Fashion is one of the most influential and in-demand careers in the modern age, yet there are very few people who are able to make it big. Even those who break into the industry through talent or sheer luck, are not always able to sustain their place, fast being overtaken by emerging designers. However, for those who do make it in the world of fashion design, it is an incredibly rewarding and exciting field of work. If you are considering breaking into the high-pressure fashion design industry, here are a few tips to get you on track.
There are so many different fashion design qualifications you can study as a way to get a firm grounding in everything you need to know about the industry. There is a Bachelor in Fashion Degree, Diploma in Fashion, as well as various fashion short courses if you have time or financial constraints. Fashion design is an incredibly competitive industry, so the better qualified you are, the more chance you will have of succeeding. These degrees and diplomas will cover everything from garment construction and pattern engineering, to history of fashion and business studies.
Don’t wait to get experience, the sooner you dive into the fashion world, the faster you will get on track to becoming a successful fashion designer. While studying, get some hands-on experience by participating in an internship programme at either a clothing manufacturer, retailer, stylist, design firm or other relevant organisation.
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To set yourself apart, you will need to decide, as early as possible, exactly which branch of fashion you want pursue. Don’t just opt for an area that makes more money, or is easier to pursue, your fashion niche has to speak to your talents and interests if you want to succeed. Consider whether you’re more interested in clothing or accessory design. Men’s, women’s, children’s or sportswear? This will help you hone your skills, putting you in a better position to take on competitors when you enter the world of fashion design.
A big component of fashion design is networking, and this is something you should start practicing from the get-go. While studying, attempt to meet as many people as possible. Through your internships you can make immeasurable connections that will assist you with landing a job later on. Don’t burn any bridges – you never know who you will need to call on to propel your fashion design career.
People working in fashion design are under immense pressure and don’t have time to sit and listen to your life story. You need to condense who you are and what you can achieve in a concise way. The quickest, most visually effective way to make an impact on a potential employer is through a well-constructed fashion design portfolio. If you are a student, this can include examples of work done during your degree or diploma which is why you should put as much effort into assignments as possible. Your portfolio should also show your range of skills, so while you might have a niche, you have to be able to perform all necessary tasks associated with fashion design.
Fashion designers are artists. This means learning everything there is to know about the history of art while also keeping up-to-date on design trends. But more than this, fashion designers – to really succeed – need to have a holistic understanding of business. The creative flair of the fashion industry will only retain momentum through sound business knowledge. You need to understand the fashion market and its influences, keep a track of business accounts and finances, know how to drive sales and marketing, as well as seeking innovative ways to keep your brand ahead of the game.
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Talent is a large part of fashion design, but without a comprehensive grounding in the fashion industry, you will find yourself following the fads rather than leading the trends. Study the industry, put yourself out there and get some business sense so that you are prepared to make it in the world of fashion design.
Read more: Subjects Needed to Become a Fashion Designer