From paper to production: How to make a name in the fashion industry
Fashion is a big part of our individual identity – it is a form of expression, just like art, music or photography. You might have considered what it’s like to create, style and even model your own pieces.
The excitement. The glamour. A career in fashion design promises all this and more. But is the love for designing clothes enough to make your mark in this competitive industry? Keep reading to discover four alternative ways to make a name for yourself in fashion.
Whilst it is entirely possibly to work in the design industry without any qualifications, due to the competitive nature of the industry, it certainly helps to have something else on the cards.
Candidates with a specific qualification in areas such as fashion, textiles, merchandising or art and design are much more desirable to employers and design houses.
The place to start in any career is to get practical experience within the industry. Whilst you may have the skills and talent – nothing beats putting that knowledge into practice. And don’t assume, because you’re the intern, you’ll just be on tea duty. The industry relies heavily on interns to keep things running, so be prepared to get thrown in at the deep end.
It’s also quite common for work experience opportunities to result in some extended paid work or even a full time position. So, I guess it pays to work for experience!
There are masses of design competitions around the country, largely set up by established fashion houses, who are looking to recruit their next design intern. Many do require you to be studying or have a fashion qualification, so it’s important to do your research.
The Graduate Fashion Week, for example was launched by the Graduate Fashion Foundation and has supported over 100,000 newly graduated and undergraduate students over the past 28 years. It provides budding designers an opportunity to showcase their talent and network with potential employers.
Social media is a great way to showcase your designs to your friends and family, but it’s also an opportunity to reach a much larger audience. Hash tags allow you to search and get inspiration for new designs, whilst allowing you to build a community of people with the same interests and artistic style.
Instagram, for example, has the highest engagement rate for apparel with 13%, but most socials have expanded their capabilities, which means you can start selling your designs right away, without the costs of setting up a whole business.
The UK fashion industry is worth £32 billion a year, according to the British Fashion Council. It requires all manner of skills and talents to keep it stitched together.
If you’re ready to sew your future together, at Walsall College we can help you get started. We have two fully equipped fashion design studios, complete with pattern cutting tables, as well as an additional production room with 18 industrial lockstitch and overlocking machines. You can even stay on with us to complete HNC/HND, level 5/6 courses, which are equivalent to a university degree!