The glamour. The fame. The art of creative details. Becoming a fashion designer promises all this and more. But is the love for designing clothes enough to become a good designer?
Fashion designing has become highly competitive today. If you want to pursue a career in this industry, you will have to work harder and develop several other skills. It is not only about getting a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, but also about Visual Arts, General Design and even Graphic Design knowledge. That is, if you really want to be the best. Now, let’s look at your study options if you want to become the next Vivienne Westwood.
Get an early head start – prepare from high school for fashion studies
It's always good to be prepared ahead of time to meet university admission requirements for a Fashion Bachelor's degree. That’s why doing some related-courses in high school can help you. Here are some key steps you can take:
- Take home economics classes to learn how to sew fast
- Draw and paint on your own to exercise your eye for colour and patterns
- Learn visual design software like Photoshop, CorelDraw, Xara, Serif DrawPlus
- Read about art and fashion design from blogs, books, magazines
Top 4 Bachelor’s degree options for opening the doors of the fashion world
1. Go classic with a Bachelor’s in Fashion Design
If you don’t want to just work in the fashion industry, but actually become the driving force behind it, then you need to start with the basics. Doing undergraduate studies in Fashion Design will help you understand everything about fashion design history, manipulating clothing textiles, sketching and drawing clothes, fashion events, or managing a fashion house. Some good schools to consider applying to are:
- LISAA School of Design, in France
- Istituto Europeo Di Design (IED), in Italy
- Accademia Del Lusso, in Italy
- London College of Contemporary Arts, in the UK
2. Gain a broader view of fashion with a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts
Some hip fashion designers today have completed a Visual Arts Bachelor's degree. Some of these study programmes focus on combining theories and practices from painting, drawing and photography, ideal for fashion designing.
Learn techniques like collage, professional Photography or digital imaging, and how to use and interpret various design elements. Some of the best places to go for such a degree are:
3. The past, present and future of fashion in your Art History Bachelor’s
Fashion is art. Wearable art. So, it's important to understand art history in order to understand the history of fashion. Courses in the Philosophy of Art can also offer great tools for expressing your ideas and putting them into the right context.
Still not convinced? What if we told you world-renowned designer Vera Wang studied Art History? If this puts things in perspective, here are some great places to start looking for a Bachelor’s in Art History:
4. Top your fashion knowledge with Design know-how
Nowadays, graphics is everywhere, even in fashion. Scissors and paper alone won’t do the trick. While it’s not necessary to pursue a three-year long Bachelor’s in Design or Graphic Design, you should get some of the insights these study areas have to offer.
For example, short courses in Design will teach you to explore various methods to build a high-quality product that is aesthetic, and help you master techniques for the graphic representation of spaces and surfaces, product design, and design research. So, while you do your Fashion-related degree you can mix it with Design courses such as those offered by:
- Stanford Summer, in the USA
- University of the Arts London, in the UK
- European Cultural Academy, in Italy
Key steps to a successful career in fashion design
Make the right contacts early on
Start meeting people in the industry as early as possible, preferably while you are still a Fashion Design student. Keep your eyes open for paid or unpaid internships. It’s much easier to land a job on a recommendation than trying to convince others that you have what it takes.
Find your niche in the fashion industry
Most people can’t do everything. That’s why you’ll have to decide what branch of fashion most speaks to you. Figure out if you prefer men, women or children fashion designing, sportswear design, accessories design or you lean more towards the business side of fashion. Here are some of the most popular jobs Fashion graduates go for, apart from that of a designer:
- Brand manager
- Fashion consultant
- Photo shoot stylist
- Fashion journalist
Develop a business-oriented mindset
Fashion may be art, but it's also a business. Most famous fashion designers admit they needed to learn business skills to succeed. In order to further advance your career, you should consider a Master's degree in Business and Management. It will help you understand how to run a successful business and you'll discover ways to promote your brand and make it stand out.