Do you have an eye for pulling together a great outfit? If you enjoy keeping up with what’s happening in the fashion industry and you have a creative streak, the career of a fashion designer might be for you. This can be a difficult field to break into, partly because it is very competitive and partly because it is a relatively unusual career.
You might wonder whether you can get into it when you don’t actually know any fashion designers. The answer is yes, you absolutely can, but there are certain steps you can take to make your entry into this world less difficult.
Getting Your Education
Fashion designers don’t spring fully formed from their bedrooms where they’ve spent the last decade working on a brilliant new look. One of your first steps should be getting an education. You can attend a university that offers a degree in fashion design itself, usually as part of the fine arts department. This gives you the opportunity to start putting together your first portfolio and to learn more about the industry.
The costs of college can make it seem prohibitive to some, but there are a lot of different options to help you pay for tuition and your living expenses, including scholarships and grants. Need-based federal loans and private student loans, which are generally not need-based, are other ways to get the money that you need. Applying for a private loan and finding out if you are eligible is usually a quick process.
An internship is one of the best ways to get some experience while you are still a student, and there may be opportunities through your school, either through the department itself or the career center. You can also look online for internship opportunities. However, even if you are unable to get an internship, there may be other job openings that will give you a similar experience. Even working in fashion retail can be valuable.
Consider Your Focus
One thing you may want to start thinking about is the ideal career for your lifestyle and what area of fashion design that you want to focus on. Do you want to be self-employed? Maybe you want to work as part of a design team for a large clothing company, or perhaps your dream is to be employed at a small, boutique label.
Rather than clothing in general, you might want to specialize in costumes, accessories or shoes. You might not land your perfect job straight out of college, but knowing what your goal is will help you steer in that direction.
You can start making connections while you’re still a student even if you aren’t in a fashion capital like New York City. A great way to do this is with one or more social media accounts in which you show off your own creations and connect with other designers and creators.
While on social media, it is best to be professional and friendly and avoid getting drawn into any online drama. In addition, get to know the professors and your fellow students. You never know which of them you may end up working alongside in the future.