• Student Collections

    100 Grads

    collections showcased at International Fashion Gala
  • 100 Grads

    showcased their collections at Paris Fashion Week
  • 500 Grads

    showcased their collections at Vancouver Fashion Week
  • Program Credential


  • Program Duration

    60 Weeks

  • Program Location

    mississauga Campus

Program Overview

You've always had a unique sense of style and an eye for great design. Now is your chance to turn that talent in to an exciting career in fashion. VCAD's Fashion Design diploma program teaches you to refine your talent for creating beautiful garments and accessories.


VCAD's program gives structure to your creativity while providing hands-on training from industry professionals. Students gain an in-depth understanding about the tools and equipment used in the industry. Topics covered include garment, accessory and apparel design, fashion merchandising, fashion shows, and more.


By the end of the program, students will have created a h2 portfolio with which to apply for fashion industry jobs such as stylists, junior designers, pattern makers, marketing representatives, or visual display coordinators and purchasers.


  • Apparel Designer Apparel Designers, or clothing/fashion designers, conceptualize and produce clothing items and typically will specialize in one design category, such as activewear, casual, or evening wear.
  • Pattern Maker A Pattern Maker creates patterns on paper or fabric for clothing industry use. These patterns are typically derived from a designer's sketch and refined by a pattern maker.  
  • Assistant Designer Assistant Designers work closely with fashion designers to help designers create new styles, designs, materials, colours, patterns and prints for fashion brands and labels.
  • Production Assistant Production Assistants are the link between designers and suppliers by monitoring stock, placing production orders, and ensuring things run smoothly by providing materials, factory production, and ensuring all services are up to date.
  • Technical Designer A Technical Designer is a fashion professional who reviews designs and comes up with practical solutions to creating those designs.
  • Fashion Retail Fashion Retail is involved in offering fashion goods and services from manufacturers to consumers from seasonal, sales, timing, and price lines.
  • Stylists Stylists are consultants who curate looks for editorial features, print or advertising campaigns, visuals, performances, and public appearances for celebrities, models or other public figures.
  • Purchasers A Fashion Purchaser or buyer, makes purchasing decisions for a clothing retailer by combining one's analytical mind with their eye for style.


  • Use design theory to solve fashion design problems.
  • Create original garments that exceed industry design and quality standards.
  • Understand the relationship between fashion illustration, apparel design and product development.
  • Effectively communicate design ideas between various manufacturing, marketing and merchandising components of the industry.
  • Describe the role fashion history plays in fashion styling, design and display.
  • Analyze garment construction for quality, efficacy of design, and price point.
  • Understand the product development, apparel production, and textile life cycles.
  • Understand the importance of fashion forecasting on the design, marketing and merchandising of apparel.
  • Develop a portfolio containing original design work, flats and specifications, photographs, a promotional kit and a final themed collection consisting of at least four original garments.
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Program Magazine

Courses Timeline

Your program begins with teaching you the fundamental skills necessary for your future in fashion. These traditional, digital and informational skills give you a strong foundation in colour theory, pattern making and garment construction.

Now we build on the basic skills we have developed. We continue to build upon these foundational skills. You begin to draw, design and create at a higher level. The foundation is now in place.

You continue to expand your skill set. You learn the fundamentals of the design process and start to see it executed in your work. Technology becomes more important as we move our work onto our computers. We use many programs to give you industry experience and teach you how to design and build.

Now you have the tools and skills to ideate and execute your designs, specifically how to make garments and patterns.

Here you will start to learn about the specialties in our industry. You have the skills and foundation. This term is about applying your skills and building your vision from scratch to execution. We start building your portfolio and professional development.

  • Garment Construction I

    This course introduces students to garment construction concepts and techniques by completing garment projects. Students learn to use and care for the fundamental tools of the garment production industry, basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking and material economizing, with emphasis on sewing precision. Students practice the techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini-projects while developing and completing their first garment proje...

  • Fundamentals of Fashion Illustration

    This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of drawing and fashion illustration. Students learn visual vocabulary, rendering, art concepts, 2D and 3D perspectives, lines, shapes, textures, patterns, fashion body vs. human form and croquis, technical drawings, and shading by exploring a variety of mixed media and drawing techniques to enable them to create a signature illustration style.

