Launch Your Fashion Career
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Fashion is something which is central to the world we live in. We all in some way, shape, or form participate and operate within this world, and there are many formal opportunities to have a fully fledged role in the fashion world. This course is intended to prepare you for exactly that, showing you how to get started within the world of fashion and leaving you able to take the first steps into your fashion career!
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|Section 1: Getting Started|
Welcome to the world of fashion design! We begin by helping you explore the most important traits you'll need for a career in the world of fashion design. There are many avenues and opportunities, but what matters most is what unique talent and passion you bring to the industry. In this lesson our expert designers introduce you to their world and ask key questions to help you find your niche and discover where your passions lie. Let’s meet them now as they share their perspectives on what it takes to become a fashion designer.
1. Create examples of your work to show off what you can do
2. Know who you are as a designer
3. A good designer possesses diverse talents:
4. Understand the business side of the industry
5. Know what makes your work unique and have thick skin
6. Find your niche and do the research to support it
From production, to marketing and merchandising, there are numerous types of fashion design jobs in the industry. Designers even work in costume design for film, television, and theater. Although your goal may be to design your own clothing, it's good to learn about and potentially be exposed to the the many specific roles offered by the industry. Our experts discuss all the avenues available to you.
1. Three main categories of fashion design:
2. There are a wide variety of jobs in the industry
3. Know the in's and out's
4. Costume design is one of the more creative industry niches
Where do you shine? Do you have talent, drive, a willingness to work hard? Can you handle rejection? If so, you are already well on your way to success. Our experts share what you can do to expose yourself to the industry. They discuss how to test and assess your own talent, the challenges of competing with established brands, and the best ways to make connections in the industry.
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1. Breaking in is certainly possible
2. Internships are great for many reasons
3. Expect rejection and learn to handle it
4. Get feedback on your talent
5. Assessment Questions
|Section 2: Education|
The right design program can be a great strategy to get a foothold in the industry. Our experts agree most young designers benefit from programs educating students on every step of the design and production process. Here they discuss what you can expect from a design program, and the most important factors to consider when thinking of attending design school.
1.Learn the specific tools of trade
2. Network with up-and-coming designers
3. Different types of schools exist
4. Benefit of design school include
5. The cost makes school a big decision
Even if you are not planning to attend design school, there are many avenues for self education. Classes are available online and in your neighborhood, and a plethora of books on design are available in bookstores and libraries. Our experts share more great strategies and creative ways to give yourself a solid basic education in fashion design.
- A Professional's Complete Guide to Designing, Manufacturing, & Marketing a Successful Line and Retailing, by Frances Harder
- Check out Style.com for all the shows
Whether you are studying at a university or in a specialized program, design schools come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Our experts discuss the personal nature of choosing a school and the many other factors, such as cost, to consider.
|Section 3: Working for a Brand|
Do you start small and learn the ropes, or do you work on your own immediately? Our experts look at both ends of the spectrum. They discuss the advantages of starting out in lower-level jobs for larger firms and take a hard look at striking out on one's own from the start. Our experts share their opinions on the matter and stress what it takes to succeed.
1. Assistantship and internships, get experience, find mentors
2. Independence is good, but ...
3. Successful designers surround themselves with experts
4. Working for others = Learning on others' dollars
5. Living outside fashion-centric cities = Go online
6. Entry level jobs include
Your resume and portfolio speak for you when you’re not in the room, so your portfolio needs to showcase your best work while telling a story about who you are and what you believe in. Here you will learn all the do's and don'ts when building your resume and professional portfolio. Our experts discuss specifics about what your resume should look like, what experience and information is a must to include, and how to convey your style without going over the top. They stress that resumes and portfolios work in tandem and should be designed to support the other. Watch now as our experts examine the key elements required to showcase your talents, passion, personal style and experience.
1. Resumes should be crisp, concise and visually appealing:
2. Portfolios showcase creativity and align with your resume:
3. Make work accessible online:
|Section 4: Starting Your Own Company|
Finding your niche in the fashion world starts by wrapping who you are and what you believe into a unique product that can succeed in the market. Here we examine the process of discovering your niche, the necessary trial and error and the approaches needed to build a cohesive product, message and brand. Let's hear from our experts as they discuss what it means to find your niche in the fashion world.
Research a few of your favorite brands
1. Create something that comes from your heart
2. Create a message or statement with your designs
3. Expect a long period of trial and error
4. Your brand style can become your niche:
5. What is missing in the market that you can make your own?
6. Beyond interests, find an area where you excel
7. Niche markets include:
8. Don't try to appeal to everyone
9. Strong sales on key products will help you define your niche
Starting your own business can be difficult but can also be very rewarding. Many avenues to sell your products exist, including: selling online, selling on your own website or with sites like Etsy, and selling through local boutiques. Our experts discuss where to start when creating your business and how to get your product in stores.
1. Know what you need to know:
2. Understand how are you perceived
3. Sell in small boutiques and build relationships with buyers
4. Establish yourself online and network
Brand awareness, marketing, and selling your line are the three most time consuming activities performed by self-employed designers. Even the best design talent will risk falling flat without great brand marketing. The most successful designers live and breathe their brand. Understand initial sales, and the importance of building a positive brand reputation. Our experts share the marketing strategies they use to reach key customers. They stress the importance of word of mouth, networking, blogging and leveraging image-focused sites like Pinterest and Instagram to build a vibrant social community right out of the gate.
1. Live and breathe your brand
2. One-on-One sales will come first
3. Build a vibrant social community right away
4. Photos should look professional
5. Hone in on your brand and have a good story
6. Leverage social media to meet business goals
7. Build a coherent collection to target to buyers
8. 60 - 70% of your time should be spent on branding and marketing
9. Connect with the right bloggers who can help spread your name
10. Stay relevant
Sourcing materials and production are part of the territory for independent designers. Once again, online research and in-person relationship building is key. Additionally, visiting trade shows and meeting with vendors is also important. Our experts describe what you need to know, the do's and don'ts, and the standard strategies they use for sourcing materials and production services.
1. Source fabric mills
2. Learn line sheets and pricing
3. Attend the Las Vegas Magic Show
1. Have all vendors and key people in place before taking orders
2. Research fabric mills and manufacturers
3. Learn minimums and consider outsourcing
|Section 5: Parting Advice|
Congratulations, you are well on your way to finding your niche in the fashion world. As you have learned here, it all starts by wrapping who you are and what you believe into a unique product that can succeed in the market. Whether you choose to work your way up or strike out on your own from the get-go, you now understand the drive, talent, skills, dedication and business acumen needed to build a cohesive product, message, brand, and business. Lastly, our experts offer one piece of advice they each wish they had known before embarking on their fashion careers.
1. Understand the many options there are in the industry
2. Build a thick skin
3. Network and go to tradeshows
4. Have integrity
5. Learn Photoshop and Illustrator
6. Go after what you want and love what you do
7. Do your research on your industry and be driven and proactive
8. Understand your business and finances
9. Be patient, pick one thing and stick with it
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