolio that highlights your distinct design sensibility is absolutely essential. Let’s infuse some of your Indian heritage into this! Fusion is all the rage these days, and your background is just brimming with inspiration.

Step 2: Get acquainted with the Korean language.

Having fluency in Korean can make a significant difference, although it is not a requirement. Proficiency enables you to establish meaningful connections with professors, industry professionals, and potential employers. Consider signing up for online Korean language courses or joining an intensive program prior to your departure.

Step 3: Education in Korea: Choosing between University and Internship

South Korea is home to renowned fashion institutions such as Hongik University and Korea National University of Arts. Pursuing a degree provides an opportunity to familiarize oneself with Korean design concepts and establish connections with local talent. Nevertheless, an internship in a design company or fashion brand provides tangible, hands-on experience and valuable insights into the industry.

Step 4: Cultural adaptation

Incorporate Indian influences into your designs while embracing the inventive spirit of Korean fashion. Look into local trends and use Korean materials to ensure your products sell well in Korea.

Step 5: Networking

  • Attend fashion shows, exhibitions, and industry events.
  • Connect with other designers, stylists, photographers, and industry professionals online and offline.
  • Utilize social media and professional networking platforms like LinkedIn.

Bonus Tip: Enjoy the hustle

The design scene in South Korea is very intense. Get ready to work hard and for long hours. Your energy, persistence, and unique point of view, on the other hand, maybe your best qualities.

Don’t forget that getting from India to Seoul won’t be easy. But if you work hard and bring some of your amazing Indian styles to Korean fashion, you can make a name for yourself.

Top fashion designer schools in South Korea for Indians

You can pick a fashion designer school in South Korea that works best for you. Our list includes their Google Maps locations. At least 30 of these fashion designer schools have been rated four stars or higher. Look at YouTube’s fashion design in South Korea by Clear Clarity-Education.

Kyung Hee University, Seoul Campus

Hanyang University

Korea University, Seoul Campus

Yonsei University, Sinchon Campus

Seoul National University, Gwanak Campus

If you search for “Fashion Design College near Busan” and put your country of residence on Google Maps or any other map app, you will see a list of schools that can help you.

Fashion designer salary in South Korea

According to Salary Expert, fashion designers in South Korea earn an average annual salary of ₩68,333,447, which comes out to ₩32,853 per hour. Several important criteria can affect the details of their income:

  • Level of Experience: Fashion designers who have been in the industry for a longer period generally receive higher salaries. Designers who are just starting may receive lower salaries, whereas those who have a lot of experience and an impressive portfolio can expect to earn higher pay.
  • Location: The salary can also vary depending on the designer’s location. Designers working in major cities like Seoul may enjoy higher earning potential than those in smaller towns or rural areas. This is mainly due to the higher cost of living and the greater demand for fashion in urban areas.
  • The employment status of a designer, whether they work independently or for an employer, can also have an impact on their income. Freelance designers may experience varying incomes depending on the projects they undertake. In contrast, those who are employed by fashion houses or companies may have more consistent but potentially lower incomes compared to highly successful freelancers.

Various factors play a role in determining the income of fashion designers in South Korea.


  1. According to the article How to Move to South Korea by Visaguide. ↩︎

This article incorporates insights from applyzones.com’s ‘Studying Fashion Design in Korea’ and Indeed’s ‘Top 10 Tips on How to Become a Successful Fashion Designer’, offering original perspectives and additional advice.

Other sources are Salary Expert, VisaGuide, and Google Maps.

Image by garetsvisual on Freepik.

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