WE LISTED IN OUR POST SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURSUING A DEGREE IN FASHION. WE USED IMAGES TO INSPIRE, ENCOURAGE AND SHOW YOU AN AMAZING RUNWAY /BACKSTAGE FROM GRADUATES WHO ALREADY HALF-WAY TO THE DREAM OF BECOMING PROFESSIONAL DESIGNERS. ALL CCREDITS TO ROMAULDO NUBLA FROM STUDIOMOR+, SHOOT AT RAFFLES COLLEGE OF DESIGN GRADUATION RUNWAY, SYDNEY.
Fashion is the most lucrative, appealing, glamorous and exciting career options in today’s world. If you have a taste for creativity, style and originality, fashion is the tailor-made career for you. Read our step by step guide what things you need to consider before stepping to a Fashion world.
Shiny magazine adverts, astronomical prices and high-profile films like “The Devil Wears Prada” or ISL, all suggest a world of endless glamour without hinting at the reality of hard work completed before the red carpet is unrolled. Of course most professions require efforts, but the fast-paced world of fashion is an entirely different kind of success that most can’t dream of coping. Becoming a fashion designer in this competitive industry will require a lot of talents, efforts and endless deadlines. If you are considering becoming a fashion designer, find out if you have what it takes to succeed in both the job world and in fashion school. Here are the Most Important Things to Consider Before Pursuing a Degree in Fashion, with images by Romauldo Nubla taken at Raffles College Graduation Runway in Sydney.
Here is the part where you take a deep breath, step back and evaluate yourself and your willingness to crawl to the top of the ladder, because that’s what it’s going to take. The world of fashion is reserved for only the most dedicated and creative visionaries on the planet, leaving no room at the top for the mediocre. It’s important to be able to grab the bull by the horns and take initiative because nothing in this line of work will be handed to you, making the fruit of your labors so much sweeter in the end. Keep in mind that graduates rarely start designing immediately after school, so it’s also important to ensure you can handle a career with countless highs and lows.
There’s no better time than the present to ask yourself these crucial questions:
- Have I been dreaming of a life in fashion for as long as I can remember?
- Am I willing to go the extra mile, or five, to get what I want?
- Am I willing to give up sleep and a large chunk of my social life?
- Now most importantly, am I willing to do everything it takes to make my dream a reality?
Are you connected? The fashion industry is about who you know, so if you don’t know anyone, how will you find them? Are you going to be a team player? Will you meet the right people through school? Your rock star father? An internship? Working in a bar where all the fashion people hang out? You’ll need to meet the right people, so think about how you are going to do this.
Will you meet the right people through school and keep the friendship?
2. PASSION FOR FASHION
It’s impossible to stress enough that you must eat, breath, live and dream fashion. If your charcoals and sketchbooks are in hiding, then I would suggest enjoying the fashions of the nearest boutique instead of aspiring to be her next intern.
- Fashion knowledge – Even before you step foot into a fashion school, you should have a current knowledge of today’s hottest fashions. Whether you love them or hate them, it is important to know trends and top players in the industry to see where your point of view would fit in.
Do you have a passion for it? Being passionate about fashion is not about reading Vogue and owning a Gucci bag. It’s not about watching every single episode of Rachel Zoe’s stupid show, or being able to name nearly all the models who walked the last Prada show. Its not about starving yourself to fit into a dress, or forgoing food to buy shoes. Having a passion means suffering abuse from your psychotic boss during fifteen hour workdays and always having to cancel on your date. It means sleeping on your friend’s sofas for two years because you spend your money on fabric instead of rent while you try and make a name for yourself as a designer. It means working for free for three years before finally landing a job that pays marginally more than minimum wage, but you are expected to dress like a million bucks. How much are you willing to suffer for fashion?
Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.
Stylish white gown designed by student from Raffles College.
SKILLS THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE TO BECOME A GOOD FASHION DESIGNER
Here is a list of qualities that you need to have to become a good fashion designer apart from getting a degree in fashion designing:
- You need to be very creative and artistic Fashion is an art like any other. It is great if you have a love of fashion, but without creativity, you will have little to offer the world of fashion. Creativity is not something you can learn in fashion school yet studying fashion inside and outside of school could inspire you and get those artistic juices flowing. As you will be designing clothes, one quality you just cannot do without is creativity and artistic sense. You need to turn raw materials into beautiful costumes and accessories. This requires a lot of detailing and creativity.
