How to become a fashion designer may seem like a glamorous proposition filled with promises of working in the world of clothing, accessories, runway models and photoshoots. But like all things in life, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Only a handful of fashion designers really end up becoming famous, with their brand names known around the world, like Ralph Lauren or Alexander McQueen. The majority of fashion designers end up working for fashion brands that produce for the mass market, creating basic and ready-to-wear items.
If you really want to enter the fashion industry, here are some initial steps on how to become a fashion designer that will boost your chances of making it in this big, bad fashion world.
Know your abilities.
Do you have the artistic talent, creativity and imagination it takes to become a fashion designer? Have you tried a hand at sketching pieces that are unique and reflect your own style and personality? If all you can draw are stick people and you think that teal is something to drink, well then this may not be the best industry for you, especially if you want to be successful. Talents are innate, and if you find that you have a natural flair for colors, patterns, designs, symmetry and proportions, then this is your first weapon on how to become a fashion designer. Put together a portfolio of your work; this will not only be the key to an educational background, it will serve as your resume once you formally enter fashion.
Expand your horizons.
You will never be able to get to where you want if you stick to your comfort zone all the time. Branch out – take sewing or pattern-making courses, develop skills in design software programs, enroll in a fashion degree, go to trainings and seminars on the subject, even if it seems to be about something as simple as the history of buttons. Read fashion magazines, watch out for fashion shows you can go to, keep up with the current trends, browse the web for what’s in and what’s what in pop culture, what the controversies are in fashion and so on. This is all very important in how to become a fashion designer, because you’ll need to be constantly updated so that you know what you’re getting into and what the competition is like.
Make your connections.
Start your fashion career by getting an internship or any entry-level job related to the industry. Once you’re in, make as many connections as you can, from small to big. Don’t underestimate the power of who you know; even the mail-room boy might be able to help you in the future. Include connections in all possible areas of fashion, meaning don’t just stick to the more established designers and the bosses. Get to know the advertising and marketing team, the merchandise display and salespeople, the photographers and editors, and you’ll have a wide network of valuable names that will come in handy once you’ve managed to establish yourself. How to become a fashion designer isn’t an easy path, but like all dreams, with enough hard work, you’ll get there.
Samantha Lorence is a consultant for up and coming fashion designers and her mission is to get aspiring designers to get the best start possible. She likes searching the web and other resources to seek out what is worth while and what you should steer clear of.