Some characters make a living designing clothes (whether high fashion Simple, yet Opulent outfits, Pimped Out Dresses, or affordable mainstream clothes). These characters may be royal dressmakers, haute couture designers, movie costume designers, or simply make and design clothes as a hobby. If nothing else, it gives the show an excuse to have some Costume Porn, though these characters tend to have some common traits.
Often they are just as skilled at making clothes as designing them, as it would aid in knowing what outfits are even possible. Often they have other people helping make their creations, usually apprentices and hopeful apprentices. High fashion designers then may have their clothes showed all over the Fashion Shows, Fashion Magazines, and Up Marketing ads. Some designers are former models themselves.
Just as their clothes tend to be larger than life, so can these characters themselves. Often they are eccentric, vain, arrogant, bossy, drama queens, or some combination of those.
If designers are male they are more than likely to be homosexual or bisexual. This is partly due to some designers in Real Life being gay, and partly because Men Are Tough and there is the perception that Textile Work Is Feminine. Though they can be straight when Real Men Wear Pink.
A work can even invoke this among the audience if there Official Fan-Submitted Content involving clothes.
Some video games simulate this (even if technical limitations, such as No Flow in CGI, make them Virtual Paper Doll games with extra features).
A Sub-Trope of The Fashionista. A Super-Trope to Eccentric Fashion Designer. Compare Rule of Glamorous, The Beautiful Elite, Unlimited Wardrobe.
- Jun's fashion designer mother in Boku to Boku caused him to become a Wholesome Crossdresser because she tried out clothes on him.
- In Cardcaptor Sakura, the eponymous heroine gets a new outfit every battle thanks to her friend Tomoyo, who likes to design dresses.
- Jewelpet Kira Deco!: Topaz is a great but disillusioned fashion designer who makes clothes for Pink after Ruby completes a fetch quest for her and makes her a little less disillusioned. All the outfits Pink wears after episode 12 are Topaz' designs.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Hayate Yagami works for the Space Police full-time. Being a Cosplay Otaku Girl, she designs Magical Girl Warrior outfits in her spare time. She even designed her personal knights' combat gear.
- Rinne's adoptive parents in ViVid Strike! are the owners of a popular fashion brand, and her Barrier jacket is modeled after the family clothing line.
- Most of the main characters in Paradise Kiss are designing a dress for their high school fashion show, and want the main character to model it.
- In Quilt Queen by Natsuneko, Sakura is a newbie fashion designer who hasn't had her big breakthrough yet, which causes her considerable angst, as her secret lover Dahlia is already a world-famous fashion model, and Sakura originally chose her career to be able to make dresses for Dahlia.
- Smile Down the Runway is all about the fashion industry. The protagonist, Ikuto, is an aspiring fashion designer who tries to make it big in the fashion industry despite the seeming impossibility of his goals, due to his lack of degree in fashion design.
- The Saniwa in Touken Ranbu - Hanamaru seems to be this, as they were responsible for creating the swimsuits (and one Fundoshi) for the Touken Danshi as well as heavy implications that they were the ones who also created all of their casual wear.
- Jibanyan's owner Amy in Yo-Kai Watch wants to be a fashion designer when she gets older.
- Dr. STONE: Once she gets something more than animal pelts to work with Yuzuriha more or less completely recreates modern fashion all on her own.
- Jean Grey does fashion design as one of her hobbies. The first two redesigns of the X-Men costumes were done by her.
- Robin Series: Ariana plans to be a fashion designer and before her father's murder was attending a magnet school for the arts to prepare for her career as one.
- The Wasp is a designer when not fighting crime, and virtually all of her costume changes were designed by her.
- Wonder Woman:
- Wonder Woman (1942): Glamora is seen drafting and making skirts and costumes for herself and the other Holliday Girls. She might also be why her best friend Bobby is able to almost always wear things suggestive of bdsm, like a collar with straps visible above the neckline of her sweater, and a leather corset worn over her sweater given that Bobby is adamant she doesn't do "Lady" things like sewing.
- The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Etta Candy does the designs for her group's costumes, the Wonder Woman costume and all her own clothes. She gets offered a job at a fashion design house in Paris.
- In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Inko Midoriya used to be one of these (and a very good one at that) before settling down to take care of her adoptive son, Izuku. She uses her know-how to design Izuku's and Yaoyorozu's costumes, but she admits to being out of practice and she doesn't manage to finish the latter's costume in time, sending it to another contractor instead.
