Do you like womenswear? Do you enjoy browsing the mall for the latest outfits? Do you think about clothing non-stop? Excellent! However, liking clothes is just the first step to becoming a great womenswear fashion designer.
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume you already possess the other needed traits (besides passion) like artistic talent and skills (sewing, fabrics, patterns) that you need to be a designer. Instead, we want to focus on those tangible things you can do starting from today to help propel your career as a womenswear fashion designer forward!
It’s true that some ideas spontaneously pop into our minds. However, the vast majority of ideas we come up with are inspired by other people’s work. It is for this reason that you should consider setting up an inspiration board.
Use this board to track everything that inspires you. If you see something inspirational in a fashion magazine, cut it out and put it on the board. If you read a blog post that inspires you, then print it out and post on the board. Get the idea?
The problem with inspirational ideas is that we often forget about them. That’s why it’s important to record them in some way. This will help keep the plethora of inspirational ideas perpetually swimming in your head. It’ll also serve as a great backup resource in case you yourself ever completely run out of ideas!
Buy A Mannequin
The fruits of fashion are designed to be worn. It makes sense therefore that you should test your ideas out on a model. However, this isn’t always an option. Just imagine that you get a sudden inspiration at 3 am in the morning. Who are you going to test your design out on?
If you have a mannequin handy, then you can just test your designs out on it! Plus, the beauty of mannequins is that you can obtain them in a variety of body types and sizes.
It’s very likely that you have a degree in art and fashion. However, just because you have earned your degree doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. In fact, turning off the education faucet is the worst thing you can do. It’s a simple fact that continued education can make a huge difference in your career.
With that said, consider scheduling one to three courses into your schedule every year. Use these opportunities to not only re-establish essential fashion concepts (textures, colours, fabrics) and skills (sewing, drawing, merchandising), but to also derive new inspiration.
Also take time to learn the history of fashion. Take the time to buy and read books about art history. Understanding the historical concepts of fashion can help you better finetune your contemporary designs. While you’re at it, familiarise yourself with the fashion trends of other countries.
Never Stop Networking
Success in the fashion industry is highly dependent on your networking ability. Remember, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. Remember that fashion is a business, and like any other business, you must be an expert marketer to get your incredible womenswear designs out to market.
Here are some tips to help you with your networking goals:
Attend trade shows. These extravagant affairs offer you a terrific opportunity to meet countless new potential clients and partners. Yes, we realise that it’s expensive to leave your home and go attend such events, but it’s worth it, assuming you are serious about being a great womenswear fashion designer.
Talk to the right people. Take time before attending an event to conduct some research on the key people that’ll be attending. What are their names? What do they do? How long have they been in the industry? What company are they with? Then use this information to approach said people and start a conversation!
Keep in touch with people. Never lose touch with former clients and employers! Every single ‘bridge’ you build should be maintained. Trust us when we say that the worst thing you can do in fashion is start burning bridges. Maintain these relationships and keep them strong!
Dress to impress. Consider wearing some of your own designs when you attend trade shows and similar events. This provides you with such an easy and amazing opportunity to showcase your work to others in the fashion industry. It’s like turning yourself into a giant advertisement for your own brand.
Last but not least, keep in mind that you’re not going to turn into a great fashion designer overnight. It can takes decades to achieve the notable status of fashion superstars like Betsey Johnson, Sandy Powell, Donatella Versace, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, to name a few. Start slow, work hard and you will eventually be successful. Just remember that the growing process should never end!