Interested in becoming a fashion designer or simply working in the fashion industry? Read our guide and get inspired by our experience: the industry is constantly looking for new and innovative talent. First of all remember that your dream is not impossible but useless to say it is not for everyone. So read further and make yours the advices I'm about to give you.
First recommendation: read! Go online and subscribe yourself to all the latest fashion blogs and online magazines, go to the local library and see what they offer, read biographies of the most famous fashion designers: in shorts get immersed into this world. Look through Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Details, and Womens Wear Daily and W, if they are available, or find the digital online version if that's easier for you.
Second tip: train your eye. Visit any museums and art galleries you can. Look at as many art books as possible and, when looking at paintings from centuries ago, be surprised at how many elements you find in portraits and paintings later copied and adapted by contemporary designers. Looking at art master pieces is a very important element because without a well-developed sense of proportion you won't be able to see things and develop your fashion designer eye. Fashion is becoming more and more about developing an inner sense of proportions and being able to put elements together in an original and unprecedented way. When in New York City don't miss "Gallagher's" in Greenwich Village which sells old fashion magazines.
Today youngsters don't realize how lucky they are to be able to see so many old movies on TV. I remember when Giorgio Armani showed the jacket of a suit for the very first time that had only one very prominent lapel. Unfortunately I can't remember the thirties film from the US I saw not many months later in which a very sophisticated actress wore a dark jacket with one white lapel. Pia Soli, an Italian fashion journalist and historian, once remarked that during a long illness she watched hundreds of old films: "And I can't tell how how many times I saw the inspiration for collections I had seen!"
Realize quite soon if you want to design for men, women or kids. Find the nicest shop or boutique in that category and go work there on Saturday afternoons. If they won't pay you ask anyway if you can help out. Learning by doing has always been one of the best ways to develop your skills , and it is a great way to deepen your knowledge about clothes of different brands. You should get to know the people you want to design for, their bodies, their needs, likes, and dislikes. You must have a lot of passion if you want to succeed, you should be willing to make sacrifices, and you should take advantage of any opportunity you have to learn more.
Do you know any fashion designers already who would let you hang out with them, maybe do some errands in exchange for watching them work? Is there a local factory you can visit? I used to cover car racing for several years, and I learned two VERY important things from two people:
Alan Rees, Formula One team manager: "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity."
Jackie Stewart, formula Formula One World Champion, after winning the World Championship after an extremely difficult race: "Never, never, never, never give up." (Did he read Winston Churchill?)
Believe in yourself, have self-confidence, but be also realistic. In case you have a great and innate talent, it may not be enough to ensure success. There are certain things you need always to keep in mind:
If you've read this far, it means you're really interested. If you possibly can, enroll in a reputable fashion school. Save your money for a trip to New York with your mom or a friend. If you love fashion there are many other jobs to consider: publicist, advertising, stylist, photographer, makeup artist, hair stylist, fashion editor.
It will take a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and perserverance, but if you really care, you'll make it! Good luck, and let me know how things go...