- In Full Circle, sewing is part of the required training for Lab Directors working in the Science department of Odd Squad. As such, Oona, Oscar, and O'Quinncy (the Lab Director of Olive and Otto's precinct) are fashion designers, although Oona leans far more into it as a hobby. She has a Wardrobe Room full of outfits for every agent of Precinct 13579 sorted by color, time period, agent, and region of the solar system, and even offers to make outfits for Olive, Otto and Oscar since neither of them have Wardrobe Rooms at their workplaces.
- In Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus, a new change in Chloe Cerise than her counterpart in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail is that she does her best to create designs of clothing based on the Ars Goetia demons through a simple "Create-a-crush" App. The designs themselves apparently come with notes to highlight the demon it's based on and have been complimented on by Lexi (a living book who can shuffle his papers to form whatever design he wants) and Asher (aka Shadow Sycamore who can use the shadows to mold his outfit to whatever he wants and suggests Chloe take a trip to the "Poe Ballroom Car" for inspiration).
- Vow of Nudity: Ironically, Spectra loves making clothing despite her inability to wear any, and frequently sneaks out to her parents' old abandoned tailor shop to design fabulous dresses of every make and model.
- Margie in Animal Crossing: The Movie has aspirations to be a fashion designer. Partway through the film she moves away to achieve her goal.
- In Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale, Barbie helps her aunt revive her fashion house in Paris, with the help of some fairies who also make clothes.
- In The Incredibles Edna Mode designed clothes for superheroes, but moved onto making clothes for other people after the Super Registration Act. Though is so bored by the shallow world of high fashion she is all to happy to help the Incredible family. She also insists on not using capes to avoid the risk of Cape Snag. Her personality was based on real life costume designer Edith Head.
- Aftermath (2021): Natalie is a fashion designer who is trying to complete a line for her new employer. However, the strange things happening around the house cause her to fall behind schedule, to said employer's chagrin.
- Designing Woman is about a high fashion designer who falls in love with a sports reporter. A sub plot is her designing the outfits for a Broadway play.
- House of Gucci follows the story of Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani, who was tried and convicted of orchestrating the assassination of her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, the head of the prestigious Italian fashion house Gucci, in 1995.
- The Parent Trap (1998): The twins' mother designs wedding gowns for a living. In a twist of irony, the twins' father's new fiancee wanted one of the mother's dresses for their wedding.
- Phantom Thread stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a mercurial fashion designer of The '50s who enters into a twisted romance with one of his muses.
- Lifeway's 2019 short film The Wild Life has Chelsea who's the fashion designer selfie queen, and wants to use the money after winning at the Ultimate Kid Photography to go fashion shopping rather than having Kate using the same money to help the missionaries in Mozambique.
- Yves Saint Laurent and Saint Laurent are biopics and Dueling Works that came out in 2014 about the life of Yves Saint Laurent. The former focuses on his rise as well as his romance with partner Pierre Bergé while the latter focuses on his hard-partying ways, mental issues and love affair with Jacques de Bascher.
- Zoolander: Jacobim Mugatu is a famous designer and CEO of fashion powerhouse Mugatu (as well as being part of the haute couture assassin syndicate). Among his accomplishments is the invention of the piano necktie.
- Kushiel's Legacy: Within the Night Court of high-class sacred prostitutes, House Eglantine doubles as a home of all the arts, including many excellent fashion designers. Phèdre, one of the Night Court's most famous members, often patronizes Favrielle nó Eglantine and popularizes her (fantastically expensive) gowns as the highest fashion in Terre d'Ange's royal court.
- Madame Sharn and her associate Pepe of Shatta in Unseen Academicals are fashion designers for dwarfs, whose designs offer openly female dwarfs a third option between dressing like male dwarfs and dressing like human women. They produce stylish and attractive armour, and are particularly noted for the invention of micromail, which famously doesn't chafe. As required by the trope, they're flamboyant, over-the-top characters, but it's somewhat put on for the customers; most notably in the case of Pepe who fits the Always Camp description when he's working, but is Macho Camp the rest of the time (and may or may not actually be gay).
