A Guide on How to Become a Fashion Designer01.11.2021
You know what they say, Rome wasn’t built in one day. So it is not possible to become a fashion designer or do anything else in your life in one day. You must be willing to put in the extra effort to bring your passion for the craft to the next level. You already have an eye for detail and the desire to experiment with textures, colors, and fabrics. It makes it much more fun and easier.
Fashion design is an art form. So creative insight is one thing. But when you start talking about how to become a fashion designer, there are many elements. Understanding fashion merchandising, analyzing markets and choosing a target audience are just some of the many elements that go into designing fashion. If Project Runway inspires you, remember that fashion design is more than meets the eye.
What is Fashion Designing?
Let’s look at the big picture and see what fashion designing is. Fashion designing encompasses everything that you can think about when it comes to clothes and accessories. Fashion design is the application of art to create designs that visually take inspiration from socio-economic, cultural, and geographical conditions. Fashion design and related courses will help you understand the fundamental elements of design before you can get there. Some courses focus more on certain attributes than others, depending upon the niche and eventual specialization. You will need to decide which part of this spectrum you want.
Learn how to become a fashion designer
There are two options for fashion designers: one, you can take the more traditional and practical course in fashion design. Or, doing it the not-so-conventional-way without a certificate/diploma or degree and letting your passion take the lead. While some might argue that you don’t need a degree in fashion design, you should understand that it is not easy to do. It will be worthwhile, if you have a passion for the subject. There are no right or wrong ways to do it. And there is no formula for success.
Formal education in fashion design requires a structured approach. However, you can choose to take a direct or informal approach. It all depends on you and how much effort, time, energy, and so forth. You decide how much effort you put into your goal.
Here are some things you need to be aware of:
1. Sewing skills
Sewing is the foundation of creating a garment. As a fashion designer, you need to improve your sewing skills. Sketching is easier when you are familiar with the basics. It is also important to understand the different fabric types and how you can work with them. Many factors are important in designing. You will notice a pattern, style, or technique that many designers use in their work. This is only possible with practice, research, experimentation, and a good grasp of the subject. Spend a lot of time learning this skill as a beginner. As you progress, it will be a great asset.
Designing and creating garments is not easy. The first step in the process is sketching. This will give you the basis for the construction of the outfit. It is a great way of starting off. It is also different to visualize it than to write it down. This is the only way to improvise. Be prepared to draw and do lots of sketches.
The next big thing is choosing the fabric and making it your own. Although you can be creative and innovative with patterns and prints it is not possible to make your ideas come to life without choosing the right colors. There are million colors, so it can be difficult to find the right tone. You need to have an eye for detail. You will see this when you look at any major collection. The designer plays extensively with every color and pattern. It’s quite a balancing act.
Details that most laymen don’t see. Because you take the rough sketch and turn it into the blueprint for each garment, it is science. It is amazing that so many different body types can be classified into one size. The big companies have a team of people who work on many aspects of each collection, including customizing patterns and deciding sizes.
3. Deciding A Niche
Fashion enthusiasts, as beginners, want to be able to create haute couture. They believe that expensive clothes will make them famous. It is false and it is the exact opposite. There’s more to haute couture than that. The markets are expanding exponentially, and if your skills are strong, you could open up new avenues. As you move along your fashion design course/ internship/ career, consider your interests and start to think about a niche. These are some of the options:
Haute Couture – Haute couture is made-to-measure. Haute couture began back when each garment was custom-made for one client. The fabrics, colors, techniques, and fit are all important. Haute couture was only available to the elite of society. But times have changed and the talent pool is growing. Haute couture is now more easily accessible – from runways, flagship stores, and red carpets – they are everywhere. It is not an easy first step, even though it is the ultimate goal of every fashion designer. You can still get there if you persevere.
Mass production – This is the exact opposite of haute couture. These outfits can be made in large quantities and are affordable. With their teams of designers, big brands choose the model, type or design that is most popular for that season. The outfits are then machine-made. The most profitable business model is one that offers more opportunities and covers a lower cost of production.
Ready-To-Wear (Pret-a-Porter) – Ready-to-wear is the next big thing in fashion. It is a hybrid of both the previous two. Designers who exhibit their work on runways and red carpets make the same high-quality garments but in a smaller quantity. These outfits can be worn as-is, but are very exclusive.
4. Analyzing customer needs and identifying industry gaps
It’s impossible to keep your foot in more than one industry so make sure you choose the right industry first, and then do tons research about it. It could be men’s, women’s, children’s, sports, bridal, athleisure, or any combination thereof. Fashion design courses teach you how to research the industry. To understand your niche, you need to dig deeper and find out if there are any opportunities for you to get in. If there is a gap in your niche, you should identify the opportunities for how and where to launch your collection. Pre-production is a time-consuming process that requires a lot more brainstorming, but if done well, it can be half the battle.
5. Fashion Merchandising
Understanding the pricing strategies based on production costs and overheads is another important aspect to becoming a successful fashion designer. Fashion merchandising can be a fascinating subject that will teach you about consumer behavior, pricing, as well as the economics of running an efficient fashion business. While passion is one thing, running a business can be a whole different ballgame and not everyone is interested.
6. Strategy and Market Analysis
You can choose to pursue fashion design after your course, or go the unconventional route. However, it is important to learn the other essential peripherals to the craft. Understanding market conditions is crucial as well as a strategy for launching your designs. Your business will be successful if you understand the pulse of your customers and market.
7. Understanding Your Target Audience
Know your target audience and demographics. This is important information that you should have before you start creating your collection. Think about your target audience and what they would expect from a brand. This is a great place to start and it makes it easier. Your ability to work in conjunction with the underlying factors sets you apart. You learn some of it in theory, while others you get from your experience.
Fashion education is a broad topic. It all depends on how and where you want to pursue it. A full-fledged, three- or four-year graduate degree could be obtained in fashion design. Then you can specialize in your Masters. Some colleges offer specializations as soon as you graduate, while others do not. Many colleges in India and overseas offer specializations in fashion design in MBA. This allows you to pick your niche – fashion merchandising and retail management, accessory design, lifestyle management, and apparel management are all options. You can also get a diploma or certification in fashion. It all depends on your interests and where you want to go. Fashion education can help you move in the right direction, whatever your interest may be.
You now know the steps to becoming a fashion designer. What are you waiting for?! Now is the time to chase your dreams. There’s no stopping you as long as your passion is in your chosen field. There is no wrong or right way to do things, as long as you are working towards it. We hope you found this article helpful. All the best!