Career in fashion design: Personality traits that matter
With fashion trends changing frequently, many firms have come up to serve people to satisfy their hunger for new and trendy clothes and accessories. Earlier, this industry mostly involved and served women, but with changing times, we find many stores and designer houses coming up with fashion for men, showcasing classy and casual collections. Moreover, men have started choosing their career in fashion designing in a big way This reflects the positive change in the mind-set of the young generation. You need a creative mind, discipline and focus to make it big in this talent-rich field. Before you jump into this industry, the first thing you have to consider is whether you are really suited for the same.
Sit back and evaluate your willingness to climb the Mount Everest, because that’s what it’s going to take. The world of fashion is reserved only for the most dedicated and creative visionaries leaving no room at the top for the mediocre. You should be ready to grab the bull by the horns and take initiative as nothing would be handed to you on a platter.
You must eat, live and breathe fashion to pursue fashion designing and be successful in it. In case you’re not fascinated about what went into designing a Manish Malhotra dress and are just interested in wearing the brand, then you should enjoy the fashion instead of aspiring to be his next intern.
Natural talent and raw sense of fashion is very much essential before you plan to enter this world. A good knowledge of trend, fabric, colour and style, pattern cutting, grading and garment construction goes a long way with helping you in the field. You must also possess good communication and writing skills. Be expressive and have strong visualization skills. As per Harpreet Kaur, Head, Department of Fashion Designing, Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, Jalandhar, “Fashion aspirants should have the flair to think creatively. They should look for improving and enhancing the beauty of everything they come across. The art of sketching, embellishment et al would be taught to them during the course.”
Are you connected?
Making contacts and networking is a must in fashion designing world. If you do not have any contacts in the industry yet, think of how you can build on some. Will you meet the right people through school? An internship? At places where all the fashion people hang out? Think of how you can get in touch with such people. The bigger the network, the better the connections.
So you’ve decided you have the zeal and talent for fashion designing and now want to learn the skills to get employed. It is difficult to be taken seriously without a degree from a well-known fashion school. Do your home-work on the schools you want to pursue the course from. Go through their eligibility requirements. Go through the fee structure and plan your finances. See if the school is offering the course of your interest and gauge its reputation in the market.
When budgeting your fashion education, ensure that you add in tuition, books, room and board, material fee apart from your regular living expenses. While this may seem overwhelming, remember that most good schools offer scholarships, grants and loans to tide over financial problems. So, as they say, if you have the will, there will always be a way.
Though failures are quite disheartening, but it is important to acknowledge the ‘what if’s’ in life. It is very much possible that you turn out to be a good designer, working for a good brand and making good salary but not getting recognition. Or a year later into the course you realize that the fashion degree isn’t for you. Keep a back-up plan like choosing to teach your recently acquired skills in an art class or starting a hobby class. Ensure that your back-up plans are attainable. “Not every person can become or is interested in becoming a fashion designer and launch one’s own collection. People can choose entrepreneurship, which we encourage, and open a hobby centre teaching various crafts, they can collaborate overseas for their designs or can simply involve in trade. Another option could be to open own boutique,” says Kaur.
Being a fashion designer is not about reading Vogue or owing an MK bag. Even though you would want to become an entrepreneur by starting your own design house, you will have to work under a good label to get experience. So do your thorough research and look for answers to questions like: Where can I get a job? Is there any good fashion house in my city? Am I willing to relocate in India or abroad? “One can become a fashion designer and launch one’s own fashion label. Seeing its potential, many organisations have come out with this course thus, creating teaching opportunities for many. Students can become stylists and do makeovers, work with artisans, storehouses of handicrafts etc. Indian textile industry, being the second largest employment generator after agriculture, also has various factories and warehouses which require fashion designers,” adds Kaur.
According to Prof. Promil Pande, Dean, G D Goenka School of Fashion & Design, “Students pursuing their education in design have the option now, more than ever for being entrepreneurs. They do not need to seek jobs with established brands only. They can initiate their own research, based on current and future issues, identify gaps and contribute to the improvement of environment and society through design intervention.”
So, now that you’ve decided to chase your dream of becoming a Fashion Designer, make sure to stay focused and determined as every accomplishment begins with a firm decision.
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