So You Think You Want to Design?

Posted by QUANTUMFACTORY on 8/19/2014

Celebrities become fashion designers, but many are not celebrities because they design fashions. Yet, we all want to believe that if a celebrity like Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson can be a fashion designer, why can't I?

But here is a question - do you want to be a fashion designer, or a successful fashion designer? Nowadays, anyone can be a fashion designer - and we at QUANTUMFACTORY.NET can help - but if you want to be a fashion designer with some staying power, you don't need to be a celebrity - you need to be willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the work.

With that in mind, here are eight steps that most people in the industry feel are necessary to become a real fashion designer with some chops:

Ask questions. Be willing to take on a supporting role with a established designer and ask lots of questions about the business and do lots of observing.

Get educated. The industry is highly competitive, so someone with at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in fashion design will actually get an upper hand on most of the designers out there. If you want to run your own shop someday, consider fashion merchandising or business as a minor or other course of study might be helpful.

Internships. Real-life, hands-on experience is perhaps more important than the education. The percentage of successful designers who were not interns is almost zero.

The portfolio. Those projects in fashion school could be all you have - but think of those as interview material for employers and not just what is needed for a grade. Portfolios often decide who gets a job as a designer, so make the effort with each opportunity to make an impression with a potential employer.

The job. Any job. The fashion industry is intense, to say the least; therefore, if you are fresh out of school and believe you have the skill for a quality position, don't pass up an entry-level job. Get your foot in the door; from there, if you have skill and talent, you will move up the ladder quickly.

Understand the market. There will be fewer needs for high-end fashion designers, while the middle- and low-income, department-store styles are in high demand. If you are aware of that going in, and you are able to adapt your design ideas accordingly, you will find yourself consistent work.

Be The Man, or Work for The Man? If you know yourself as having an entrepreneurial spirit, then maybe going into business for yourself would be the right path. However, there is nothing wrong with working for an established design house to start with in order to have some mentoring and support of a stable schedule and some benefits. Branching out on your own may be left for after you have established yourself with some effective designs and experience in the entire process.

Do the work. Maybe you want to be in the fashion industry, but designing is not your thing. No worries; there are lots of support jobs in fashion that you can take and be very productive and appreciated. From collecting data about fashion trends to cutting patterns to preparing samples for trade or fashion shows, every designer needs a team of support staff to be successful. Be the support!