- The Assassination of Gianni Versace: The series focuses more on the famous designer's killer, but there are some episodes focusing on Gianni Versace's lavish lifestyle and talent as a designer.
- In Castle Matilda King is a designer who runs her own fashion house, and Kate worked for her when she was a model. After solving a case where Matilda's assistant was murdered, Matilda asks Kate to model a Fairytale Wedding Dress she designed. It looks so good on Kate that Matilda gives it to her (though it ends up as Doomed New Clothes).
- In the pilot episode of Ellery Queen, the victim is a successful fashion designer who is killed at home while working on her latest annual line of clothes. Not only does this career give her the wealth to realistically live in her expensive apartment, it also gives the detectives her sketches to serve as clues to her personal history and help them solve the case.
- In an episode of Head of the Class Eric shows a talent in fashion design, which he ascribes to watching his mother do piecework for major New York designers for extra money. But it turns out that all his designs are subconsciously plagiarized from those same major designers.
- After Hercules: The Legendary Journeys did an episode about ballroom dancing, the show did a follow up with those same guest characters, this time involving fashion design.
- In Just Shoot Me! Dana Carvey played a designer who thought Nina dissed him, but it was Maya who felt his designs were just empty flash. At the end of the episode he tricked her into publicly wearing a design that was Vapor Wear.
- Power Rangers in Space: Ashley aspires to be one
- Project Runway is a Reality Show where the contestants are aspiring designers.
- In a final season episode of Saved by the Bell Lisa is applying for an internship at a clothing design studio and as a part of the application process she has to put on her own fashion show with her own designs and models. Kelly and Jessie are the models while Zak and Slater organize the event.
- Naturally there are several in Velvet as the story is set in a high end fashion store, but most prominent are Raul and ultimately Ana.
- The title character of Zoey 101 aspires to be one, and she often designs, customize and makes clothing.
- "Exotic" Adrian Street and Miss Linda, in addition to being a Gorgeous George and his tomboy valet, were also clothing designers who created ring gear for several pro wrestlers, including one Dude Love Mick Foley.
- The Road Warriors Hawk and Animal, yes those two, who founded the Zubaz company and made pants for pro wrestlers.
- WCW had the Gorgeous George fashion designer Kwee Wee, who showed off his work by wrestling in. Clothing designer sure, but his preference for eye searing orange and purple brought his taste in fashion into question.
- Daffney Unger, in addition to being a Perky Goth fashionista, will make sure those associated with her end up properly dressed even if she has to make their clothing herself. Even if that someone is Nikki Roxx, or Amazing Kong!
- Daizee Haze's own ring gear tends to sit somewhere between "practical" and "whimsical", rarely touching "fashionable", but she will make anything for anyone she considers worthy, be it casual clothing salesman Matt Sydal, masked madman Delirious, arch rival MsChif or really needs new tights Trik Davis.
- Athena will readily mock other wrestlers for their unfashionable ring gear. But if she considers you a friend she'll make you something up to her standards.
- Abby from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues is an aspiring designer after inheriting a passion for fashion from her father. After being endowed with superpowers, she's overcome with the desire to make superhero costumes for everyone.
- Introduced in the 1990's, the Fashion Plates toy allowed aspiring children to create outfits and looks with a trace and color set of stencil plates.
- In Animal Crossing designers in the game include Sable, a hedgehog who barely talks to the player and seems to avert the typical tropes for a fashion designer, and a giraffe named Gracie who absolutely lives up to the trope, being very egotistical and 'artsy', as well as very camp (as She's a Man in Japan).
- Sour Belt Cookie and Currant Cream Cookie from Cookie Run are both fansion designers, and they have personally designed a few costumes in-universe.
- Junko Enoshima in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc earned her scholarship to the academy as the Super High School Level Gyaru/Ultimate Fashionista, known for her wild and innovative designs, which she's modeled in dozens of magazines and photo shoots seen at the start of the game. It serves as an early hint at her uncanny ability to manipulate people by understanding their wants and desires.
- In Ensemble Stars!, the main designers for all of the impossibly cool costumes the various idol students wear are Kuro and Shuu. However, they approach this trope in very different ways: for Kuro it's a case of Real Men Wear Pink, as he is a big, buff judo player who used to be in a gang and only became an idol to make his younger sister happy; Shuu on the other hand is a more typical male example, being rather elitist and arrogant and in love with old-timey clothing and Pimped Out Dresses. The two were friends as children, when Shuu was bullied for liking dresses and dolls more than boys were 'supposed' to. As the story goes on, the protagonist Anzu also starts to take over some designing work, though all up the students all still seem to have way more fancy costumes than would be remotely achievable for three high schoolers who have their own idol work to do.
