Fashion Design Internships Abroad

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A Guide to Fashion Design Internships Abroad

The field of fashion crosses language barriers and cultural differences; it is an international industry with roots all over the world. Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”. It’s no surprise that the fashion industry is as fabulous as it is competitive! By interning abroad in fashion design you will gain hands on experience in the field and learn more about this globally centric industry. Fashion design internships abroad will also be a superb addition to your resume.

Why Intern Abroad in Fashion

Fashion design internships abroad will allow you to learn more about different cultures while broadening your knowledge of the field and new types of aesthetics used around the world. Those interested in pursuing careers in fashion after graduation, will find that internships abroad will increase their ability to adapt to new situations and succeed in future fashion jobs, whether abroad or at home.

The fashion industry allows individuals from different sides of the world to communicate through visual self-expression. Self-expression and style is viewed differently all over the world, and by interning abroad in fashion design, you will become more aware and culturally aware of these differences and how to take advantage of various design strategies.

Fashion is an ever-evolving industry and the way people have dressed and designed clothing has changed throughout history. These changes are not only swayed by the society or culture where they manifest themselves, but also by personal experiences and beliefs of the individual. Fashion is much more than clothes, models, and magazines, it is about connecting to people through a medium that is part of everyday life. Hence, fashion internships abroad will be an eye-opening experience in more ways than one. 


Since the fashion industry is a global market, it won’t be difficult to find fashion internships abroad. However, due to the high demand for internship placements among fashion students and entry-level professionals, fashion internships can become very competitive. it is best to widen your search to improve your chances of obtaining a fashion internship abroad.

Fashion cannot be discussed without mentioning France, as it is a leading country in the fashion industry. Fashion is not only an important part of French culture and daily life, it’s a tradition that stems back to the 15th century. At the epicenter of French fashion lies Paris, hosting Paris Fashion Week twice a year which features the world’s top designers. However, Paris is not the only hotspot for fashion internships in France; with 14 other fashion weeks based in other French cities, there are many fashion internship opportunities in France.

One of Europe’s earliest trendsetters, Italy is a prominent country in all things luxurious. Italy has many prominent cities when it comes to the fashion industry, such as Venice, Florence, Rome, and most importantly, Milan. Both Milan and Rome are two of the top fashion capitals of the world and the reason why the label “Made in Italy” instantly signals excellence and quality. Gucci, Versace, Armani, and Valentino are just a of the most well known Italian brands and designers, which have given the country its name and reputation in the fashion industry.

Japan formed its own style of fashion known as street fashion in the 21st century. This trend adopts current and traditional trends, and then personalizes each piece based on the “wearer”. Fashion in Japan emulates many extreme and unconventional styles. Some of the major brands in the Japanese fashion industry include Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Tomoko Yamanaka, and Rei Kawakubo. Japan’s fashion is quite influential, with similar trends popping up in China, Korea, Taiwan, and even the West coast of the United States. 

Fashion Design Internships Abroad

It can be challenging and somewhat overwhelming to know where to start when looking for a fashion design internship abroad. The best time to intern abroad in the fashion industry is at the beginning of every semester. Although, the fashion industry is always looking for interns, since there are fashion weeks year round all over the world. The fashion world never sleeps, and neither should you when it comes to finding the perfect fashion internship abroad.

Fashion design internships abroad will educate interns on business transactions between suppliers and distributors, design processes, production, marketing, merchandising, and public relations. All the necessary components needed to have a successful career in fashion design.

Designers. Those interested in working with a designer will find that internship placements focus on marketing, sales, and of course, clothing design. Some fashion designers may have a need to expand their designs into department stores, which would require interns to also assist with retail management, stocking, and shipping. Fashion designers look for interns who have an intermediate understanding of their native language and a background in fashion. Although a lot of these responsibilities and tasks will be hands on, don’t be surprised if you are asked to grab coffee for your boss at least once a week.

Marketing & Sales. Once the clothes have been designed, they will need to be sold. Interns hoping to learn more about how clothes get from the manufacturer to the customer should focus on marketing and sales focused fashion internships abroad. It will be imperative for interns in this type of fashion internship to have some sort of marketing background. Interns may need to use sales tracking data, focus groups, and other consumer preferences to provide feedback to designers and manufacturers. Most importantly, interns will need to figure out what the consumer wants, as this is an essential part of success in the field of fashion design. 

Fashion Shows & Special Events. The fashion industry has many special events, including fashion shows, PR parties, and product launches for new products and designs. Fashion design internships in this area of the industry may mean interns will be preparing and distributing invitations, informing media outlets about event details, and helping with various organizational tasks related to event planning and management. Some interns may also be tasked with handling models during runway shows and assisting with all parts of the show.

The more widespread and high-end a fashion company is, the more competitive internship placements will be. Aspiring fashion interns may therefore need some expert knowledge or experience in the field to help them stick out from the crowd. However, many fashion design internships abroad will only require that you are a current fashion design student with an interest in the field. Whatever fashion internship abroad you decide to apply for, just keep in mind that there is always a possibility that it will turn into a full-time paid job after you graduate. 

GoAbroad's Insider Tips

Fashion internships abroad are not only once in a lifetime opportunities, international internships will become an asset to both your education and future career. By interning abroad in fashion, you will stay one step ahead of the fashion curve and become aware of international trends and designs that will set you apart from your competitors.

Resume Enhancer. Building a resume and gaining work experience are two of the main priorities of students who seek out fashion internships abroad. However, looking for a fashion design internship abroad shows initiative, and so much more to future employers. International internship experience will illustrate that you are able to manage yourself in a multicultural environment and work with people who are different from you.

Increased Communication Skills. Working with individuals who speak a language different from your own is challenging, to say the least. Linguistic and cultural understanding are essential components of successful communication, and two things you will most definitely practice during your fashion internship abroad. Not to mention, if you end up learning a second language it will be extremely beneficial when you are searching for fashion jobs in the future, or any job for that matter.

Personal Growth. The experience you’ll gain during a fashion design internship abroad will extend beyond your place of work and allow you to discover the local community and culture as well. You will be able to gain insight on where you’d like your career to go and develop your own goals and new attributes by experiencing the fashion industry through a multicultural lens. As an added bonus, if you are interested in beginning your own fashion line one day, you will have the multicultural skills to truly make your designs stand out (and sell!) worldwide.

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