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Becoming a successful Fashion Designer by following relevant steps…

Many of us got it all wrong. We don’t know where to start, where to got once we have started. This is mini guide that might help you get to where you want to be as a Fashion Designer.

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Fashion design is the art of application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories such as bracelets and necklace. Because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate changes to consumer tastes.
Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth’s success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 are considered as fashion design.

 

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Steps on becoming a successful Fashion designer:

 

1. Ask yourself, “What is a fashion designer?” and “What do they do?”

 

Fashion designers help create the billions of dresses, suits, shoes, and other clothing and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Designers study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing and accessories, select colours and fabrics, and oversee the final production of their designs.
For the first part of your career, you’ll probably find yourself working in supporting roles while you learn the ropes and establish your vision. These roles are not to be taken lightly; design requires an entire cast to be successful. While in this role, take time to determine your future fashion career and gain industry experience that will put you on track to attaining that goal.

 

2. Get Educated

 

Is a college degree really necessary to become a fashion designer? In a word, yes. No matter how talented you are, the fashion world is very competitive and education can make you more appealing than otherwise equally qualified candidates.
Fashion designers typically need an associate or a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. Some fashion designers also combine a fashion design degree with a business, marketing, or fashion merchandising degree, especially those who want to run their own business or retail store. Basic coursework includes colour, textiles, sewing and tailoring, pattern making, fashion history, computer-aided design (CAD), and design of different types of clothing such as menswear or footwear. Coursework in human anatomy, mathematics, and psychology is also useful as knowing the constructs of the human body, as well as how it moves.

 

3. Get an Internship

 

Additionally, aspiring fashion designers can learn these necessary skills through internships with design or manufacturing firms. Some designers also gain valuable experience working in retail stores, as personal stylists, or as custom tailors. Such experience can help designers gain sales and marketing skills while learning what styles and fabrics look good on different people. Designers also can gain exposure to potential employers by entering their designs in student or amateur contests. Because of the global nature of the fashion industry, experience at one of the international fashion centre, such Milan or Paris, can prove very useful.

 

4. Create a Portfolio for yourself

 

Your portfolio is an integral part of your fashion career. The best way to build a stellar portfolio is to stay focused during your time in fashion school and complete each project as though you would be presenting your work to a potential employer. Use projects and assignments as opportunities to flaunt your creativity and skills. Your portfolio will also display your strong sense of the aesthetic — an eye for colour and detail, a sense of balance and proportion, and an appreciation for beauty — all must-have qualities in a designer.
Fashion designers also need strong sales and presentation skills to persuade clients to purchase their designs. A portfolio should not only communicate high-quality sketching, pattern-making, and sewing skills, but must also present well and illustrate a firm understanding of collaboration and communication. This being said, your portfolio is often the deciding factor in getting you a job.

 

5. Get a Job in the industry

 

Fashion design is a growing field; however, as Tyra Banks would say, the fight for positions remains fierce. Competition for jobs is strong as aspiring fashion designers are drawn to the creativity and glamour linked to the occupation. Existing fashion designers will be the first to tell you that you must be stubborn and persistent in order to get ahead in the fashion world. Novice fashion designers should not assume they’ll hold the most glamorous positions and even job seekers with two or more years of college education must expect to begin at entry level. But don’t worry, like any career, as you gain experience and illustrate your skill, in time you will be able to compete for better-quality positions.
 6. Know what your employers want

 

Demand is increasing for stylish clothing that is affordable, especially among middle-income consumers. This will increase the need for fashion designers among apparel wholesalers. However, job opportunities in cut and sew manufacturing will continue to decline as apparel is increasingly manufactured overseas. But keep in mind that employment of fashion designers will not decline as quickly because firms are more likely to keep design work in-house. The best job opportunities will be in design firms that design mass-market clothing sold in department stores and retail chain stores. Few employment opportunities are expected in design firms that cater to high-end department stores and specialty boutiques as demand for expensive, high-fashion designs has declined.

 

7. Decide whether you should work for yourself or take a company job.

 

This is more about personality than anything else. When deciding whether to work as a self-employed fashion designer or for an established brand or company, it’s beneficial to contemplate the advantages and challenges of each. When starting out, learning from a mentor is beneficial. Fashion designers who work for established fashion houses or companies usually have the benefit of working regular hours. However, deadlines are an inevitable component of the fashion world and long hours will be expected during these times.
Being your own boss might mean a more flexible schedule and creative control. This means you’ll not only be a designer, but also a business owner — this comes with many responsibilities. And while working for yourself might sound alluring, it is best left for later on in your career when you are more established, have a better vision, and can properly convey your vision backed by experience.

 

8. Make it Work!!!

 

Face it, you’re more than just a fashion enthusiast, you’re destined for a life as a fashion designer. But of the various paths, which one should you choose?

 

 

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This is a list of possible Fashion design paths you can choose from:

 

Artists and sketchers sketch new designs.

 

Assistant designers work to support lead designers in a variety of design tasks.

 

Cutters cut out patterns or fabrics by hand or computerized machines.

 

Head designers/design directors make creative decisions and manage a support team.

 

Pattern graders adjust patterns for different sizes of clothing.

 

Pattern makers make patterns.

 

Set and exhibit designers create sets for fashion, runway, or trade shows.

 

Spec and fit technicians produce samples.

 

Specialty designers design and sew items requiring special production techniques.

 

Trend researchers gather data to help designers plan their collections.

@UrbanStreetZA

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