- In Fantasy Life being a tailor is one of the Player Character's job options.
- Final Fantasy XIV: In addition to being the guildmaster of the Weavers' Guild, Redolent Rose is the leader of Sunsilk Tapestries' workshops, producing the finest clothing in the world and setting fashion trends across Eorzea.
- Granblue Fantasy: Korwa is a seamstress by profession and of course, she designed her own swimsuit in her Summer version. Her Fate Episodes reveal that she can use a unique type of magic to make her customers happier when they wear the wedding dresses made by Korwa.
- Harvest Moon:
- Yuri from Harvest Moon: A New Beginning arrives in town after graduating from a fashion school and opens a clothing store.
- Story of Seasons (2014) has the Heroic Mime protagonist make the clothes themselves.
- Melanie from Harvest Moon: Skytree Village is an interior designer and a fashion designer. She owns a store as well.
- Antoinette in Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar wants to be a famous fashion designer like her mother.
- In Ikemen Sengoku, the main character is about to start her dream job as a fashion designer... until a wormhole throws a wrench into her plans by sending her back in time to Japan's Sengoku period. She's still able to eventually pursue a similar job as a seamstress there, though.
- The Imagine series by Ubisoft includes several games where you can be a fashion designer, from Imagine: Fashion Designer to Imagine: Fashion Designer World Tour. Ubisoft also made a couple similar games: My Fashion Studio and Fashion Studio Paris Collection.
- The Three Good Fairies in Kingdom Hearts are the ones who designed Sora's new clothes for II (complete with a scene of them arguing over the colors, just like in the film) and III, as well as Riku's, Kairi's, Mickey's and Lea's in the latter.
- Legends of Runeterra shows that Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil has one in the form of the "Stilted Robemaker". The Big Bad Wannabe that he is, there's no doubt that he hired them to make him look big and scary in spite of being the exact opposite. At least they were able to get him a really nice hat.
Robemaker: Lord Veigar! Your platform boots are finally ready!
Veigar: (stammers)—yes, the landing platform! Yes, good!
- Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen takes great pains to differentiate between fashion designers (who design clothes) and stylists (who create outfits based on already-existing clothes). Since the game takes place in a world where all conflicts are resolved through fashion competitions, if a character you meet or hear about isn't a stylist, they're almost certainly a designer instead.
- Lunar is a designer - she and Nikki meet when Lunar's shoe designs are stolen by a fashion spy and Nikki volunteers to retrieve them.
- Royce is a designer - he searches for inspiration on his travels and dragoons Neva into wearing his designs to compete with Nikki.
- Prime Minister Nidhogg was a designer before he became a politician — in fact, it was his strong design skills that caught the eye of Queen Nanari, earning him a place in the government of Lilith.
- Zhong Lizi is a designer whom Nikki encounters at the Designer's Tea Party in Wintermount.
- King Sayet was a designer and a powerful ruler. His three greatest designs were so amazing that upon his death, an international conflict erupted over who would gain possession of them.
- Amy from Melody has a business refurbishing old dresses. She gives it up for a design position at a big fashion company.
- This is one of the many job options in Style Savvy: Fashion Forward.
- The Outer Worlds has Celeste Jolicoeur, who is responsible for most of the fancier articles of clothing you can find in the world who lives in Byzantium (the richest city in the colony). Aside from being willing to help design an outfit for your crewmate Parvati she's also capable of creating a suit that happens to be one of the best pieces of armor in the game provided that you get the creature parts for her.
- In Pokémon X and Y, Valerie, the Fairy-type Gym Leader, works as a fashion designer when not accepting challenges in the Laverre City Gym. According to a televised documentary about her, she used to be a model.
- In Pokémon Masters, she seeks out and befriends Elesa, who is also a Gym Leader with a presence in the fashion industry (as a model), based on this common ground.
- Girl Genius: In the "Revenge of the Weasel Queen" arc Agatha builds the Fashion Clank, which has a French accent and a stereotypical fashion designer's attitude. It is horrified to learn that it was built for the sole purpose of turning mutant rabbit skins into mutant rabbit costumes. Later, it designs elaborate costumes for various characters, presented as paper doll cutouts.
