Validation of acquired experience / Level II Certification “Fashion Designer"

Validation of Acquired Work Experience – V.A.E. – is the possibility of obtaining a diploma registered under the National Directory of Professional Certification (RNCP). The “Fashion Designer" Certification recognized by the State as Level II (in France) and Level 6 (EU) was registered in the National Directory of Professional Certification, by ministerial decree of 25 February 2016 published in the Official Journal on 17 March 2016.

Condition required:
 The only condition for validating their experience is to justify at least 1 year of salaried, non-salaried, pro bono or voluntary work experience directly related to the certification concerned.
Please Note: The candidate may submit only one application in the same calendar year for the same diploma and three applications in the same calendar year for different degrees or diplomas.
In order to obtain the Certification, the candidate for a VAE must validate each of the certified skills, grouped for the “Fashion Designer” Certification into 4 skill blocks (indicated at the bottom of the page), through his/her previous work experience and/or training, where appropriate.
Each skill block can be achieved individually. A certificate is awarded to the candidate for achieving each block. Achieving all 4 blocks results in Certification.
For any questions, the VAE advisor at ESMOD is: Guillaume Thiery

Step-by-step guide to the VAE procedure


There are several stages:

Phase 1:
Submitting your application
In order to apply, you must fill in the form Cerfa 12818*1 (downloadable here) and send it to us with the documents certifying the year of experience in the field of Certification:

Service des Admissions
12, rue de la Rochefoucauld
– 75009 Paris FRANCE
Phase 2:
Preparation of the Record 2
Once your application has been considered admissible, the second step is the compilation of your Record 2. This is the file whereby the candidate will demonstrate they have acquired the skills required by the curriculum knowledge base for the diploma. 
The applicant will have between 1 and 4 interviews with our academic tutors to verify which skills can be validated by work experience or, where appropriate, by previous education.
This Record 2 thus consists of:

  • An analysis of work situations that have been significant in the development of acquired knowledge in relation to the relevant certification.
  • A justification of learning achieved in work situations (whether or not professional) that enabled the building of skills, abilities and knowledge in ways other than through education. 

Please note:
Following these interviews, ESMOD will provide you with an estimate if you need training in one or more skills. The candidate may choose training at ESMOD or any other institute of their choice.
Once Record 2 is submitted, candidates will present their work to a jury of professionals. The chairperson of the jury will introduce the candidate to the members of this jury and will explain how the interview will be conducted – it will be in two stages:

  • the candidate’s oral presentation.
  • the discussion with the jury. 

This is when the candidate presents their request for a VAE. They may use one or more media (PowerPoint, multimedia tools, etc.) or mention all the works likely to support their presentation, if the jury has previously agreed.
The members of the jury then question the candidate on the basis of their VAE file and their oral presentation.
The main purpose of the interview is to have candidates clarify certain aspects of their file and to deepen their analysis. It is by no means a test of the extent of their knowledge or a recruitment interview.
Following the interview with the candidate, the jury will deliberate on the contents of the file and matters arising from the interview. This will prompt discussion and the exchange of opinion between members of the jury.
In the event of partial validation, the candidate has the option of resubmitting a validation file on the missing skills to the jury within a maximum period of 5 years from the notification date of the jury’s decision. After that time, the entire procedure will have to be repeated.
Each skill block validated is validated for life.


The skills evaluated to obtain the Certification of “Fashion Designer" certified at Level II are as follows:


Trend and brand image analysis

  • Knowing how to spot original designs and trends in fashion and design


  • Implementing sectoral watch strategies in order to spot original items of interest


  • Analysis of trends relating to the use of materials and textiles and to garment manufacturing techniques and piece production


  • Analysis of trends regarding color combinations and cut


  • Placing trends in artistic and creative movements within their geographic, historical and societal contexts
  • Defining and foreseeing changes in fashion and textile markets according to trends; defining styles to be integrated into collections


  • Analysis of a brand’s desired marketing and commercial positioning according to the management’s strategic guidelines


  • Study of the history of a brand through its designs and previous collections to understand its positioning and its values


  • Analysis of studies undertaken among brand customers so as to work on the image of the brand and its products


  • Defining values and elements representing a brand’s image (materials, working of products, manufacturing techniques, cuts, technical and craftwork expertise, etc.)


