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 design 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.
1. Get an early head start – prepare from high school for Fashion studies
It’s always good to be prepared ahead of time to meet the 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 and 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, and magazines
2. Study a Bachelor’s in Fashion Design
If you don’t want to just work in the fashion industry, but to 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.
These are some great fashion schools you should consider applying to:
- 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
3. Study a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts
Some contemporary hip fashion designers have completed a Visual Arts Bachelor’s degree. 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:
4. Study a Bachelor’s in Art History
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 into perspective, here are some great places to start looking for a Bachelor’s in Art History:
5. Study a Bachelor’s or take a short course in Design
Nowadays, graphics are 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 US
- University of the Arts London, in the UK
- European Cultural Academy, in Italy
Key steps to a successful career in Fashion Design
While a Bachelor’s in Fashion Design or a related discipline will help you develop the necessary skills and knowledge, it doesn’t guarantee that you will make it into the competitive fashion industry. You need to invest your time in other activities, such as:
- Networking and meeting like-minded people
- Finding your niche
- Learning what’s it like to own and grow a business
You should start meeting people in the fashion 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.
Also, keep in mind that you can’t do everything. That’s why you’ll have to decide what branch of fashion attracts you more. 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
While Fashion may be art, it is 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.