- Heroine Chic, being a webcomic about a Parsons graduate who wants to design costumes for superheroes, has a wealth of examples:
- Protagonist Zoe Porter wants to be a fashion designer... for superheroes.
- Dyna Cuff and Umbra Langoustine are both wealthy, successful designers of superhero couture.
- Arpaya Servachi is a successful designer, who at the end of Season 3 wants to break into the superhero design business.
- M9 Girls!: Karlita designs the super-heroine costumes for the M9 Girls, much to the chagrin of Pato.
- In Schlock Mercenary Captain Tagon's father sends him a robotic tailor for his birthday, providing an excuse for new uniforms and outfits for him as well as several other officers. Later on, Tailor Took a Level in Badass and became a surgeon and a combat asset.
- Malta from Ivick Von Salza: The Little Lumberjack is one in one episode. Ivick and Vigoras laugh at her upon finding out, so she gets back at them by making them wear very gaudy clothes in public.
- Shana is an up-and-coming fashion designer. This is the focus of most of her character development. She makes some of the attire the characters wear. One episode even revolved around the others thinking she wanted to leave the band to pursue her designer career, only for Shana to feel they're replacing her and underappreciating her.
- Regine appears near the end of the series. She is also an up-and-coming fashion designer. Her and Shana become quick friends over their shared passion for fashion. Regina is a Toyless Toyline Character because the cartoon was Cut Short before her dolls came out.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012): Blythe Baxter wants to be a designer. After gaining the ability to talk to animals, she mostly focuses on pet fashion, but she ultimately wants to design for humans too.
- Miraculous Ladybug:
- Marinette Dupain-Cheng is an aspiring fashion designer, who is often seen designing outfits in her free time.
- Gabriel Agreste is a high-profile designer whom Marinette idolizes - professionally, at least, as she knows what he's like personally.
- Clawdeen from Monster High frequently does drawings of outfits and sometimes even gets to design them. This is prominent in the special "Scaris, City of Frights".
- Superman: The Animated Series: Lana Lang, childhood friends of Clark Kent, grew up to be a famous fashion designer.
- See that white mare in the picture above? That's Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and she's a fashion designer by occupation. Various famous ponies such as the singer Sapphire Shores have worn her dresses. She's been featured in magazines and put on many fashion shows. She's a very dramatic person, who uses a Mid-Atlantic Accent and calls everyone 'dear' and 'darling' and loves using jewels on her outfits. In the season five episode "Canterlot Boutique" she opens a new store in Canterlot, and in the season six episode "The Saddle Row Review" she opens a third boutique in Manehattan.
- Stella from Winx Club who plans on becoming one. She is also a fairy, and uses her magic instantly create clothes with magic.
- Coco Chanel was a Paris designer who created the Little Black Dress during The Roaring '20s, among other styles of that era she helped popularize.
- Rivaling Chanel is Italian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli who is notable during The Great Depression and The '40s for her surrealistic designs consisting of fake bow sweaters, lobster dresses, shoe hats, and dresses made of then-unusual colors like hot pink.
- Christian Dior defined fashion of The '50s (specifically late 40s to mid 60s) with the "New Look" style of dresses, which emphasized a feminine silhouette, that was a sharp contrast to the war years dresses just a few years before.<!—/index—>
- Pierre Balman was a pioneer of the New Look, both when he worked for Dior, and when he formed his own fashion house. He also once designed a ladies blouse made of white ermine as a joke item, and then women like Marlene Dietrich and The Duchess of Windsor ordered some made for them. As a result he would make other extravagant ermine itemsnote , such as a dress with a full-length white ermine skirt◊.
- Yves Saint Laurent was a designer and wunderkind who founded his own house in Paris when he was only 24 years old. His designs help define the mod style of The '60s and included the Mondrian shift dress, the women's tuxedo and the women's pantsuit.
- Gianni Versace was an Italian designer whose flashy and trashy styles were popular with celebrities of The '90s. His most famous creation is probably a skin-tight lycra number held together by gold safety pins and worn by Elizabeth Hurley. His murder at the hands of a spree killer was widely publicized and caused great grief not only to his friends and family but to his admirers around the world.