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If you've ever wanted to make a career out of designing clothes, but didn't really know how to get started, you're not alone. Fashion design is one of the most coveted careers in the world, but many people don't realise that it's also one of the most difficult to break into as well. In order to become a fashion designer, you need to have an excellent portfolio and be able to demonstrate your ability as an artist and as a skilled worker.
One of the reasons that becoming a fashion designer is so difficult is that most
employers can't give you the exact role that you need to have in order to do well in the job. They want to choose based on what area of the industry you have the greatest experience in, how many years' experience you have, and your contacts and freelance experience.
A major reason that it takes so long to gain this kind of experience is that it's very often at the very top of demand, which usually can't be fulfilled by an agency or freelancer. To gain experience in a sector that's taken over your life for the past decade and a half, it's basically a job for life. To make a career out of making clothing for a living is hard, and so it's only in the most competitive industries (technology and some specific industries) that people are able to make it this far.
What do Fashion Designers Do?
When most people think of fashion designers, they imagine something grandiose and glamorous. This isn't quite what most do, although some do end up doing more than one thing. Sometimes it involves designing clothing for entertainment or advertising campaigns, and other times it's traditional fashion shows. However, the fashion designer relationship can also involve things like retail product design, branding, interior design and a lot more. You can check out these brands’ websites or make an order via their online stores to pick printed T Shirts in a variety of designs. Another brand that is popular for manufacturing Printed T Shirts for men is Represent.
All of the best fashion designers do something. For them, the profession is a dream
come true. However, they're not the only people working at a fashion brand. Though most design roles involve designing, those design roles don't always involve everything designed by a designer.
The best way to become a fashion designer is to apprentice for a fashion designer. This is the only way to learn the trade, and it’s not easy to do on your own. One of the most important things to learn is how to make the patterns for the clothes. This isn't quite as science as it sounds, but it is a basic skill that requires some imagination as you will need to know how to place basic shapes like circles and rectangles on white or black backgrounds. Once you have some basic design skills, you’ll need to be able to extrapolate on different shapes and come up with original designs.
Of course, everyone who has ever dreamed of design careers has a minimum of
brushing up on their design basics. However, there are specialized design schools and certifications available to help you get into that first designer role.
So should you go down the route of specialization? While there is someone for every design imaginable (and design education spans an enormous range), there are aspects you need to keep in mind as you look to your favorite designer for direction.
Designers are both artists and workers. Artists tend to be personable, sensitive, and intuitive when it comes to designing and presenting art, whereas a designer will have a basic understanding of coding but should be able to extrapolate upon what they see. They will also need to be able to communicate visually with designers and communicate with clients.
Comfortable in uncomfortable spaces
You need to be confident in front of a whiteboard, an open computer screen, or similar. A good designer will also be able to use tools like Jupyter Notebooks and Trello to create prototypes, and they will also know how to design and present their ideas to clients in a way that clearly communicates their intended meaning. They will be able to recognize when what they have designed is uninspiring or is just plain ugly, i.e. thecubist wet dreams of all designers.
There are a few ways to get your foot in the door of a major fashion design company. One way is by becoming an apprentice for a major company. This is a great way to learn from the inside out and earn a paycheck while you’re at it, other option is to create your own design boutique, but that seems a little intimidating. Read on to find out why this option is the best way to break into a new career.
It is definitely possible to develop a strong portfolio with just a few good pieces of work, but it is difficult to make a name for yourself if you aren't already well-known in your specific field. Currently, fashion design is a highly-competitive industry, and others want to get a piece of the pie. You may think you're good at hair and nail designs, but in reality, if you want to be a fashion designer, you aren’t really good at any of those things.
A major fashion design conference will require at least 70% of attendees to be
“designers,” so the fact that you don’t have a strong design background is a great
disadvantage. Many people who have already established themselves in one industry (say, real estate) have developed thick skin and can take criticism without too much stress. Fashion designers don’t have this luxury, and making mistakes is a constant risk.
The good news is that if you prepare yourself well and you work hard, you can make a name for yourself in a relatively short time. In fact, some designers have managed to get their businesses started in the span of six months – what they have in common is the determination they have to make a name for themselves.
If you’re trying to break into the fashion industry, one of the first things you’ll need to do is create a portfolio. It’s a general rule of thumb that if you can’t show it, you can’t do it.
A good way to create a portfolio is to peek at other people's work. There are lots of ways to get inspired, and I don't know about you, but whenever I’m browsing fashions for my work, I always stop to take a photo. It always gives me ideas and helps me visualize the clothes. But it's also a great way to get exposure to other talented designers who have a portfolio of their own. By taking lots of photos of different outfits you can create a portfolio that is more visually diverse than just looking at what other people have designed.
In addition to having a portfolio, you’ll also need to be able to properly show your
artistic ability. This is very important as most hiring managers will look at portfolios first
and interviews second. The job interviewer wants to see that you look like a human
being who can show clues of your personality and skills – to some it may not be
obvious. It may not be obvious that you can design a million-dollar dress; however, if you dress the part and display your personality through your visuals you will be able to tell a lot about yourself. I always dress as the designer would dress the part – I always wear jeans, a t-shirt and a light jacket so as not to have to go out much for my day job. I also find it easier to develop a personality when I dress in a certain way
– if I wear too much make-up and look too put together then it will be harder for me to stand out. It's also pretty difficult to ask for a raise if you can't show your ability, so don't start young.
Research and Published by: Nitte School of Fashion Technology and Interior Design