You may think fashion design is just all about the glitz and glamour. Well, why not? It’s how the media portrays it to be. Indeed, many of the people who attend fashion shows are on the list of who’s who in the entertainment industry and social circles. You’ll even spot a few politicos there.
However, the pomp and pageantry on display at these events are only a small part of a fashion designers job description. In fact, the industry can be as cutthroat as any other business. Even if, not many people would consider it as such. You should know the competition can start as early as in college.
False notions about a college degree in fashion
Many often dismiss students who take up fashion design for the course they chose to pursue. Some people even think of it as a joke. Hence, fashion designers feel the need to defend their choice all because some people don’t understand it. Here are the truths behind the misconceptions people tend to have about what do fashion designers do.
It’s not a proper subject let alone a profession
- People tend to have the wrong idea about how hard it is because it’s not an academic course. Hence, they don’t think it requires as much brain power to do like other types of work.
- In truth, the work of a fashion designer requires just as much effort as any other.
It requires less work than others
- On the contrary, the work hours are longer. Even as a student, you can expect to have days when six hours of sleep is a luxury. It’s because fashion design requires a lot of practical work.
- It gets even more hectic when you’re a professional working on your collection, and it’s deadline season.
There’s no pressure at all
Competition is fierce in the fashion industry. It can start as early as your college years. Granted you’re doing something you love, the pressure on you is high to excel and rise above the competition. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind. Then again, if you do manage to gain recognition for your creations, the bigger challenge is still ahead of you. It’s the lesson learned by Maxie James, a Hollywood fashion designer to the stars. “People think starting a business is hard, but keeping it going is even harder,” James tells Forbes.
It’s not worth the stress
Not many people understand the sacrifice a fashion designer goes through to create something. As a result, they find the sleepless nights and long hours a bother. However, to those passionate about their craft, these are part and parcel of what are fashion designers meant to do. Hence, it’s all worth it in the end.
So, do you have what it takes to be a fashion designer?
While you might have a passion for fashion from watching reality TV shows like Project Runway, do you have the skills to back it up? Here’s a checklist to find out if you do. Remember to answer truthfully. The last thing you want is to convince yourself you’re suited to be a fashion designer when you’re not cut out for it.
Are you creative?
Creative thinking is essential to what a fashion designer does. In fact, your creativity is what will make you stand out from the competition. If you’re not creative, then you’ll have a hard time creating new fashion ideas.
Can you draw?
In addition to creativity, a good fashion designer should know how to draw. If you have an excellent idea in mind, yet you can’t put it on paper then how would others know it’s great. Then again, drawing is a skill you can learn. You can even take classes to teach you how. However, the same doesn’t apply for creativity.
Are your visualization skills strong?
What do good fashion designers do different? Well, their visualization skills are strong. It means they’re able to envision the finished product. At the same time, put it on paper for everyone else to see and appreciate even before it’s produced.
Do you have the drive to succeed?
To a certain extent, the fashion industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Competition is stiff. Remember, fashion is about setting the trend and creating fresh ideas for people to follow. So, your passion should propel you to create, draw, and envision what’s the next best thing in fashion. Otherwise, your creativity, impeccable drawing skills, and strong visualization skill don’t mean anything unless you have the drive within you.
Can you sew?
Sewing is another skill you’ll need as a fashion designer aside from drawing. It can even give you an edge over other fashion designers. How? Well, since you’re able to sew then you have a better understanding of materials. Thus, you know which one to use for a particular design.
Do you have an eye for detail?
The last thing you want as a fashion designer is to have your work look just like everyone else’s idea. Remember, no one will want to wear the same thing everyone is wearing. So, what do good fashion designers do different? They have something unique to offer.
Fashion Design is also big business
The fashion designers job description involves more than just creativity and skills. Remember, fashion is big business all around the globe. However, not all fashion designers are adept at this aspect of the industry. Even the most successful fashion designers can be guilty of any of the following.
You downplay the business side of fashion
You risk becoming another short-run production if you do this. How will your designs get produce? Moreover, how will you sell them if you’re not familiar with the concept of sales, budgets, and marketing? Lucky for you, gaining financial literacy is possible. Moreover, learning even just the basic can help you manage your business to success.
You’re always comparing your work to others
The last thing you want is to end up playing catch up with the Joneses. If you do, then you’ll end up killing your creativity. As a result, your own business comes to a halt. It’s best to focus on your work instead.
You’re not a team player
Collaboration is essential in fashion design since a lot of work goes into production. It involves different personalities with each one playing an integral role to ensure your design gets made as you envisioned it. Hence, you need to have excellent communication skills. Moreover, be able to interact with others on the team to encourage them. Remember, trying to do it all on your own isn’t possible.
Likewise, you’ve convinced yourself that you already know everything there is to know about fashion. So, you discount the idea someone else might know more about it than you. By doing this, you’re limiting the skills and knowledge you can learn from one another.
Not many people are familiar with the hard work that goes into fashion design. For many, all they see are the glamorous images pushed by the media on the unsuspecting. However, this is only part of what a fashion designer does. Realizing this early on is important. Moreover, understanding what it takes to become a fashion designer, gives you a better idea if this career is for you.
Raffy Marabut is a copywriter with over 5 years of experience. He has a degree in entrepreneurship but realized that he’s great at attracting clients through words so he chose to work as a copywriter. For him, copywriting is an art and it plays an important role in marketing.