Becoming a Fashion Designer

It seems like everyone is jumping on the designer bandwagon these days. And why not? The fashion industry is sexy – fashion shows, parties, celebrities, recognition, and even fame go along with a career in fashion.

Now herein lies the question: do you go to design school or go straight to starting a business? Not all fashion designers go the traditional route to design school, instead drawing on an entrepreneurial spirit, some “designers” turn their head for business into a thriving fashion enterprise.

Ralph Lauren is an example of a fashion designer who bypassed the sewing machine and headed straight for the marketplace. Which path you take depends on your personal motivation. If you love sewing and pattern making, the traditional route is going to bring the most satisfaction. If you love the fashion world but don’t have the patience for needle and thread, a career in the fast-paced and exciting fashion biz is still possible … read on.

So you want to go out on your own, what’s first?

You’ve always admired fashion designers and their ability to design trendy, unique and wearable fashions season after season, as if by magic. But it’s not magic; it’s a business. And to succeed in business, nobody is an island (meaning that everyone needs a little help to accomplish his or her dreams). And it’s not all glitz and glamour. Being a fashion designer means you have to actually run a business.

Before you print up those business cards, ask yourself if you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and tackle the not-so fun aspects of fashion.

At first, running a fashion business could mean fulfilling orders yourself (i.e., packing boxes until the wee hours of the morning), steaming clothes repeatedly during fashion shows, and bookkeeping. You could spend only a small percentage of your time actually designing; instead you’re networking, schmoozing and negotiating with suppliers and vendors.

If you’re planning to take the direct-to-consumer path, you’ll have to create a website and maintain it (and most likely have to pay someone to handle these tasks), get a merchant account to process credit card transactions and manage charge back cycles. If you’re not interested in learning what these things mean, then you may decide to work for a large fashion house to learn the ropes.

But if you have the endurance and enough friends with skills or services you can trade for, you could go out on your own and succeed. Today is the age of entrepreneurship, why shouldn’t you get a piece of the pie?


The fashion biz: a reality check

Exciting industries are rife with competition-some that will fade away and others that will give you a run for your money. You have to compete against the big names out there and trendy emerging designers fresh out of the best design schools or veterans of big fashion houses-not to mention all the celebrities popping up with their own labels.

Running your own fashion biz may require you to reach out to suppliers and potential customers all over the world, which means you better be organized. Are you prepared to coordinate the procurement of raw materials like fabric, trim and hardware, so that your manufacturer gets what they need at the right time to deliver a finished product on deadline?

Think of yourself as a business person first and a fashion designer second. If your fashion business fails, you’re the one that suffers. Always keep the business aspect in the forefront of your mind. Some people find this prospect exhilarating, while others can’t think of anything more horrifying. Still interested in starting your own fashion business?

I’m not a designer, can I still work in the fashion industry?

Yes … and no. If you have the design vision, you can pay people to take your idea and turn it into a tangible pattern or design. This is sort of like what a creative director does. If this fits your situation, then you’d better have the business chops to get your business off the ground and you’d better have a solid Core Value Proposition.

What this means is that you must have a strong business proposal and offer a product that’s valuable and in demand. That doesn’t mean you have to sell high-end couture clothing to rich people. Clothiers H&M and Zara focus on fast ready-to-wear fashion at affordable pricepoints.

There is more than one path to becoming a fashion designer. You can learn to sew and go to design school to learn the ins-and-outs of the business. But not everyone learns to draw patterns and stitch together garments. The keys to succeeding in the fashion business are creativity, a good business sense and determination.

Stay tuned for more advice on becoming a fashion designer.

Fashion Blogs Are Gaining Popularity

You will find all forms and shapes of fashion blogs as the internet is full of them. It can talk about the advantage of wearing skinny jeans over boyfriend jeans or how pink takes the place of black plus all the extras. As you go online, you will get your fill of the latest in fashion trends via fashion blogs.

Fashion As Part of Our Lives

There are people who say that they can live without fashion and this is not at all important to them. Giving it some thought, you don’t really have a choice because fashion has been a part of our being, ever since you can remember, influencing culture and society since it is brought about by factors surrounding us like the environment, weather and most of all, a person’s beliefs, values and experiences.

What Influences Fashion?

Certain periods in history that fashion has defined, involved discrimination among classes. This distinguished the royalty from non-royalty and restrictions on social dressing. During earlier times in Western Europe, the bourgeoisie were prevented by government regulations from wearing fine clothes, so as not to be identified as royalty. Since the dragon was an emperor’s symbol in China, non-royals were prohibited from wearing this. In World War II, American women’s skirts had restricted lengths because of a ration on fabrics. This just shows that fashion has a significant influence in people’s lives. It has been part of us, though we are not aware of it.

Knowing the Latest Trends Via Fashion Blogs

Present-day fashion-conscious individuals called fashionistas, have various ways of living with fashion. They check out the new trends via fashion blogs, not to be tagged as “in” or “cool” but to find out what people are wearing, nowadays. Fashion bloggers are updated, with regards to the latest trends and avoid those who go for super expensive items, suggesting chic but cheap fashion.

Popularity of Fashion Bloggers

Fashion bloggers are well-known since they used to be fashion outsiders but because of determination to gain an edge over what you may call the “snobs” of the fashion world, they have turned into admired insiders. They turn fashion world inside out with their straightforward opinions on the season’s collections, giving their honest views of the latest trends and ways on how these can be carried off by regular folks.

What Influences Fashion Blogging?

Also, they are blessed with innumerable talents, which influence their blogs. Some host fashion events while others design the displays of the world’s renowned fashion storefronts. Others shoot for fashion books while some model the ramp. Fashion blogging’s success makes advertising, among other major industries; want a share of the action. Since fashion bloggers have loyal women followers all over, they have turned into strong personalities, and every word they speak is taken seriously, just like that from the Bible. Retailers and advertisers are hopeful that their products will make it big.

Audio Books: The Pros And Cons Of The Different Methods

When I was young I read all the books written by Douglas Adams. I liked it so much that I have managed to persuade my parents to buy the audio books of the titles I have read. I remember getting larges boxes with up to twenty audio cassettes for each book and listening to one cassette each night.

Today one can get audio books in 3 different methods – audio books on cassettes, audio books on CDs and audio books on MP3 or other media files. In this article I will examine the pros and cons of each audio book method.

1. Audio books on cassettes are the oldest method. Their quality is moderate. However, their quality maintains stable for long periods.

Each cassette usually contains one or two chapters of the audio book. Most of the listeners find it inconvenient to change the cassettes so frequently. However, some find it easy having a cassette for each chapter.

The main disadvantage of audio books on cassettes is the fact that audio book on cassettes weight more than the old fashioned book and occupies more space. It is definitely less convenient.
Furthermore, it costs more than the same title on all other methods – the old fashioned book, audio book on a CD or on an MP3 file.

2. Audio books on CDs exist in the market for more than 10 years. However, this method is not as popular as one think it should be. Although it is cheaper and far more convenient than audio books on cassettes it is still as common as audio books on cassettes used to be. Some tend to ascribe this phenomenon to the mass return to the old fashioned books in the past few years.

3. Audio books on MP3 or other media files have many advantages – they are much cheaper than the other audio books’ methods, they occupy no physical space at all and their quality is good. Their popularity increased enormously in the past year, but they are still less popular than the other audio books’ methods. It is estimated that the popularity of MP3 mobile players as IPod will initiate a revolution considering audio books.