As a designer I am sometimes a horrible drawer. To draw something out of my head looks very silly. I can draw whatever I'm looking at, which came from getting in tune with my hands and brain in a quiet place, and being taught by a sculptor to line up the angles of what I am looking at to see now it measures to points on other objects, and then drawing from there.
I cannot draw a traditional fashion figure, on which to draw clothes. I have not practiced enough, so I have to put a proportioned fashion figure on my glass-top desk, turn on a desk light on beneath my desk, and use it as a light board to trace over the form. It is from there that my fashion drawing begins. However, it is very important for me to base my drawing off of a non human object as inspiration, like a bottle of nail polish. See this nifty trick I learned from a fashion design class at FIT. If you're bored, you can cut up objects of a theme, glue them together, and voila, you have an outfit:
But to answer the question: I'm going to say that you do not need to be a good drawer to be a fashion designer, but you would need to have some money to pay someone else to draw. I cannot make a pattern for clothing (I can for accessories that I create). I have to pay someone else to do that, and to bring it to the professional level of pattern making. Peek inside my Dress Up Box to see what I have designed, but not stitched or patterned.
Before you dismiss yourself as a non-drawer, I'd say ask yourself what kind of drawing is it that you cannot do. I for example, am not very skilled with watercolor (yet), though I love the brushes and buying paint. However, I am more technically skilled with using the watercolor brush in the graphic program Adobe Illustrator on the computer. See my desktop wallpaper at Katie James for examples of different "mediums" used to make drawings.
My final answer is, if you want to be a fashion designer, you will find a way. You may not make traditional drawings, but you must have some way to communicate your vision.
Fashion Drawing Resources:
9 Heads, a fashion drawing book
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