  • Textiles & Design

    Students will explore natural and synthetic fibres, their characteristics and properties, the transition between fibre to fabric, fabric names and usages, care, labelling, life and handling, yarn production weaves, knits, printing, dyes, and new technologies in fibre production with an emphasis on 21st Century trends.

  • Colour & Design

    Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to d...

  • Pattern Making & Drafting I

    This course introduces students to pattern-making using standard accepted industry practices, basic principles of flat pattern drafting, development of industry blocks and their use in pattern development by addressing professional standards. Students will learn to develop basic pattern blocks and manipulate these drafts to create various design styles with an emphasis on correct terminology and markings.

  • Garment Construction II

    This course furthers basic garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects, samples, pattern layout, marking, fitting, material economizing, and emphasis on sewing precision. Students practice techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini projects and a fully lined sleeveless V-neck shift dress. A final construction exam at the end of the term will further test the student’s knowledge.

  • Illustrator I

    This course introduces the students to vector image editing using Adobe Illustrator. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance vector artwork, craft special effects, work in 3D space, and prepare files for export to variations applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • Fashion Industry

    Students learn garment styles, fashion elements, fashion forecasting, and the ability to recognize brands and people from within the industry. Fashion forecasting is a process that includes knowledge of changing colours and styles, lifestyles, and consumer buying patterns. Students learn the science and art of fashion forecasting, which affects decision-making in the apparel industry, to help students uncover trends in marketing, technology, and popular culture.

  • Collection Design & Development

    Students learn fashion design principles, R.T.W, Couture, and the entire Fashion Cycle from concept through design and production with a specific demographic and market through fashion mood boards, research files, and analysis to form a brand DNA. Students will create a 20-look mini apparel collection with original concepts, develop and refine the croquis into a personalized style in preparation for Fashion Design Studio I, and draw accurate technical specs.

  • Pattern Making & Drafting II

    Students apply their knowledge from the previous pattern-making class to bodice manipulation by creating multiple bodice styles in both ½ and ¼ scales, utilizing the basic foundation blocks as a base. Flat pattern drafting, correct terminology and markings following professional standards are emphasized continually.

  • Garment Construction III

    This project-based course focuses on new fabrics and construction sequencing by creating two knitwear pieces (a basic swimsuit and jersey dress), a pair of woman’s trousers, and a blouse. Students utilize their skills with construction and different types of fabrics and materials, emphasizing sewing precision, pattern layout, marking, and material economizing.

  • Digital Pattern Making I

    This course introduces students to computer-aided design for pattern making. Students learn to transfer pattern drafts to a computer with industry-standard software, digital equivalents of pattern creation and alterations to existing product patterns through handson experience with the system’s capabilities to digitize and modify designs and manage files.

  • Photoshop I

    Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, advanced features and tips to prepare images for digital output and print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • Fashion Design Studio I

    Students learn fabric swatching and experimenting with textile development using unique fashion croquis created in Collection Design & Development. Students research, create mood boards, establish brand development, a consumer demographic, market analysis, trend reports and inspiration resulting in a 40-look cohesive collection.

  • Pattern Making & Drafting III

    In this advanced pattern drafting course students will learn how to interpret a variety of design propositions front and back in ½ scale. Further study and interpretation of complex tailoring and asymmetrical design propositions will be covered via demonstration and lecture. Correct seam allowances, developing facings, fusing and linings with engineered ease will be covered in both soft and tailored garments. Students will learn how to properly walk back a p...

  • Garment Construction IV

    This project-based course focuses on new fabrics and construction sequencing by creating a fitted women's blazer and a constructed cocktail dress. Students utilize their skills with construction and different types of fabrics and materials, emphasizing sewing precision, pattern layout, marking, and material economizing.

  • Digital Pattern Making II

    This course builds on the concepts and tools introduced in Digital Patten Making I. Students will be expanding their knowledge of the AccuMark Explorer and Pattern Design Systems to develop, manipulate and modify digital garment patterns.

  • Web Development I

    This course introduces the fundamentals of web site development. The students will learn about the structure, and components of code-based languages, and website programming. Students will learn to work with text, tables, tags, images, forms, and hyperlinks to design, and create a fully functional website.

