So you have decided that you want a career in fashion, and maybe you even want to enter the real world with your portfolio full of stunning fashion illustrations and a head full of hope. I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but this wonderful perception of the design industry is a myth, and a vision of yourself as a famous fashion designer with your own line of clothes is almost impossible to achieve. The real chances are that they are probably the same as becoming a film star. It doesn’t mean that you won’t become a successful fashion designer in the company – it means that your chances of becoming a type of designer you can imagine because they’re quite slim. Not only do you have to compete with already existing professional fashion designers, but you are now throwing pop singers, celebrities and TV stars into the mix. It is more likely that you will end up working for an established designer collection or as a designer for the next great fame clothing line.
If it sounds like old news to you, then congratulations – you’re one step ahead of the game, because you already know what you’re entering. If what I’ve just said is a complete surprise, take a moment to let reality in – and then read on. In both cases, we want to give you the information you need to know in order to prepare for the challenges you face..
At school you spent most of your time learning fashion illustrations, scratching, sewing and patterned sewing. Although these are certainly good skills to possess, they are not very practical when you are trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world, you will need to know how to sketch flats, create clothing specifications, CAD and presentation boards.
Knowledge of popular computer applications for creating apartments and CAD is extremely important. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Excel. Many companies also ask for knowledge of WebPDM. Many fashion school classes believe that they know these programs well. But schools don’t teach computerized flats or the software used to create them well enough for beginner designers to be competent in the industry.
Whether you’re applying to a variety of fashion schools, whether you’re already at school, graduating from school, or already have your first job in the industry, it’s important that you have an idea where you want to end up. You may think that as a fashion designer, you will have the opportunity to work with all types of clothing, but you should be aware that there are different categories and specialties in the fashion industry. Wondering which fashion market do you want to end up in? What kind of specialization? Developing an action plan will increase your chances of achieving your goals.
By creating your first fashion portfolio, many design students and beginner fashion designers make a mistake in filling them with all your favorite fashion illustrations. But companies don’t have to see the tone of inventive, avant-garde sketches – they just don’t sell! Following an organized portfolio, a format is a better way to get to know your ideas and showcase all your talents and skills, while demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of what companies expect from you.
You’ll also need to create a well-organized, intelligent CV to get through the door. If you don’t look good on paper, recruiters won’t give you a second look. Not only do your skills and qualifications need to impress, but you need to make sure they stand out from hundreds or thousands of other candidates for the same position.
Employers know that entry-level candidates will need a lot of training to fill these educational gaps. However, they are looking for a candidate who will not be difficult to train, nor will they take up too much time for training. Someone who learns quickly and is ready to go for extra miles is a worthwhile candidate for employment with an employer. Express your interest in the company, as well as your flexibility and enthusiasm to learn and develop in this field. To really impress, make sure you have researched the market and knew the common industry conditions so that you won’t be surprised when they are mentioned in an interview.
Despite what I said earlier, I’m sure there are still some of you who are determined to become your own designer; create your own brand, design your own fashion line, runway show, and everything. We praise your ambition and of course, we are there to help you! With our advice and insights, we want to introduce you to our suggested approach to achieving this goal. Education, getting to know the business, designing for the cause you love and promoting yourself through new ways are all steps towards becoming the designer you’ve always imagined!