5 Fantastic Finds for the Designer on Your Holiday List

The fashion designer in your life…

A creative entrepreneur.

A trend setter.

An ahead-of-the-curve visionary.

And during the holidays, one of the hardest people to buy for on your list.

But not to worry! If you’re still searching for the perfect gift, we’ve gathered a few ideas that are sure to impress—no matter the type of designer on your list.

For the Intellectual Designer

Part of our job as designers is to be in-the-know. And not just when it comes to trends, cuts and fabrics.

Give the designer on your list the gift of knowledge by subscribing him or her to a fashion-related podcast. From DIY ideas to the most current topics in the business of fashion, you will find informative podcasts to fit your designer’s interests here.

For all things fashion-related—American Fashion Podcast

For all things fashion-related—American Fashion Podcast

If your loved one is particularly into ethical fashion practices, this list of podcasts can’t be beat.

Speaking of beats, if your budget allows, wrapping up a pair of noise canceling headphones would be a really nice touch to add to your choice of a podcast subscription. And whether they wear their headphones to listen to podcasts or for inspirational tunes while patterning, you can rest assured you’ve enhanced your designer’s life with your generous gift.

For the Pop Culture Loving Designer

While it would be hard to go wrong gifting anything from the MoMA Design Store, the MoMA store curators have included select items from the incredibly popular exhibit Items: Is Fashion Modern? from earlier this year.

From a MoMA edition Champion hoodie to Swatch watches, iconic pieces from the exhibit are for sale. The designer in your life will be impressed by your nod to the MoMA’s first exhibit focused on fashion in 73 years and love having a piece of fashion history to add to his or her collection.

Iconic Ray Bans on sale at the MoMA Design Store

Iconic Ray Bans on sale at the MoMA Design Store

For the Quirky Designer

Let’s face it. Designers spend the majority of their time behind a drafting table, hauling fabric and running back and forth to factories. So, for day-to-day, let’s-do-this looks, there’s no better place for run-around basics than Wildfang.com. The owners are entrepreneurs themselves, and you’d be hard pressed not to find a fun little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ for the creatives on your list here. Bonus: There are items for every budget—all on the same site.

Supportive sticky notes from Wildfang

Supportive sticky notes from Wildfang

From pocket notebooks to hold design ideas to tees strong enough to endure 12-hour design days, this one-stop shop has it all.

For the Socially Conscious Designer

Now, more than ever, shoppers are considering what causes deserve their dollars.

Designers are no different.

If the designer you’re shopping for has dedicated a portion of their profits to a certain cause or feels strongly about the work of a particular organization, show them you support their efforts. From the ACLU to the Parks Project, coolhunting.com offers unique gifts with a portion of the proceeds donated to worthy causes.  The bomber jacket below (complete with embroidered First Amendment) created by Slow Factory is just one of the many items for sale.

Slow Factory bomber jacket—20% of proceeds go to the ACLU

Slow Factory bomber jacket—20% of proceeds go to the ACLU


For the Designer in Training

Finally, two items we think top every aspiring designer’s holiday wishlist…

First, a subscription to the University of Fashion, of course! Give the gift of know-how—with two Holiday Subscription deals:

1. Get $60 off a new Yearly subscription! That’s more than 30% off our usual $189 yearly rate!
Offer good for new Yearly subscribers, only. Current subscribers, see below.*

2. Get $5 off your first month of a new Monthly subscription! That’s more than 25% off our usual $19.95 monthly rate!
Offer good for new monthly subscribers, only. Current subscribers, see below.*

* Current Free Members and Monthly subscribers: Log in, go to your “Account” page, then click “Upgrade to Yearly Subscription (Special holiday rate)”

All subscriptions give you unlimited access to every lesson on our entire website!

Click HERE to take advantage of this great deal!

Click HERE to take advantage of this great deal!

And finally, a reference every designer needs, gift the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry: Second Edition. Written by University of Founder Francesca Sterlacci and her colleage Joanne Arbuckle, this tome has over 1,400 cross-referenced, in-depth entries covering the people, places and inventions that paved the way for the creation of the fashion industry as we know it today.

A gift all designers will love...

A gift all designers will love…

This valuable resource will be the gift that keeps on giving, not just throughout the year, but throughout your aspiring designer’s career.

From all of us at the University of Fashion, we wish you a very happy season of giving, getting and designing. Happy holidays to all!

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.