  • Fashion Design Studio II

    Students focus on the patterning, draping and construction process of 4 toile looks from the 40 look collection by working from fashion croquis and technical spec drawings. Students learn to decode a sketch, manipulate a block, lay, cut and construct a toile. Students learn construction sequences, sewing, pressing techniques, and fabric yields. Fittings will be executed on a cabine model by the instructor.

  • Pattern Making & Drafting IV

    Students create patterns and toiles of three designs previously selected. Students pattern draft and sew toiles for their original design ideas and learn the proper fall and fit of a garment, alteration and correct fit issues, techniques to add or reduce fullness/draglines, and create figure-pleasing proportions on the body by laying pattern pieces and creating a fabric yield.

  • Product Development

    Product development is a process that begins with a design concept and follows through to production. In this course, students are introduced to technical drawings, technical specification packages, production boards, garment design elements and product organizational flows, all of which are integral to the manufacturing, marketing and merchandising of apparel.

  • Digital Design Technology

    Students explore digital design techniques and tools for developing professional fashion-appropriate content by exploring composition layout, textile design and technical drawing. Students visualize, plan and communicate multifaceted design concepts efficiently and creatively and are introduced to CLO 3D software to instantly review changes and modifications to 2D patterns, colours, textures and finishing details, and fabric simulation in 3D and export for sampling...

  • Final Collection Capstone

    During the final term, this capstone course provides studio time and individual mentoring allowing for revisions, high-level detail and sewing accuracy and precision. Students will be able to perfect advanced techniques learned throughout the program and present their final collection to the industry.

  • Fashion Styling

    Fashion stylists are responsible for organizing and preparing people, accessories and garments worn by models at photoshoots. In creating “the look,” stylists must be up-to-date in all aspects of fashion forecasting. Students learn styling and trend forecasting, apparel advertising, theory, and practice while working on a photo shoot and magazine spread, which will become a portfolio piece.

  • Portfolio & Professional Development

    Students develop a professional fashion portfolio demonstrating their skills through copywriting, planning and organizing a digital project, professional layouts, marketing collateral, and translating fashion ideas into visual design elements. This portfolio will endorse the values of the student’s fashion knowledge to enable them to highlight their designs and achievements and present them to potential buyers, partners and audiences.

Costs & Requirements

  • Grade 12 or mature student status (19 years or older). OR
  • Pass the college's admission test where an applicant's first language is other than English, and has not completed secondary (or higher) education in English. 

For tuition prices and costs, fill out the request info form to speak with an admissions representative.

VCAD's Refund Policy abides by the Private Training Regulation of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) Private Training Act.
For more information, click here.

Check out and connect with some Alumni on LinkedIn.

  • Alumni 1 Noel Gabriel Ambrosio 2020
  • Alumni 2 Nikki Katouzian 2022
  • Alumni 4 Dryden Sereda 2022
  • Alumni 4 Madison Prangnell 2020
  • Alumni 5 Tuong Kim Thuy Nguyen 2020

Student Testimonials

  • If it wasn't for VCAD I don't think I would be where I am today. I've had some amazing opportunities, I've met some wonderful people - amazing connections, and I'll be forever grateful.

    - Sabrina Laprise
  • The most important thing that I learned at VCAD was how to use software - graphic design software.

    - Ewa Wawryszuk
  • What drew me to the interior design program was that it was a creative industry and also that it's business oriented.

    - Luc Kwan
  • I chose VCAD because of all the options and programs that they offered, and I wanted to succeed and through not just my classes but also making like really cool things that I'm proud of.

    - Luke Johnston
  • The instructors are really helpful, even outside school projects. They gave me a lot of advice about improving my skills as a graphic designer.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • The most valuable part of the program is the one on one time with the teachers. They are always willing to go out of their way to make sure you understand what you are doing.

    - Katrina Selkirk


Learn from VCAD graduates what it's like to study fashion.

  • Student Portfolio

    Jaz R.
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    Triptych T.
    Fashion Design

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    Madison P.
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    Lougie M.
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    jade w.
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  • Student Portfolio

    Nomfundo N.
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    Harrison N.
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  • Student Portfolio

    Dillon H.
    Fashion Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Christine F.
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