- You need to have an eye for detail It is very important for a fashion designer to come out with some basic designs and then add detailing to them. Most of the times it is the detail which makes the clothes stand out. So to be a good fashion designer you will have to give a lot of importance to the detailing of the clothes that you design.
- You need to have good understanding of color, texture and fabric quality Another important quality that you need to have is the understanding of the raw materials that you are working with. You need to analyze beforehand as to what design will look good with a certain fabric, how can you use it, which colors you can mix with it and so on. These small details will help you in making your designs and costumes look good.
- You need to have good Technical skills – Fashion design jobs require great artistic vision but nothing will come to fruition without technical skills. You must not only know how to design clothing but also to construct it. While top fashion designers have manufacturers under their belts, new fashion designers who are just starting out will have to sew for themselves.
- You need to be original – Knowing everything about the hottest trends is important but what would you bring to the table? The world of fashion craves new and exciting designs. Some of the most successful fashion designers are those who dare to be different and were often the oddballs in fashion school.
Raw talent is seen as a jewel that designers can mold and shape to fit their own brand, but it’s not something that can necessarily be taught. Of course, through schooling and practice skills can be sharpened, but if they don’t come somewhat naturally, you’re probably better off in another field.
4. THE SCHOOL’S REPUTATION
The reputation of the school counts for a lot. We often hear the same names again and again and if you can, try and go to one of the reputable schools. This will be a major help when looking for jobs. If you can’t go to a super well-known school, then look into the reputation your school has locally. Try and speak to students who went there, ask professionals in the field whether they’ve hired people from there. DO NOT trust the school’s “sales team” to provide you with this information, search it out on your own. This is a big decision, don’t be lazy. Does the school have a reputation for well-trained, educated, employable graduates?
Fashion College is the first opportunity most designers have to start making their mark on the industry and it’s important to attend a school with the power to back you and your dreams.
Fashion is creative subject — many forms of fashion are viewed and understood as art — it is also a commercially driven world, where, for a designer, recognising consumerism is as important as the creative process. Fashion schools need to encourage the creative, personal ideas of students. But students must also be conscious of markets, brands, manufacturing and supply chains, as well as financial and business models.
When a student first comes to fashion college, where they will end up professionally is completely unpredictable, so it’s difficult to know exactly what to teach them. Therefore, schools should try to give students a wide impression of everything that could eventually come their way.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE APPLYING AND ASK YOURSELF SOME BASIC QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INSTITUTION.
- How well-known and respected is the school?
- What opportunities will you have to travel to fashion hotspots or intern with top designers?
- Do you know anyone who has went to this school and what are their thoughts?
- Is your school of choice accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design?
- How padded will your portfolio be when you graduate?
Start writing questions when they cross your mind so you can research the answers later. After all, getting a glimpse into your future as a fashion student and researching your top choices can be a lot of fun.
We used the images here from Sydney based Ruffles college of Design.
When Coco Chanel said “The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive,” she might as well have been talking about Fashion Colleges. The best of the best come with a price tags. Keep in mind that community colleges and career schools are usually less expensive, but they won’t offer you the resume boost of a high profile colleges. When budgeting your future school, ensure that you add in tuition, books, room and board, material fees, fabrics and fashion parades, including paying for models and photographers.
6. THE BACKUP PLAN
What if you don’t make it big? As disheartening as it may be to recognize failure as an option, it’s important to at least acknowledge the “what if’s” in life. Ok, so you’ve got your heart set on being the next Marc Jacobs, and you went to the right school, met the right people, and are in a really good job which will help propel you to the next step. But chances are, you won’t be the next Marc Jacobs. Not many people will.
You may be a talented designer working quietly for a big brand and payed very well for your work, but never seeing your name in lights or credits. You may end up being a senior account manager at a large department store, but never becoming famous. You may end up being the manager at a large bridal fashion house, but no one outside of the company knows who you are. Can your ego deal with this? There is only a bit of room at the top of the totem, and I’d suggest you be prepared to make it halfway up the ladder to become fashion elite. You’ll need some serious luck, connections and talent to get higher than that.
Another example, what if a year into your education you decide that a fashion degree isn’t for you? Will you choose to utilize your new skills to teach an art class? Make it a hobby and sell your designs on Etsy? Become a Fashion blogger? Maybe you look into NYC fashion graduate programs and approach the fashion industry from a business angle? Whatever your backup plan, ensure that it’s an obtainable goal and you will not waste your money and time.
It looks like you’ve made it through the entire list and are now one small step closer to the fashion school of your choice. Take another deep breath and go chase your dreams.
Check the photos of the graduates who already choose the fashion.