Become a Fashion Designer With These Basic Steps

Becoming a fashion designer is a creative journey in uncovering the student’s likes and dislikes. Styles and fads come and go and then come around again. This is true of the fashion design industry also, particularly so! The industry is often influenced by the entertainment industry (television, movies, music, etc.) For example, “That 70’s Show” gave hippie fashion a new comeback chic. This is true of other movies as well. A great example of this would be “Pirates of the Caribbean” that brought about a huge influx of skull and cross bones designs. The typical pirate symbol, more related to a gothic or punk style, became mainstream after the debut of the movies.

This pop culture influence inspires mass market designers. However, couture fashion designers strive to be the source of the inspiration rather than an imitator. The difference between this can be found in the training of the merchandiser versus the designer. Many aspiring fashion designers choose to go into fashion merchandising. However, these two fields require slightly different curriculum. One will focus on sales, marketing, and business where as the other–fashion design–will focus on creativity and imagination in bringing ideas and concepts to life.

Following middle school, students can choose college preparation courses to direct their educational tracks to their own possible careers. For a student wishing to take the path of a designer of any type, art classes are essential to building the basic knowledge and core concepts that they will use.

High school courses should be selected to assist in building a professional portfolio to show to potential design colleges. By starting their educational planning very early, it is possible for students to make the most of their high school years by focusing on extracurricular activities that will add spice to their college applications. For example, potential fashion designers can take classes not only in art but also specialized math and computer classes, multimedia classes, and drama activities that will allow them to explore different aspects of the fashion world. Some high schools even offer classes in small business ownership or entrepreneurial skills.

For students who end up at the college level and wish to break in to the fashion design industry, it is never too late. Courses in drawing, painting, life drawing, and silkscreen, and color theory, fashion and art history are some of the beginning requirements for any fashion design student. Advanced students of fashion design will continue with patternmaking, sewing basics, advanced sewing techniques, and digital designing.

It is crucial for a fashion design student to have access to this type of basic curriculum in college in order to prepare for the true test of their abilities: their internship. Once the student has taken the basic and advanced courses, it is time for them to specialize in some aspect of the fashion industry. When people think of fashion, they think of runway shows and couture collections. There are fashion centers throughout the world, but most people tend to consider New York City the center of all fashion design. If the college student did not choose a college near a fashion design center, it may be possible for them to choose an internship located in that area. Some other possible internship locations would be Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, and other metropolitan areas.

The best source of internship possibilities will be the college faculty and guidance counselors. It is important to do your homework by researching potential internships; but, they can definitely guide the student to someone that they may not have considered.

The fashion world has its niches. Every designer starts somewhere. They do not just graduate from college and poof have their own design house and their own collections. They were mentored by someone in the business. Some of them were self taught and did not have the opportunity to study in a college environment but learned in the school of hard knocks. Whatever the case, if there is a desire to learn the fashion design business, then there is a way to do it.

Consider working at a place that does alterations or tailoring to build up sewing skills. Consider designing your own clothes. Think of functionality, practicality, body type, personal statements, coloring and fabric choice. Study the masters–who is on the edge of fashion now that you want to emulate? Why do you like their style? What IS your style?

By taking all of these factors into consideration, any student pursuing fashion can find their place in the design world.

Top 10 Indian Fashion Designers

The Indian fashion industry has changed drastically over the years and India has evolved as one the most fashion conscious nations in the world. Thanks to some incredibly creative and dynamic fashion designers, Indian fashion has made its mark on the global platform. Check out the fashion designers who are ruling the roost in the fashion circle of the country.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

A noted fashion designer from Kolkata, Sabyasachi is the king of traditional clothing. He graduated from NIFT in 1999 and just a couple of years later bagged the Femina British Council’s most outstanding young designer of India award. Cultural traditions of Kolkata, gypsies and antique textiles are his inspiration. His collections are a part of several multi-designer stores in India and his recent collections aim to project India in a new light.

