CategoryFashion

All About Fashion and Fashion Week

Fashion is the general style or custom of clothing worn at any given time. The word “fashion” comes from the years when people described a woman who was well dressed as a “fashion plate”.

Whether or not it had a name, fashion has always been important to women. Now it seems to be almost as important to men. Beau Brummell is probably the most well known and talked about male fashion plate in history. His colorful clothing and accessories were copied by men all over Europe.

Couturiers with famous names such as Worth, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel had famous fashion houses in Paris. These were the haute couture designers that every other fashion designer since has aspired to become. In spite of PrĂȘt a Porter (French for ready made or off the rack) the world still looks to Paris first when fashion is concerned. Today, although fashion designers and models come from all over the world, fashion week in Paris is still the most exciting event of the year.

Fashion changes nearly instantly. Each season welcomes in a different style, color, hem length, and designer. Today the person who follows fashion like a slave is called a fashionista. Some fashionistas look ridiculous in the new styles but they wear them anyway.

The media is very important to fashion and can rightly take credit for the spread of each new style and trend over the world map. Fashion blogs are the newest manner of communicating the newest fashion. Prior to blogs there were fashion web sites, columns in newspapers and magazines, fashion magazines. One of the most famous fashion magazines is Vogue. It was founded in 1892 and it is the longest lasting fashion magazine in the world with versions being published in England, France, Italy, Germany and other countries. Vogue’s influence grew after W.W. II. Ready to wear designers and perfume companies were their largest advertisers. In the 50′, 60’s 70’s television was featured on television shows such as Today and other morning shows.

A few years ago, Project Runway became one of the most watched reality shows on television. Each season a new designer is launched with his/her own fashion line. The show is sponsored by a well known department store, hair care company, and make-up company. The judges are a model, a fashion magazine editor, a famous designer and a weekly guest. This program watches a group of people who want to become fashion designers go through each stage of the competition. At the end, the three remaining designers compete with a line they put together in a month or two. This is presented at Mercedes Benz fashion week in Bryant Park, N.Y. The winner gets a large check to work at producing his/her own line which will be carried at the major department store.

Fashion Week is a big industry event. There is one held in each of the large fashion capitals. This week the biggest fashion houses and designers display their newest designs and styles. There is a fashion week in Paris, Milan, London, and New York. These weeks occur twice a year for autumn/winter fashions and spring/summer fashions. They are held many months in advance so that the buyers and the magazine editors can see the designs prior to ordering them for their venue. The first week of women’s wear is New York followed by London, Milan and Paris. The men’s wear lines are shown in between in Milan.

Fashion weeks are also held in other places for specific types of clothing such as swim wear and cruise wear in Miami. In fact, there are fashion weeks in many U.S. cities for several different types of clothing. You can probably find an alphabetical listing online if you want to go to one.


Fashion Modeling – Prospects After Completing Education

Fashion modeling sounds glamorous and ostentatious profession to many people especially to young girls and boys. The exclusive life style, page 3 parties, designer clothes, international ramp shows and money lure every youngsters but this is just the half truth. The fashion modeling career requires lot of hard work, dedication and self sacrifice to be successful. Fashion has become universal now, there is a huge demand of male and female models in the market. All famous fashion models are being paid very well for any modeling assignment and ramp walk. Their remuneration depends upon the fashion designer and organizer they are working with. Where as aspiring models begin their career with smaller modeling agencies and low budget modeling assignments.

Today fashion modeling has become a huge profession and there is abundance of employment. There is no such educational requirement or age limit to become a model. You may be a school pass-out or graduate, all you need is a good face, height and a glass hour figure. To get into fashion world is a Herculean task due to excessive competition in this profession. All top models are earning very handsome this naturally makes competition very fierce. The international recognition, limelight, celebrity status also make it more difficult to get a break.

However, fashion industry has made phenomenal growth in India in the last fifteen years. Fashion industry is now targeting people of all age group to sell fashion. Earlier, youngsters were the prime concern for the fashion designers, they used to design attires keeping younger generation’s likes and dislikes in mind, but this trend has completely changed now. Today, you can find designers are designing special clothes for middle-aged and older people as well. There has been a tremendous revolution in fashion world which has led to a huge demand of models.

Networking is an important part to be successful in modeling. A strong networking helps you to become familiar with fashion gurus and designers. If you are well acquainted with fashion designers, photographers, make artists then they may recommend your name to others fashion players for any modeling assignment and outdoor ramp shows. Thus, it is suggested to maintain a harmonious relation ship with everyone you meet with.

To begin your career as a fashion model you can start working as a catalog-model, show room model, television model etc. You must make an impressive portfolio of yours and distribute in different modeling agencies. If any top modeling agencies hires you it would be easy for you to enter into the big world of fashion.

