Did you know that the global fashion industry is worth a staggering $3,000bn today? If you’ve always had a passion for following the latest trends in clothing, then there’s never been a better time than now to make your name as a fashion designer.
Study Fashion At University—Or Don’t
Studying at a university is a great opportunity to learn in depth about fashion. As well as improving your figure drawing skills and your penchant for finding eye-catching patterns, it can also help you learn computer-aided design, or CAD. In the modern age, computers have become essential to the fashion industry—drawing your ideas on a screen can be quicker, easier and much more accurate. Knowing your way around designing programs will make you a much more competent designer.
A degree in fashion merchandising might also be a choice for you. Dealing with the more logistical and entrepreneurial side of fashion, it’ll give you a lot of real-world experience in how the fashion industry works.
On the other hand—don’t. Versace studied Latin and Ancient Greek, not fashion. Gucci didn’t even go to university. It didn’t stop them from being successful, and it shouldn’t stop you either. But there are a few vital skills you’ll need if you want to make it to the top.
Know Your Brand
Art is, and has always been, about telling your story—a goal all aesthetics share, whether their medium is paint, word or cloth. You might even use an ink and needle, so long as you’re an artist with a story, you can turn this into a clear purpose. So bring your ideas to life—and if you don’t have any, think of some now. Make them bold, trendy, and above all, fresh. Know who you want to sell to, find the niche in the market, and reel in the profits.
Get Familiar With The Materials
Generating concepts for your design is an important skill to have, but even more crucial is making designs that are accessible and suitable for use. Is your dress too heavy, or too light? Does it tear too easily? These are the sorts of questions that can only be answered if you know your textiles inside and out.
While design is important for fashion, don’t forget that all good designs eventually become cloth, and if you want to build up your portfolio to show employers, then it’s a very good idea to start learning now. Any experience with fashion or seamstressing at all may prove incredibly useful, and trawl job sites to find work experience anywhere. Don’t be afraid to cold pitch to companies. The fashion industry is a tricky one to get into, but if you’re persistent, you’ll be rewarded greatly.
Fashion is one of the few fields in life where you can truly pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and achieve fame, no matter how humble your beginnings. If you have the passion, start today, and become the brand of tomorrow.
Jane Francis is a freelance writer and editor. She spent over a decade working as a career advisor and coach, helping thousands of people create career plans and follow them through. Now she’s taken a step back to spend more time with her growing family and to write about her favorite topics.