How to Become a Fashion Designer

There are many different types of careers you could pursue in the fashion industry, but perhaps none of them are quite so glamorous as becoming a fashion designer. You may have the ambition to one day become a top designer, one whose brands are sought after and worn by celebrities, but to start with, you may have a somewhat less-glamorous ladder to climb. Still, the experience you gain early on will lay the foundation for your success later, and the tips below can help you launch that great career.

The Right Stuff

This is a competitive industry. You’ll be fighting for the top spots, and you will need to be prepared for that in order to succeed. You’ll also need to blend creativity with pragmatism. When your designs are criticized, you’ll need to learn how to distinguish between feedback that is useful to you and feedback that simply doesn’t understand your vision or that can be otherwise dismissed. You will need to be determined and strong-minded. It’s also important to understand that there are a lot of technical elements to this career path. You’ll need to be detail-oriented and precise. However, with the right skills and temperament, this can be an exciting and interesting career.

Your Education

Attending a school with a strong fashion design program will help you learn many of the technical skills you’ll need. You may refine your drawing and sewing skills as well as learn how to use the computer to sketch designs and begin to better understand color theory, fabrics, fashion merchandising, and many other of the other concepts that will be necessary to your success. While not everyone who becomes a fashion designer has a college degree, it will be a bigger struggle to break in without this background. If you are worried about costs, Earnest private student loans are one way you can pay for college. These may supplement or replace other sources of money for school, including scholarships and need-based federal loans.

Immerse Yourself

You should immerse yourself in the world of fashion and art. Even if you don’t plan to design fashions for the bohemian look, for example, study it anyways. Study what people are wearing on the street around you and what you see online. Try putting together or making your own outfits, even if you aren’t in school yet. You may want to consider creating one or more social media accounts which can help you share the work you do with others as well as connect with your favorite fashion designers and personalities. Stay on top of industry news and trends, but if you really want to be different from everyone else, look for the trends no one has noticed yet, or work on becoming a trendsetter yourself. Look for inspiration in film, visual art, nature, and other areas outside of fashion.

Build Your Portfolio

College is a great place to build your first portfolio. When you’re putting this together, it’s important to be true to your original vision even if it feels out of step with what your peers are doing. Being unique is not a handicap in this field and will actually make you stand out. Keep working on your portfolio as you create more class projects or participate in internships and hone your skills. Get feedback from others on what you are putting in the portfolio until you feel it is the best reflection of your work that it can be.

Make Connections

Making connections is important in most fields, but fashion is one industry where it is particularly important. You can start by getting to know people online as well as your classmates and professors. Your school might be able to connect you to an alumni network, which can help you in seeking jobs and mentors. A mentor is particularly valuable because they have been through many of the same things you will be experiencing and can offer valuable insight and perspective. They also may be able to connect you with others who can help you in your career as well. Look for the value in all the connections you make even if they are from a corner of the industry that you’re not particularly interested in.