It should be remembered your entire career depends on your face so make yourself recognized in the fashion world by attending parties, nightclubs etc. These are the few places where you would find cream of fashion under one roof. Fashion modeling is a lucrative career, it gives you multiple opportunities to travel around your country and globe. Fashion modeling has various categories- Ramp modeling, Television modeling and print modeling, Showroom modeling, Advertisement modeling.

Fashion modeling is a multi-million dollar industry, Bombay is the hub for fashion modeling. Everyday hundreds of youngsters walk-in to try their luck in fashion modeling but very few make it to the top. Fashion modeling gives you international recognition, you may get chance to work with the best international designers in world- famous fashion cities Paris, Milan, New-York, Tokyo etc.

Despite of such tempting opportunities in modeling it is a very short-lived career. You profession is not ever-lasting and you need to tackle excessive stress, work pressure and many unforeseen challenges.


Lifestyle And Fashion During The Sydney Fashion Week

Sydney Fashion Lifestyle is being pushed by the Sydney Fashion Week designers through their endless creative designs and remarkable fashion tips that almost all Australians love to idolize. Little black dresses have become one of their feature designs. These designs are something, maybe because it shows elegant and classiness, that people still dwell in it. Old style and old creations cannot, also, be disregarded. Those ancient styles have become the inspiration of the fashion trends these days.

The Sydney Fashion Week seems to focus in architecturally and geometrically contoured designs. The clothes, dresses, and other fashion related accessories like stilettos etcetera were shown dramatically and way stylish compared to any other Fashion Week. Sydney Fashion Week has also caught everyone’s attention due to the spunk that they have put in the styles of their fashion. In addition, the hairstyles that they have used in their fashion were inspired by the punk and tall rock and roll hairs of the ’80s.

Now with all the glamour and style, the big intriguing question is, does the creativity and the originality of fashion moving forward or backward? I do believe that a fashion week should be the time to celebrate an all new brilliant creation and showcase new ideas that can be used as one of the fashion tips in the next few years. However, as what I have observed, what happens is that they are proclaiming something that is already there. With the world putting their eyes on Lady Gaga and her experimental metallic wardrobe, fashion designers began making clothes and accessories that are accentuated with such design and presented it as one of the latest trends of the year. If this event keeps on happening, there is a greater chance that fashion will start to find its integrity falling behind. I say keep the fashion creations original and creative!

The reinvention of the classic little black dresses is fantastic. Classic designs have actually established it but this kind of situation just implies that the creativity of designers is losing its touch and it is a little bit saddening that although we have to thank the past fashion designs for today’s clothes, designers should still explore on new creations and the fashion lifestyle should try its best to make everyone see that they have the power to change this cycle from happening.

I am pretty sure everyone is still looking for and waiting for someone who would design something extraordinary and will not conform to the traditional designs and would become a front – liner in setting a new fad for fashion. Don’t get me wrong – I love fashion. But it seems to me that fashion nowadays lack some sort of excitement with their designs.

So what I am looking forward to the next Sydney Fashion Week is that designers would actually make something that will not only make a statement in the fashion industry but also something that will set a new fashion lifestyle for everybody. It should be something that could make people express themselves because the clothes we are wearing defines who we are.


Top Advice on Choosing the Best Fashion Designer School

A person who does not have a proper fashion sense is usually called backdated in today’s world. Fashion has almost become a part and parcel of our lives. Fashion does not only mean wearing trendy clothes. It also means how you carry off the dress along with your attitude.

Other than the dress you also need to be familiar with the designer’s accessories. Men and women usually follow different style statements. Even if you do not understand fashion you need not worry because with the help of the fashion designers you can choose to go for a complete makeover.

The fashion designers are the best people to suggest you about what is right and wrong in fashion. Fashion designing schools have grown in number over the past few years. The fashion world is changing day by day. Lots of people are showing a good interest in the field of fashion designing these days.

You must have watched a number of fashion shows on television. The models walk on the ramps wearing the garments that are designed by the top designers of this time. To keep up with the new trend you need to follow the happenings in the fashion world.

There are lots of people who are brand conscious while the others are not. Being brand conscious does not mean that you are trendy and fashionable. If you do not choose the right kind of garments for yourself then you will fail in portraying a good fashion statement.

Other than the garments you should also pay attention to your shoes, jewelries, handbags and other accessories. You can also try to be fashionable with your home. Interior designing is also a part of this world. Designers are usually of different types.

There are fashion designers, jewelry designers, accessory designers as well as interior designers. There are lots of people who are unable to sport fashionable look because of money crunch. Lots of people fail to afford the high priced fashion clothes.

But these days’ affordable designer clothes are also available. There are certain steps which can help you create your own style statement. First of all it is important for you to select a particular designer brand. Most of the designers provide you with a complete set.