  • Assessing opportunities for a brand to change its image with consumers and in specific markets


Conceptualizing, Illustrating and Offering variants in a collection/clothing line


  • Complete expertise in illustration techniques and media in order to be able to transcribe creative projects, and research into forms, volumes, and cuts


  • Use of different techniques to represent volumes and effects of different materials in fashion designs


  • Observance of scales to make representative sketches of pieces to be made


  • Drawing different views of pieces, accessories and fashion garments


  • Creating color ranges specific to designs and making up the colors on moodboards


  • Digitizing and re-touching items using graphics software


  • Using computer-aided drawing and design software to illustrate volumes and material effects


  • Adapting collections to trends, seasons and the specific characteristics of markets according to consumer studies
  • Offering variations on products and designs based on brand locations in international markets
  • Defining templates of pieces, garments, products and accessories that might form collections


  • Seeking possible variations on designs based on themes and inspirations


  • Drawing clothing lines, products and fashion accessories


  • Proposing stagings of fashion garments and accessories to illustrate their finished quality


  • Making up moodboards to present design and/or collection projects


Design and production of prototypes for a collection/clothing line


  • Seeking out the materials and fabrics suitable for the project, with the right characteristics to obtain the desired finish


  • Testing material finishes and color effects and selecting materials and fabrics


  • Deciding on the cutting to be undertaken to make specific pieces


  • Assembling fabrics, using techniques to assemble pieces, inserting objects, etc.


  • Deciding on the assembly techniques to use to make and assemble pieces


  • Using or adapting a particular type of craftsmanship to make all or part of the pieces to be manufactured


  • Checking the finished quality of garments from all angles to ensure the perfection of the prototype produced


  • Making the necessary adjustments to enhance silhouettes and achieve the visual effects desired


  • Conducting fitting sessions, identifying points to correct and/or change


  • Validating techniques for assembly of pieces, confirming the placing of seams


  • Completing a garment and/or piece prototype that might be put into production
  • Making and approving patterns of pieces to be produced on behalf of a brand


  • Determining techniques for making up and assembly of pieces and garments


  • Participating in the selection and purchase of fabrics and materials necessary for designs


  • Checking the suitability of fabrics, materials and accessories for use in manufacturing processes

Control of the phases of production of the designs and Conception of the presentation and promotion of the collection/clothing line


  • During the workshop stage, checking the techniques used for making pieces and the observance of patterns


  • Intervening in workshops to correct problems in the making of pieces


  • At the end of the manufacturing process, checking that pieces are up to standard when they leave the workshops and identifying problematic and/or sub-standard elements


  • On delivery or handing-over, checking the quality of manufactured pieces and authorizing acceptance of goods


  • Checking the stitching, insertions and attachment of accessories


  • Conceiving how to present collections according to the expectations and objectives of the brand


  • Imagining universes to present theme-based designs


  • Scripting presentations of collections, adapting sets to collection themes and types of garments to be presented


  • Taking part in photography sessions for the production of sales catalogues, checking sets, etc.


  • Determining the order of presentation of the pieces in a collection


  • Presenting the specific characteristics of garments and markets 
  • Positioning designs and collections in markets and in relation to other collections within a brand


  • Taking part in the composition of sales pitches and material for presentation of fashion products and accessories


  • Participating in setting up points of sale to ensure and guarantee that designs, products and fashion accessories are showcased to their best advantage

For all inquiries on how to compile your VAE file, please contact the Admissions Department:
By email:
By phone: 00 33 (0)1 44 83 81 50
 €800 fee for application file and €1,000 fee for presentation to the jury, in addition to training fees if necessary and if the candidate chooses to train with ESMOD.
Teaching Committee:
The committee in charge of examining the candidate's file, and providing advice and guidance, is composed of:
Patrick Laffray, Academic Coordinator
Paul Marchand, Academic Tutor
Tamara Moreno, Academic Tutor


Download the CERFA VAE
Download the document VAE

Haut de page

Haut de page