If you are passionate about becoming a fashion designer there is probably nobody on the planet who could dissuade you. A love for fashion is often an instinctive, intuitive thing that just comes naturally.
So, if you are determined that becoming a fashion designer is your destiny, be warned that you have not chosen an easy path in life. The competition is hot and only the supremely talented and extremely hard working succeed at the upper echelons of the fashion world.
Research the Competition
Any serious potential fashion designer will look at what the competition is doing. Fashion and art colleges are churning out huge numbers of womenswear designers right now, but the competition for menswear, sportswear and accessories is slightly less tough. Consider starting out in a less saturated area to increase you chances of success. Also think about focusing on areas where demand is high for real expertise such as pattern cutting. It may be a good entry-level option which could take you further in the medium term.
To attract positive attention your portfolio needs to be exceptional. Take all the advice you can get from trusted experts who are able to make a judgement about what to include and what to omit. College mentors and tutors are often very skilled at portfolio curation, so whenever assistance is offered, accept it with gratitude.
Your portfolio is a distillation of all your strengths and creativity and should reflect accurately your fashion philosophy. If you are on a fashion degree, pieces from your coursework will probably be in evidence. However, it’s often good policy to feature designs you have created out of the college environs. This illustrates you have an independent streak, a strong artistic drive and also a passion for fashion that overflows into all areas of your life. Show your creative streak with a direct to garment printing collection – approached from an artistic starting point, the scope for exciting clothing is endless. With direct to garment printing technology, fashion designers have access to a wide palette of dyes and the ability to transfer almost any image onto fabric.
Network with Enthusiasm
Although you are probably happiest in the design studio, success as a fashion designer requires a lot of networking. Whether this is online or in person, you can’t expect exciting opportunities to find you – it simply won’t happen. Put yourself about, get your name and style known, and keep up the networking 24/7. Having an online presence is essential and join all the fashion design networking sites you can. These are wonderful places to learn of new job opportunities and internships. Your online profile should be super-professional and frequently updated – you never know who could be checking you out. Many design houses choose to recruit staff directly to save money. So you never know, it could be the head honcho themselves who makes the call…
Does your CV cut it? Work hard on producing an enticing, engaging CV that hooks people in. Show examples of your work in a CV too, and allow your passion for fashion to shine through. Send it out to as many people as you can think of – if it lands in the inbox or on the desk of a fashion recruiter at just the right time, you could be in luck.
An internship is a great way of learning about the business from the inside out. Securing a post at your dream company may prove difficult, but don’t be disheartened. Try and remain flexible about where and who you work with. You may have lots of ideas but zero experience – this could translate to very junior posts, but once you get your foot in the door you can wow them with your fashion genius. It is surprising how many internships that initially sound unpromising, end up being the first place to offer you a paid job in the profession.
The fashion design route is not one for the faint hearted. It is essential that you believe in yourself, your skills and talent. Be your own biggest champion. You don’t have to be a conceited big-head, it’s possible to spread your own brand of style and confidence with charm. Treat everyone you come into contact with kindly and respectfully – the fashion industry is relatively small so the chances of bumping in to people again are high.
Follow these four tips to give you a head start over the rest. The world of fashion design is a beautiful place where hard work and talent is rewarded. Do you think you’ve got what it takes?