So you want to become the next Coco Chanel or Vera Wang? You should know what it takes to become a well-renowned fashion designer. It’s not as easy as it looks. You may have the style, but do you have the talent to back it up?
Fashion designers sketch and make designs for clothing manufacturers and wholesalers. They oversee the entire design process by following the current trends, consumer interests, and overall buying landscape. Becoming a fashion designer involves more than just knowing how to sketch and stitch together an outfit. You must also be familiar with the business side of fashion, such as merchandising and marketing.
Finish a Degree Program
To get into the fashion industry, you need to have a well-rounded education. Seek an associate or bachelor’s degree in fashion design. A college education allows you to take courses on business, computer-aided fashion design, the history of fashion, art and illustration, and textiles and pattern making. You may also complete a degree in fashion merchandising at LIM College to gain hands-on experience for a job.
You may learn additional skills such as:
- Merchandising and planning
- Retail management
- Product development
- Consumer behavior
Learn About The Business Of Fashion
Fashion isn’t about runway trends and design. There’s more to the fashion industry than the glitz and glamour. Learn about the business side of fashion by taking courses in marketing, sales, and finance. This is especially crucial if you want to run your own fashion business.
Get Hands-On Experience
Now it’s time to sharpen your skills with some real-world experience. You need to get outside of the classroom and learn your trade on the spot. You can gain hands-on experience through an internship with a clothing manufacturer or a volunteer program with a fashion house. This allows you to perfect your skills in a professional setting and practice what you learned. An internship is often part of the degree’s program at most schools.
Create a Strong Portfolio
Take what you learned and create a portfolio showing off your experience. A portfolio is attractive to potential employers, as it shows off your work experiences and skills. Even if you don’t have hands-on experience, you can use your portfolio to show what you learned during your degree program. Portfolios allow you to show off a wide variety of skills, such as:
- Drawing and sketching
- Dressmaking and design
- Time-management and communication
- Collaborating with a team
- Interest in fashion trends
Keep Up With the Fashion Trends
Fashion changes from season to season. It’s important that you keep up or stay ahead of the current trends. This can be easily done by reading fashion magazines, style blogs, and industry-related websites. You should also dress the part by creating your own personal style or shopping at high-end boutiques and luxury retail stores.
Start Your Fashion-Related Career
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19,040 people worked as fashion designers in 2015. Employment is expected to increase 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is lower than most occupations. It’s hard to stand out in an already oversaturated industry. You need to attract wholesalers and manufacturers if you want a career in fashion design. You can also start your own business.
Practice Makes Perfect
You should never give up once you graduate from college. Just because you graduated doesn’t mean the learning experience is over. Keep perfecting and improving on your skills. There are plenty of advancements for fashion designers. You could become a head designer or chief designer if you work for a manufacturer or wholesaler. If you own your own business, you could open your own boutique.
Some alternative careers to fashion design include accessory design, footwear design, graphic design, patternmaking, sketching assistants, and fashion merchandisers. Don’t give up on your career goals yet. Your education, skills, and experience can lead you to other opportunities. Think outside of the box in terms of your career and future goals.
Following the careers of your favorite fashion designers can help you learn more about the industry. Read books about the fashion industry and the history of fashion and design. You should also research fashion magazines like the Business of Fashion and Vogue Magazine. Getting to know the industry before pursuing a degree is a great way to see if this career is for you.