Train For a Career in Fashion Design

Do you notice what everyone is wearing? Do you stay on top of the latest trends in clothing and accessories? Do you have a passion for fashion?

If so, then you should consider a career in fashion design. From the design table to the showroom floor, there are many steps involved in bringing fashionable clothing to the marketplace. Many highly skilled people are involved-designers, pattern makers, cutters, stitchers, photographers, fabric experts, wholesalers, and fashion models. With the right training, you could be one of them.

Fashion designers often work for big companies, helping to make both haute couture (high-priced custom-made clothing) and the off-the-rack clothing that is sold in department stores and boutiques. Fashion designers can also work for themselves, and many own their own independent fashion companies. Specialized designers create footwear and accessories such as purses and hats. From the neighborhood tailor to the international artist who designs “red carpet” dresses for movie stars, the world of fashion is diverse and multi-faceted.

The fashion industry is becoming increasingly global. A ready-to-wear apparel company may have designers in one country, the manufacturing facility in another, and retail outlets all over the world. Successful fashion designers enjoy travel, are interested in all aspects of creating clothing, work well with a variety of people, have a keen eye for trends, and know how to design clothing that people want to buy. Pricing is important, too, because mass market designers need to create clothing that can be manufactured and sold at the lowest possible cost.

Computer skills are increasingly important. Many designers sketch initial ideas with paper and pencil, and then translate these hand sketches to the computer. Computer-aided design (CAD) is increasingly being used in the fashion design industry. CAD allows designers to create clothing designs on virtual models and in a variety of colors and shapes. These CAD templates can then be used to direct the manufacturing process, which is often located thousands of miles away.

What’s the job outlook? Opportunities are out there if you have the right training! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the current decade from 2008 to 2018 “the best job opportunities will be in design firms that design mass market clothing sold in department stores and retail chain stores, such as apparel wholesale firms.” But having the right training is key! Most fashion designers have an associate (two-year) or bachelor’s (four-year) degree in fashion design. Program areas may include design, business, marketing, merchandising, and even human anatomy and computers.

Is the fashion industry competitive? Yes, it is! Many people are lured by the promise of a glamorous lifestyle, but a career in fashion design means plenty of hard work and long hours. This is why quality career education can make a big difference to a person’s success in the competitive fashion marketplace.

How can you get started? Find an accredited school or degree program. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits nearly 300 postsecondary institutions with degree programs in fashion design. The best way to start is to log onto a reputable college directory website. You can enter the search terms that are appropriate for you, such as “fashion design college in New York” or “online fashion degrees.” You’ll be presented with the colleges that meet your criteria. Compare programs and financial aid and career services. You can request free information from the schools that interest you. It’s that easy! Then you can narrow down your choices and make your applications…and in less time than you think you could be training for a rewarding career in fashion design.

Fashion Designer – Do You Have What it Takes to Get Into Fashion?

For an artist, the world of fashion can seem more like a business than a world of creative fashion design. Aspiring fashion designers need to understand that this is all necessary. Business is the life blood of fashion and the fashion itself is only the soul. Fashion simply wouldn’t be able to see mass production if it were any other way. So you may be a ‘creative’ but as a fashion designer you must develop a passion for not only design but manufacturing challenges, the excitement of marketing and overcoming competition.

In the professional world of fashion, you’ll spend less than 10 percent of your time designing your collections and the rest of the time working out money management issues, and executing marketing strategies. These are the only things that will give life to your creative work and allow you to survive as a fashion designer so your garment designs will hit the store shelves and not just remain the beautiful figments of your creative imagination.

You want to become well acquainted with the business aspect of fashion. Don’t even think of starting out on you own. Work for any designer, design house or clothing manufacturer first so you can become well versed in how the fashion industry works on a daily basis and carefully climb up the ladder from there. Study how other fashion designers made their way to the top. Most of the biggest name designers worked under other designers for years before they started their own labels. They often worked for more than one fashion designer or fashion house. Having different positions and seeing different ways of how business was handled, they gained hands on knowledge, experience, confidence and acquired indispensable assets of credibility and reputation at the same time.

So if you’re getting into fashion design you’ve got to plan on being a lifer if you’re going to one day own your own line. Here is a list of characteristics you need to either have already or acquire as you go along in order to become a successful fashion designer:

– A hard edge against negative feedback and rejection.

– You need a very competitive spirit.

– You need the ability to be organized and be able to function under extreme stress of dealing with difficult people, multiple deadlines and responsibilities.

– You need to love or learn to love the marketing, negotiating and networking game in the world of fashion.

– And you need the willingness to keep your mind open to learning new things as a fashion designer.

What a Summer in Milan Can Do for a Fashion Designer

Milan, Capital of Fashion

Milan is the fashion capital of the world. This is the place where it all happens because the city revolves around fashion and great design. In Milan, the biggest offense you can commit is having an imitation purse. This is the reason why people who want to learn about fashion often dream about attending a fashion school in Milan, but the idea of living in Italy for years can be intimidating–not to mention expensive. That is why designers should consider an intensive, summer program instead.

So what can an up and coming fashion designer hope to gain from summer school in Milan?

1) Experience – Being in the center of the fashion capital means that you have the chance to see your education in action. You have a chance to see just how fashion works in the real world. Experience is something that you truly need when you want to be the best at something. Attending a design school in Milan is the fashion equivalent of a soldier going through boot camp in Afghanistan.

This experience will look great on a resume and help a young designer get in the door of the real decision makers back in the States because experience is the best teacher. Here is a little secret about resumes–executives rarely read them word for word. Basically, if a company is hiring, the boss will skim through a stack of resumes looking for any interesting detail that sets a person apart. Having the name of a fashion school in Milan on a designer’s resume, combined with some great looks and styles in their portfolio, might be the winning combination to landing that dream job. Rubbing elbows with the fashion elite in Milan will inspire new design ideas while toughening a designer up to be able to handle rejection and harsh criticism.

2) Competition – Since Milan is the fashion capital, it is only natural that people all over the place are competing with each other for the top spot. This will help the new designer become more competitive when they are launching their new line and establishing their presence in the business. Stiff competition is the best thing that can help the development of new talent in fashion design. By going to a summer fashion school in Milan, designers will be putting themselves through a trial by fire.

3) Discipline – Because of the high expectations of fashion schools in Milan, a new designer will learn how to be disciplined and get things done on tight deadlines. Fashion, although it involves creativity, requires a lot of discipline and downright hard work in order to be successful.

4) Opportunity – When attending a fashion school in Milan, there will be all kinds of contacts and opportunities available. Attending a fashion summer program in Milan means having the opportunity to scout the industry for niches while still having the freedom of being a student. Because of this, a designer who stands out in Milan, will be on the fast track to finding a job within the fashion industry. Establish connections and get to know the big players. Also, don’t attend a program unless it will also be able to supply some contacts in order to help a new designer get started in a career in fashion.