Manish Malhotra

A top-notch fashion designer, Manish’s designs have been adored by many leading actresses in Bollywood. Manish is one of the first costume designers who ventured into the mainstream fashion with his high-profile couture store in 1999. He is known for creating glamorous designs with traditional Indian textures, colors and embroideries.

Tarun Tahiliani

A famous fashion designer born in Mumbai, Tarun is known for combining traditional aesthetics with modern design. He opened India’s first up-market boutique, Ensemble, which revolutionized Indian fashion. Tarun’s designer clothes are in huge demand in London, New York, Tokyo, Dubai and Hong Kong.

JJ Valaya

A master of great bridal collections and hand embroideries, JJ Valaya is one of the best Indian fashion designers. He founded House of Valaya, a luxury fashion and lifestyle house in 1992. Fusion of traditional crafts and contemporary haute is Valaya’s specialty.

Wendell Rodricks

Wendell started his career as a catering graduate, but found his true calling in fashion designing. His passion for white is well-known and his minimalist chic style is a rage among Indian fashion lovers. Wendell is India’s first designer to be invited to IGEDO, the largest garment fair in the world.

Ritu Beri

The first Indian designer to present her collections in Paris, Ritu’s ready-to-wear line earned her rave reviews from the French media. She created her first line of clothing, Lavanya, in 1990 and has designed clothes for Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Nicole Kidman, Madhuri Dixit and Rani Mukherji.

Neeta Lulla

A renowned Indian designer, Neeta has won the National Film Award on four occasions for the best costume design. In a career spanning over two decades, she has won numerous international accolades too. Her creations are known for their royalty, grace and richness.

Rina Dhaka

Rina emerged in the fashion world in the late 1980s and is one of the most creative and innovative designers of the country. Rina is best known for her theme collections and her forte is western wear. Prominent magazines such as Vogue and Elle have featured her works.

Rohit Bal

Rohit is best known for using peacock and lotus motifs and his creations are handcrafted to near perfection. He pays great attention to detail and has designed clothes for celebrities like Pamela Anderson, Anna Kournikova, Uma Thurman and Cindy Crawford.

Ritu Kumar

Ritu Kumar’s designs offer a great fusion of sophistication and euphoria. She is known to create designs with an amalgamation of contemporary and age old craftsmanship. A veteran fashion designer, she has helped the industry to reach new heights.

Fashion Designer – Do You Have What it Takes to Get Into Fashion?

For an artist, the world of fashion can seem more like a business than a world of creative fashion design. Aspiring fashion designers need to understand that this is all necessary. Business is the life blood of fashion and the fashion itself is only the soul. Fashion simply wouldn’t be able to see mass production if it were any other way. So you may be a ‘creative’ but as a fashion designer you must develop a passion for not only design but manufacturing challenges, the excitement of marketing and overcoming competition.

In the professional world of fashion, you’ll spend less than 10 percent of your time designing your collections and the rest of the time working out money management issues, and executing marketing strategies. These are the only things that will give life to your creative work and allow you to survive as a fashion designer so your garment designs will hit the store shelves and not just remain the beautiful figments of your creative imagination.

You want to become well acquainted with the business aspect of fashion. Don’t even think of starting out on you own. Work for any designer, design house or clothing manufacturer first so you can become well versed in how the fashion industry works on a daily basis and carefully climb up the ladder from there. Study how other fashion designers made their way to the top. Most of the biggest name designers worked under other designers for years before they started their own labels. They often worked for more than one fashion designer or fashion house. Having different positions and seeing different ways of how business was handled, they gained hands on knowledge, experience, confidence and acquired indispensable assets of credibility and reputation at the same time.

So if you’re getting into fashion design you’ve got to plan on being a lifer if you’re going to one day own your own line. Here is a list of characteristics you need to either have already or acquire as you go along in order to become a successful fashion designer:

– A hard edge against negative feedback and rejection.

– You need a very competitive spirit.

– You need the ability to be organized and be able to function under extreme stress of dealing with difficult people, multiple deadlines and responsibilities.

– You need to love or learn to love the marketing, negotiating and networking game in the world of fashion.

– And you need the willingness to keep your mind open to learning new things as a fashion designer.