At first glance fashion shows appear to be nothing more than a chance for beautiful models to showcase the latest and hottest fashions. However, behind the scenes there is an arsenal of people working like busy bees trying to keep it all together. What may look like an effortless show is actually a result of the sweat and tears of a small army all lead by the fashion designer. So don’t be fooled by the celebrities and all the glitz and glam because there are a lot of things that factor into becoming a great designer.
Get That Education
Not every great designer has a degree but in today’s competitive fashion world it is an important piece. Just being talented is not always enough. Not only can it help to make you more competitive but it will provide you with invaluable tips of the trade. Fashion is more than just picking out pretty colors and matching them together. You need to understand the history of the fashion world so that you can really understand how it works.
You will undertake classwork dealing with textiles, sewing, patterns and colors and they are all important in the fashion world. Additional classes such as mathematics, anatomy, and even psychology play an important role in the fashion world. It helps you to understand how the body is constructed and how it moves which can be beneficial when it comes to designing clothes for men or even full figured women. The great fashion designers understand how women like their dresses to flow or how they desire shirts that are cute yet hide the dreaded belly bulge.
Choose a school that offers fashion design. Competition at the top fashion design schools is intense but aim high. Even if you are not lucky enough to be accepted into one of the elite programs you can still excel. Most designers have either an associate or bachelors in Fashion Design, minors or even double majors in marketing, business or finance are also common. This additional knowledge is helpful for designers who plan to run their own business or retail location. In the fashion world, knowledge is key and is what helps to separate great designers from the rest.
Bag That Internship
What better way to become a great fashion designer than to work for one. Internships are a key part of your fashion design career. When the time comes make sure to lock down an internship. Not only can you get invaluable on the job skills but you also have a chance to get exposure and make a few connections of your own. Working with another designer on their runway collection, or in their retail location is the perfect way to learn tips for when you someday run the show.
Perhaps more importantly you learn about just how stressful the high-paced fashion world can be. It also gives you a chance to develop your goals and think about the direction you might want to take with your career. Every great designer had to start off somewhere so make sure that you make the most out of your foundation.
If you are lucky enough to intern during a big event such as New York Fashion Week or at some of the internationally known runways, you take your fashion resume up a big notch. Some designers later hire interns on full-time and even give the newbies a chance to showcase their talent on special projects. Make the most of your internship and make a lasting impression wherever you go.
Build Your Portfolio
Your portfolio will become your most prized procession and it’s importance cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to your fashion career. While you are in school and especially during your internships, include all of your projects that you complete. In the fashion world, your portfolio is your resume, and it speaks volumes. You will showcase your portfolio to compete for the best internships and later on the top fashion jobs in the industry.
Your portfolio will showcase your talents as well as your weaknesses. Pour your heart and soul into each project and make sure that everything that you include shows your best skills and creativity. This is your time to shine and put your stamp on those things that are important to you. Make sure always to have your portfolio on hand because you never know when you might get your big break. It might be while you are working behind the scenes at a fashion show or on your way to class. The key is to showcase not only your skills but your versatility. A great fashion designer can make a design for anything whether it is 100% silk dress or designer seat covers. Your portfolio speaks for itself, and you have complete control over what you what it to say.
Put In The Work
On your path to becoming a great designer, hard work is key. It is not uncommon to hear stories of long days and nights with very little reward when you first start out. You have to build your brand from the bottom up, and you must be willing to work for it. The fashion world has become more and more competitive. For the most part nothing will come easy or just fall in your lap. Its there for the taking but you have to reach out and grab it. Aim high and send your portfolio to whoever will look until you get your big break.
Don’t stop there if you want to open a retail store start researching what you should be doing. Talk to anyone who has experience that is willing to share some tips. Find out what steps you need to take to reach your goal and work towards becoming the next great fashion designer. Any designer will tell you that the fashion world can be so rewarding. Nothing beats seeing your blood, sweat and tears walking the runaway or on the racks at local boutiques but just know the road to becoming great is not easy. Though there may be some bumps and bruises along the way that just makes the end result that much sweeter.
Featured photo credit: Saffron Rare Threads event/Maria Ly via flickr.com