How to Become a Successful Fashion Designer

If you are like me you live and breathe fashion. You are constantly inspired with so many new designs racing through your mind, so many you can’t seem to get them all down quick enough at the pace they arrive. You constantly dream of the day your fashions will be on the fashion runway with the lights beaming brightly overhead, the cameras flashing everywhere and the audience being completely mesmerized by your incredible designs. You can’t stop thinking of the day you will open a magazine or watch the Oscars and see a famous celebrity in one of your breathtaking designs. Your book shelf is stocked with fashion books and magazines, and you absolutely can’t resist visiting textile stores to view all the latest fabrics, decorative beads, rhinestones and trims.

It’s this ever present dream of being a successful fashion designer that has you work day and night on your designs in most cases for many years without pay and working a job to pay the pills which is brutal torture, when all you can think about is living and working in fashion.

Famous fashion designers come from all walks of life there is no one system to follow that will have you become the next famous fashion designer. Some have graduated from elite fashion schools and some have never attended fashion school. Some have undertaken a fashion internship with a fashion house and others have made their own designs in their basement. The only elements all these fashion designers have in common is they had an intense passion for fashion, were able to design fashions highly sought after and connected with someone who gave them the opportunity to break into the fashion industry. It is essential in becoming a successful fashion designer you get you and your designs out there as much as possible, as how will anyone know about your fashions if they can’t see them?

In getting your fashions out there here are a few things you can do:

1. We are not usually good at everything some of us are great at designing clothes but lack the sewing and pattern making skills. It is here you can partner with someone who shares your passion for fashion and has the skills you lack. It is in the bringing together of different skills you can create a real product that can be showcased.
2. In having a fashion line of 14 outfits you can apply to your local fashion week. In the USA: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all have fashion weeks. These fashion weeks attract many editors, journalists and local socialites who will see your fashions and potentially give you the exposure you need to get known.
3. Many city night clubs hold fashion shows, find out what night clubs hold fashion shows and contact them as to how you can be apart of an up and coming show.

4. Locate fashion boutiques that cater to the fashions you design, first make a trip to the stores to look around, if you can see your clothes fitting in well with the store, find out who the owner is and ask if they would be willing to have some of your fashions offered for sale in their store. You will be amazed at how many store owners are willing to work with you. I walked around San Francisco in the Nob Hill district and had my fashions placed after visiting and discussing my product with four boutiques. In having your fashions displayed you will receive valuable insights as to whether or not your designs are in demand and if you need to change your designs to increase sales. It will also give you free exposure to the public. When your fashions do sell you can present this to investors who are more than willing to invest in your line, when you prove the existence of a strong demand for your fashions.

Fashion Design As a Career – The Truth That No One Told You

So you’ve decided that you want a career in fashion, and maybe you’re even about to enter the real world with your portfolio full of stunning fashion illustrations and a head full of hopes. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that glamorous perception of the design industry is a myth, and that vision of yourself as a famous fashion designer with your own clothing line is almost close to impossible to reach. The actual chances of that are probably the same as becoming a movie star. It doesn’t mean that you won’t become a successful fashion designer working for a company- it means that your chances of becoming the type of designer you envision yourself as are quite slim. Not only do you have to compete with the already established professional fashion designers, but nowadays throw pop singers, celebrities, and TV stars into the mix. There is a better chance that you’ll end up working for an established designer collection or as a designer for the next big celebrity’s clothing line.

If this sounds like old news to you, then congratulations – you’re a step ahead of the game because you already know what you’re getting into. If what I just said comes as a total surprise, take a moment to let reality sink in – and then keep reading. In either case, we want to give you the info you need to know to prepare yourself for some of the challenges that lie ahead…

In school most of your time was spent learning fashion illustration, draping, sewing, and patternmaking. While these are certainly good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to sketch flats, create garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards.

Knowing popular computer applications for creating flats and CADs is extremely important. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel. Many companies also request knowledge of WebPDM. Many fashion school grads believe they know these programs well. But schools don’t teach computerized flats or the software used to create them well enough for entry-level designers to be competent within the industry.

Whether you’re applying to different fashion schools, already in school, about to graduate, or already have your first job in the industry, it’s important to have an idea of where you ultimately want to end up. You might think that as a fashion designer; you’ll have the opportunity to work with all types of clothing, but you should be aware that there are different categories and specializations within the fashion industry. Have you thought about which fashion market you want to end up in? What specialization? Developing a plan of action will increase your chances of reaching your goals.

