How to become a fashion designer?

Fashion design is becoming more and more competitive and it's getting harder to find a job in the industry. Along with a genuine interest in fashion, you need to be creative and have a unique vision. There is no formal education required to become a successful fashion designer but do you have what it takes to make it in the field? 

Do you have what it takes to make it in the field? 

In order to be successful as a fashion designer, you need to have a good eye for colour, shape and above all, you need to be able to spot trends! A relevant higher qualification or any fashion foundation degree will teach you both design and technical skills and will give you the practical knowledge that you need in order to work in the industry. Fashion degrees are available at the bachelors and master degree levels. In fashion design programs you will learn about textiles, sketching, trend forecasting and the business of fashion. 

Fashion design requires a good sense of texture, colour, fabric and visualisation. You need to know which combinations of colour will work best together, what garments to use and have strong mechanical skills such as sewing and cutting all kinds of fabrics.

Skills you need to be a successful fashion designer:  

  • Creativity 

  • Originality 

  • An eye for colour 

  • Time management  

  • Teamwork 

  • Self - confidence 

  • Mechanical skills (sketching, sewing, pattern cutting) 

  • Business Skills 

  • Interpersonal, communication and networking skills  

  

Career prospects in Fashion: 

  • Fashion designer 

  • Fashion stylist 

  • Colourist 

  • Fashion Illustrator 

  • Fashion Predictor 

  • Costume Design 

Key steps to a successful career in fashion:  

Find your niche in the fashion industry 

You need to decide quite early on what branch of fashion you want to pursue. Whether it is men, women or children wear, sportswear or accessories or maybe eco wear. You need to pick one area which interests you the most and where you want to see your career progress.   

Have a strong portfolio 

If you are applying for fashion design jobs you must have an impressive portfolio. Having an excellent portfolio shows your potential employers what they can expect from you. 

Get a "foot in the door"  

The best way to get a foot in the door is through an internship program. Apply to all the relevant companies you are interested in. An internship will teach you all the relevant skills you need to succeed in fashion.   

Networking 

Networking is crucial when starting out as a fashion designer. Establishing meaningful connections with other fashion industry professionals can help you to find a new job, change your career or establish your own fashion business.     

Business

If you want to be a fashion designer and run your own company you need to be able to be business orientated. You also need to be extremely organized and learn the basics of economics. Designers such as Calvin Klein or Tom Ford are involved in every aspect of the business.  

   

The fashion industry is very unpredictable and hectic. The glamour and fame come at a price. Long hours and meeting tight deadlines is not for everyone. If you don't find work as a fashion designer right after your studies you can always start in related jobs such as fashion stylist or in costume design and slowly make your way up.  

 

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