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“I Want to Design my Own Clothes” Stop Saying, Start Sewing Today

The world of fashion and design is competitive, with many talented creatives around every corner. Although intense, it’s an industry that is highly rewarding once you reach your desired career stage. The journey toward being known in fashion as a designer and creating your own clothes is not an easy feat, but the dream is reachable with the right steps, attitude, and skills.

How to Become a Fashion Designer- What You Need to Know

There are many elements that go into the journey of becoming a fashion designer and designing your own clothes. In order to create and establish your own designer brand or fashion business, the capabilities and skills need to be present. For someone who is just starting out in the industry, those elements may not be at their full capacity yet, but there are several methods to make your way up in the world of fashion and claim your place as a successful designer.

Education in Fashion

While an education in fashion is not necessarily needed to become a fashion designer, it surely does help in the process of breaking through into the industry and networking with others. For those who do wish to involve themselves in a fashion education, degrees are available such as an associate of applied science in fashion design, a bachelor’s of fine arts in fashion design, or a one-year fashion design program. Some degrees are also available for on-the-go students who are more advanced in their knowledge and skills like an online fashion masters program. If dedicating four years or more to an education in fashion isn’t for you, then some institutions offer short fashion courses that can be completed in a span ranging from a few months to one year.

Create a Portfolio

Creating a portfolio – whether digital or physical – consists of a collection of sketches or prototypes designed either for school or as personal projects. The key is to feature a variety of works that showcase your range of skills and accomplishments thus far. It’s also important to keep your portfolio updated to ensure it reflects your style and skill.

Organize a Resume

A resume is necessary to highlight the experience, skills, and knowledge you’ve acquired over time. This should be detailed, including the degree or certifications earned with the name of the institution, the major or subject of study, and the graduation date. Any internship or volunteering experience should also be added as a section of the document.

Apply for Experience

Becoming a fashion designer is a role that requires a significant amount of experience and connections in order to make your mark in the industry of fashion. Entry-level jobs allow you to gain experience while already in the industry and help you make your way up the ladder in your career. Roles like an assistant buyer, social media assistant, editorial assistant, or brand representative provide the appropriate environments for learning the essential skills needed to move up in the fashion industry.

Gain Valuable Skills

Skills like communication, creativity, interpersonal, time management, leadership, and attention to detail are vital for the industry, staying up to date with trends and catering to people’s needs. Whether speaking to clients, building customer loyalty to increase sales, organizing tasks, or managing teams effectively, these skills will help in the journey in any professional setting.

Choose a Specialty

Having your own specialty allows you to focus on one category to make your work unique without having to spread yourself so thin across different product types. Focus on a specialization like accessories, costume design, footwear, lingerie, sportswear, children’s clothing, menswear, swimwear, womenswear, or uniforms, and build your personal style from there.

How to Start a Fashion Design Business

Although many fashion students and aficionados dream of owning their own brand or business, the journey toward that dream is not a simple one. A lot goes into setting up a business. A plan needs to be in place pinpointing the specifics like who the brand is targeting, how they are going to be targeted, how the brand is going to be marketed, and how the products will be distributed.

1. Find Your Niche

Pick a niche that complements your strengths. Try not to be everything for everyone, it’s easier to target one specific niche and maintain it rather than spreading the brand too thin. A niche allows you to focus on one group to build a stable brand.

2. Determine Your Audience

There are certain questions you should ask yourself when organizing your ideal audience to get to know them better, such as: Do they identify with particular brands? Where and how often do they shop? What influences their purchases? What is their average budget?

3. Organize A Marketing Plan

This plan doesn’t have to be incredibly intricate but should at least go over the basics. The channels you intend to use for selling products should be laid out as well as the idea of how to market the brand to attract sales, the industry market and your competition, advertising ideas, and your marketing budget.

4. Establish Your Brand Name and Assets

For a brand name, there is no limit. The only things to keep in mind when thinking of a name for your brand are to make sure it’s not too difficult to pronounce or spell so that it’s easy to remember and look up, think of how it’ll translate in other languages, and check if the name is available in a domain name.

5. Register Your Business

Registering your business provides you with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which is required in order to accept payments from customers for your products. Registering your business also grants you with being able to work with retailers and wholesale pricing. The process of registering depends on each state and most tend to register as Limited Liability Corporations (LLC).

6. Design and Source Products

The design of your products all depends on how you decide to source them. Whether purchasing from wholesalers, creating your own design and sending it to manufacturers, or fabricating it yourself at home the process and cost will vary. When deciding this, it’s also important to think of your budget and how marketing will play a role.

7. Price Your Products

There are a few factors that play into the prices of your products. Cost of materials and labor expenses are the main elements along with the chosen niche. Your product itself has a big role in the price; if the product is advertised in the luxury brand industry, then the price has to reflect the category.

8. Product Distribution

Having several channels to sell and distribute your products increases the chances for sales and brand exposure. Regardless of how your product distribution is organized, having a website in place is important to help build your brand plus provides retailers with a simple way to check the product catalogs. Some sites like Etsy or other e-commerce platforms cut down on the work of creating your own website and allow you to sell your products through them. Using third-party sites rather than personal sites tends to minimize the time needed for troubleshooting content.

9. Market Your Brand

Out of the many ways to market your brand, the best method is to directly target the channels where your ideal customers are. Various strategies like organic social media marketing, paid social media advertising, content or influencer marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), etc., all provide different results. Along with different results, the cost for each may vary as well, so it’s important to stay within the allotted marketing budget. The best idea, just like product distribution, is marketing through different channels to optimize exposure.

Where to Study Fashion Design

The locations vary depending on whether they hold a lot of history and credibility in the industry or are on the rise. The idea is that fashion design is prevalent in the main fashion hubs, where creativity tends to thrive. The best places to study fashion and design are the locations with the most prominent history of fashion or those places that are up-and-coming and having a fashion boom. Essentially, places with good fashion programs are also ideal for studying design. The fashion capitals of the world often offer some of the best programs for an education in fashion design, whether short-term or long-term. Regardless of where fashion is studied, the most important element is the talent and dedication of the student.

 

Date: February 3, 2023

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