When creating their first fashion portfolios, many design students and entry-level fashion designers make the mistake of filling them with all of their favorite fashion illustrations. But companies don’t need to see tons of imaginative avant-garde sketches – they just don’t sell! Following an organized portfolio format is a better approach to get your ideas across and show off all of 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 resume to get yourself through the door. If you don’t look good on paper, recruiters won’t give you a second glance. Not only do your skills and qualifications have to impress, but you need to make sure they stand out amongst the hundreds, or thousands of other applicants for the same position.

Employers know that entry-level candidates will require a lot of training to fill in those education gaps. However, they do look for a candidate that won’t be difficult to train, or take up too much training time. Someone who learns quickly and is willing to go the extra mile is a worthwhile candidate for the employer to hire. Express your interest in the company, and your flexibility and eagerness to learn and develop within the field. To really impress, make sure your have researched the market and are familiar with common industry terms so you won’t get caught off guard when they are mentioned in the 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 label, design your own fashion line, runway show and all. We commend your ambitiousness and of course, we are here to help! With our advice and observations, we want to provide you with our suggested approach to make it happen. Educating yourself, knowing the business, designing for a cause you love, and promoting yourself through new avenues are all steps towards becoming the designer you’ve always envisioned!

Keep in mind that the above issues are topics that deserve serious individual attention. In our upcoming articles, we’ll discuss each topic further, giving you insider tips and insight so you can sidestep the pitfalls of the industry, giving you that much-needed competitive edge and increasing your chances of getting where you want to go within the industry. Basically, we want to prepare you as much as possible, so take it from designers who have been in your shoes, and soak it up!

Top 10 Indian Fashion Designers

The Indian fashion industry has changed drastically over the years and India has evolved as one the most fashion conscious nations in the world. Thanks to some incredibly creative and dynamic fashion designers, Indian fashion has made its mark on the global platform. Check out the fashion designers who are ruling the roost in the fashion circle of the country.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

A noted fashion designer from Kolkata, Sabyasachi is the king of traditional clothing. He graduated from NIFT in 1999 and just a couple of years later bagged the Femina British Council’s most outstanding young designer of India award. Cultural traditions of Kolkata, gypsies and antique textiles are his inspiration. His collections are a part of several multi-designer stores in India and his recent collections aim to project India in a new light.

Manish Malhotra

A top-notch fashion designer, Manish’s designs have been adored by many leading actresses in Bollywood. Manish is one of the first costume designers who ventured into the mainstream fashion with his high-profile couture store in 1999. He is known for creating glamorous designs with traditional Indian textures, colors and embroideries.

Tarun Tahiliani

A famous fashion designer born in Mumbai, Tarun is known for combining traditional aesthetics with modern design. He opened India’s first up-market boutique, Ensemble, which revolutionized Indian fashion. Tarun’s designer clothes are in huge demand in London, New York, Tokyo, Dubai and Hong Kong.

JJ Valaya

A master of great bridal collections and hand embroideries, JJ Valaya is one of the best Indian fashion designers. He founded House of Valaya, a luxury fashion and lifestyle house in 1992. Fusion of traditional crafts and contemporary haute is Valaya’s specialty.

Wendell Rodricks

Wendell started his career as a catering graduate, but found his true calling in fashion designing. His passion for white is well-known and his minimalist chic style is a rage among Indian fashion lovers. Wendell is India’s first designer to be invited to IGEDO, the largest garment fair in the world.

Ritu Beri

The first Indian designer to present her collections in Paris, Ritu’s ready-to-wear line earned her rave reviews from the French media. She created her first line of clothing, Lavanya, in 1990 and has designed clothes for Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Nicole Kidman, Madhuri Dixit and Rani Mukherji.

Neeta Lulla

A renowned Indian designer, Neeta has won the National Film Award on four occasions for the best costume design. In a career spanning over two decades, she has won numerous international accolades too. Her creations are known for their royalty, grace and richness.

Rina Dhaka

Rina emerged in the fashion world in the late 1980s and is one of the most creative and innovative designers of the country. Rina is best known for her theme collections and her forte is western wear. Prominent magazines such as Vogue and Elle have featured her works.

Rohit Bal

Rohit is best known for using peacock and lotus motifs and his creations are handcrafted to near perfection. He pays great attention to detail and has designed clothes for celebrities like Pamela Anderson, Anna Kournikova, Uma Thurman and Cindy Crawford.

Ritu Kumar

Ritu Kumar’s designs offer a great fusion of sophistication and euphoria. She is known to create designs with an amalgamation of contemporary and age old craftsmanship. A veteran fashion designer, she has helped the industry to reach new heights.