For many people, a career as a fashion designer is something to dream about if you’re creative, artistic and you dream big.
But while the road can be long and difficult, it’s only the best dreams that turn into the best realities, and rarely do they just fall into your lap – it will be hard, your beginnings may be humble, but you can do it.
Here’s a few pointers for how to get started:
1. Be passionate
A career in fashion is different, exciting and creative, and a rewarding outlet for your talents – but that’s not enough for you to really love it, warts and all. Precisely why people are passionate about things is somewhat mysterious, but that’s also what makes passion so amazing.
Only the most truly passionate will tackle the hard road, rather than the easy one, and relish the obstacles in their path. Only the truly passionate will keep getting up when they get knocked down, learn from criticism, and go above and beyond to achieve perfection through long hours, setbacks, and constantly striving for modest gains, rather than instant success.
2. Start at the bottom
Working as a successful and influential fashion designer might be the goal, but even those who scale Mount Everest crawled before they walked. So, set a dream, then set it aside and build the foundation.
Gain knowledge any way you can while honing your skills. Get a qualification. Push for and then accept anything that might give you experience – no matter what it is. It will get your foot in doors, build up your contact list, teach you lessons and give you somewhere to make those inevitable mistakes.
3. Build a brand
Fashion is one of those areas where following the lead may give you ideas, but it’s not going to get you anywhere alone. So think about what makes your vision different to what else is out there. Why should anyone buy your clothes or follow your trends, rather than the thousands of established alternatives? Who are you designing for? Why?
4. Work hard
If you’re getting into fashion design for the champagne and the catwalk parties, think again. It’s a hard, stressful and fast-moving world with extremely long hours, where the initial successes will be those butterflies in the stomach when someone tells you they love your product. Then you’ll go back to the drawing board to create something that will be even more inspirational.
Can you think of anything else that will help those on the long road to fashion stardom, or help to inspire the next generation of influential designers? We’d love to hear from you.