There’s no question that fashion plays an important role in our culture, but most people don’t realize how much goes into producing each piece of clothing that’s featured on the runways and in department stores around the world. A fashion designer’s job involves everything from sketching out concepts to writing sewing patterns to coordinate with engineers and project managers to ensure their designs are made into reality. It can be an incredibly rewarding profession, but it isn’t easy to break into the industry.
Read about the industry
Fashion can be an intimidating industry for those who aren’t familiar with it. There are so many names and terms that you can feel overwhelmed before you even begin learning about fashion design. To help you get started, do some research on designers
and fashion icons such as Coco Chanel or Anna Wintour. Read books and articles about how they got their start, what inspires them, and what challenges they face in their everyday lives. Not only will doing your research allow you to better relate to others in your industry, but it’ll also give you practical tips for how to get started yourself!
Figure out your design style
Take inspiration from other designers. Whether it’s Versace, Chanel, or Hermès, you should take time to figure out what inspires you as a designer. If you like prints and colors, try creating your own dresses or fashion accessories based on your preferences. The more comfortable you are with your own design style, the better off you’ll be in the later stages of starting a fashion company.
Start from home
Many fashion designers have professional experience in apparel design, textiles, and even fashion merchandising or business. They come from a variety of backgrounds:
some hold college degrees in fields related to fashion while others have worked their way up through internships, entry-level jobs, or clothing retail stores. However, if you don’t want to wait for your dream job or can’t afford college courses just yet, there are other ways you can begin your career in fashion.
Study in school if possible
If you’re still in school, take any relevant courses in fashion design. Make sure you meet with your teachers and fellow students often to get feedback and learn new techniques. After all, someone who’s not directly involved in your field won’t know about recent breakthroughs or mistakes made by other designers and that could be vital information for your success.
Find an internship if possible
It’s probably best to intern in your desired field before starting your own business. This will give you a sense of whether or not you enjoy it and if it’s right for you. Working as an intern lets you see what other designers do on a daily basis and gives you hands-on experience that can only help when working on your own business in years to come.
You may also be able to score some contacts during an internship, which will make it easier to get clients later on! Make sure that if you do go with an internship that it counts as school credit though.
Become social media savvy
The fashion industry has been slow to adapt to social media, but some designers have already seen their popularity skyrocket due to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And it’s no wonder: Social media offers unparalleled opportunities for networking, collaborating with influencers, and exposing consumers to your brand.
Even established companies have taken notice: Forever 21 hired its first-ever social media director in 2013. If you can effectively promote yourself online, you’ll be able to reach new markets of customers no matter what stage your business is in. The sooner you start understanding how social media works, the sooner your company will benefit from its capabilities.