How to Become a Successful Fashion Designer
Want to know how to become a successful fashion designer? If you've spent your formative years watching "Project Runway," reading Vogue magazine and visiting fashion blogs, you're likely harboring a desire to follow in the footsteps of fashion icons like Versace. But do you actually have what it takes to make it in the field?
Many girls and young women dream of becoming fashion designers, but it doesn't mean they're cut out for the profession. With this list, review the top skills needed to excel in the fashion world.
Highly Creative & Artistic
Are you known for being artistic? Do you have a unique sense of personal style or appreciate the fine arts, music and dance? An innate sense of creativity is extremely important in the fashion world. Together, artistry and imagination can give you the instincts necessary to turn raw materials into a beautiful finished product.
Strong Drawing Skills
Do you like to draw? If so, that's good news because you're going to need this skill as you pursue being a fashion designer. Strong drawing skills are a must in fashion, as designers need to be able to take a concept and get it down on paper. If you're lacking in this area, you can take classes to practice drawing ball gowns, dresses, pants or whichever garments you envision yourself designing.
Good Eye for Detail
Fashion designers need not only the ability to draw but also a good eye for detail. For example, how do you envision the pleats falling on a skirt or a blouse cinching at the waist? What about ruching, ruffles or embroidery? It is often the detail that makes a product unique, so this skill cannot be overlooked, even if you're great at visualizing and drawing.
Understanding Texture, Color, and Fabric
Design requires a good sense of texture, color, and fabric. For example, you'll need to know whether a garment would work best in silk chiffon or another material. You'll also need to know which combinations of colors will be most flattering on a piece of clothing. It is these differences that make a design stand out.
Strong Visualization Skills
Prior to the drawing phase, a good designer must have strong visualization skills. This enables her to translate ideas onto paper, so that her colleagues have a sense of the look she's aiming for as they work toward a finished product.
Excellent Communication & Interpersonal Skills
Designing footwear, clothing, and accessories requires collaboration with colleagues. It also requires strong people skills. This not only helps designers encourage their teams but also enables them to effectively share their vision with colleagues.
A Good Sense for Business
A thorough understanding of the business world, including finance, sales, and marketing, is essential to becoming successful in the world of fashion. Creativity is the essence of fashion, but without a good understanding of business, it is difficult to sustain a fashion brand and make it profitable. Many talented fashion designers have ended up bankrupt because they had a poor understanding of fashion's financial side.
A Competitive Spirit
To create innovative designs, a competitive spirit is necessary. You don’t want to lag behind the competition or follow their lead. You want to be a trendsetter, and having a thorough understanding of the economy and the fashion industry will keep your ideas fresh.
Ability to Work Well With a Team
A strong sense of collaboration and camaraderie between departments at a fashion house allows creativity to flourish and contributes to its overall success.
Interest in Current Fashion Trends
You'll need to know whether everyone is wearing skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans or something else entirely. Knowing what's on trend will let you know what the public is buying and what designers are creating.
Now that you've reviewed this list, ask yourself if you think you have what it takes to be a designer. You may excel in some areas but need work in others. Don't let that discourage you. Enroll in a fashion institute or take classes at a two- or four-year college to brush up on the skills you have and develop the ones you need to be a fashion designer.