A lot of young people dream of becoming a fashion designer and being among those at the top who get to show their design collection every season at the most prestigious fashion weeks. But fashion design is more than just being creative with textiles and coming up with designs for clothes. It is a highly competitive industry that requires more than just your creative talent. So, do you have what it takes to be a fashion designer?
Creativity and a Strong Sense of Style
Creativity and good taste will go a long way in fashion. To stand out in the fashion industry, you need to be innovative and original in your designs, drawing out inspiration from all forms of artistic discipline. At the same time, you need to be tasteful in combining eclectic ideas into your work. Creating a strong style that is unique to you but also appealing to your market will make you more memorable and successful. However, there is more to fashion design than simply being creative and stylish.
Artistic Abilities and Technical Skills
A good fashion designer should be able to illustrate their vision into sketches, which shall then be used in the actual construction of the design. How good you are in expressing and communicating your design ideas (mostly on paper) is crucial to the final garment. You should also possess strong artistic abilities and a deep sense of understanding texture, color, and fabrics. Knowing what works with what is valuable. Having skills in sewing techniques is also a plus. The execution of a design is just as important as its conceptualization. All these can be learned through getting into a fashion designing program at school or even through self-study.
A small detail can make or break a design. It is the fashion designer’s responsibility to pay close attention even to the minutest detail. Shall it be in this shade of color or that shade? Shall there be four buttons or only three? Shall we leave it plain or with ruffles? These kinds of questions are what a fashion designer should be asking his/herself.
Fashion design is not something done in isolation. Instead, it is a collaborative work among highly skilled people. It is very much a team process where each person contributes to the overall success of the design. A garment passes through a lot of hands from its conception to construction down to the runway. A good fashion designer can work well with other people and is able to effectively communicate his/her vision to the other team members.
Grace Under Pressure
A career in fashion design is one for the tough. You will be constantly exposed to stressful situations such as harsh criticisms, meeting deadlines while still coming up with the most creative designs, cutthroat competition, and perhaps occasional disagreements with your team. The pressure in this industry can be too much but you got to keep your head held high and thrive despite all the difficulties. I used to work in Portland, Oregon as an interior designer, and I can’t help but notice the similarities between interior design and fashion design. The knowledge and experience I’ve acquired transfers to this career nicely because instead of revamping a person’s kitchen, I redo their clothes and styling. It simply requires the same work ethic and a slightly different perspective.
Fashion is an interesting discipline because it combines art and commerce. One shall not exist without the other in fashion. And so, the business side of things is just as important to focus on as a fashion designer. Being business savvy will help you sustain your fashion brand and make it profitable. Marketing is also essential in having an edge against your competition.
Knowledge of the history of fashion is not necessarily a requirement but more of an advantage for you. Previous styles and fashion movements may serve as an inspiration when coming up with your designs. Also, you get to appreciate fashion even more and what it means to society as it continues to be ever-evolving.
Updated with the Current Fashion Trends
Fashion trends come and go and if you do not keep yourself updated with what is going on in your industry, you will be left behind and worse, you may design something that is already three seasons late. What you should be aiming at is setting the trend, not getting behind it.