You can select your garments, shoes, jewelries as well as other accessories from the same designer. If you are yourself interested in the fashion industry then you can surely get into one of the best designing schools and start preparing yourself to become one of the best fashion designers.

The fashion industry is always waiting for new faces as well as new talents. If you have the talent and the zeal then you can surely go to the top in this field.
The best fashion designing schools will guide you to reach your goal. If you are serious about taking up a career in fashion designing then you should prepare yourself properly. Portraying a tattoo is also a great way to sport fashion these days.


The Big Four Fashion Weeks: New York, London, Milan and Paris

The four major Fashion Weeks are held semi-annually and internationally. Each one of the Fashion Weeks has a unique style, all their own.

In 1943, New York held the first Fashion Week, and has been the quintessential idea of fashion week ever since. Now known as the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, it does seem to be the most commercialized of the big fashion shows, in that the clothes are created ready-for-market. Its styles and designs are arguably a lot ‘safer’ than the other three locations.

In 1984, London jumped on the fashion train and recently has been making a splash with its high-end couture. London Fashion Week has not yet reached the commercial level of New York and is less likely to follow fashion trends. Rather, each London fashion house showcases its unique take on fashion-forward concepts, and their collections are still market ready. The heavy hitters in London like Richard Nicholl, Christopher Kane and Giles Deacon are all amazing designers who produce commercially viable collections that would stand out at any of the fashion shows around the world.

Milan’s version of the week was established in 1958 and is part of the Big Four internationally. It is owned by a nonprofit association which disciplines, coordinates and promotes the development of Italian Fashion and is responsible for hosting the fashion events and shows of Milan called Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. The original Italian Fashion Week was not held in Milan, instead it was held in Florence at the hands of Giovan Battista Giorgini. He held the first “fashion parade” in the living room of his house “Villa Torrigiani”. Then the Italian week later moved to Rome, and then Milan where it is currently held in haute style today.

Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world, and holds the finale position in the fashion show tour. Paris Fashion Week brings each season’s chaotic schedule of international fashion weeks to an end. High-end French designers include: Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, and Louis Vuitton along with many more stunningly talented designers. Typically, Paris has some of the most extravagant shows, especially with Paris Couture Week.

No matter which of the Big Four is your favorite, each week is sure to dazzle its audience with new haute couture designs year after year. In addition to haute couture trends, innovative fashion designs have also been making a big impact, especially in New York, the only location that allows a fashion school to feature its students’ designs, which are often very fresh and inspirational. It is definitely important to keep up with the latest runway styles from all four weeks to stay on top of upcoming trends for the next season.


Through The Lens Of a Career In Fashion

You may love all things having to do with fashion, from the diverse clothes that are worn and beautiful dresses, to the offbeat designers, to the celebrities as well as models that show off the clothes – lets face it, one of the most exciting and diverse industries is the fashion industry.

However, perhaps you do not have the creative drive necessary to become a fashion designer, and most people would not blame you if you do not wish to lose thirty pounds to become a fashion model. This however does not mean that you can’t get into the fashion industry. There are numerous other options available to you in the industry of fashion.

There is one type of career in the fashion industry that is very common choice and that is as a fashion photographer. Some people are under the impression that this type of career is out of reach for most who wish to get into this line of work, however, in reality you can achieve this position with a good amount of effort and just a little bit of luck. So if your very interested in photography in addition to fashion, then you should give fashion photography a try.

What Exactly is a Fashion Photographer?

A fashion photographer conceptualizes shoots, develops and prints out photos of models wearing the attractive creations of fashion designers. One of the significant attributes that a fashion photographer should have is a creative eye and the ability to capture the models in a way that is creative that will catch the attention of various prospective buyers.

The photographs shot by a fashion photographer can be utilized in numerous fashion magazines. for instance Vogue and Elle, or they can be featured in various advertisements. A fashion photographer must be at ease while working with models to capture the right quality poses and photographs.

They must have the necessary skills in the proper use of lighting, and quite often they have the responsibility of choosing the appropriate venue of the shoot. If you end up choosing to be a fashion photographer, you should be comfortable and prepared for competition as this field is one of the most competitive in the fashion industry.

Nevertheless, it is also one of the most exciting. An additional benefit of being a fashion photographer is that you get to develop the opportunity of developing relationships with famous celebrities as well as models. They also have the opportunities to travel to numerous on location destinations for one site photo shoots. The median salary that a fashion photographer can get is between $25,000 and $40,000.

How to Accomplish Your Dream

You have the ability to become a fashion photographer through working your way up one step at a time. Begin by being an assistant to a photographer. Then gradually work your way up to either a staff or freelance photographer, then move onto a photo editor, and then to a director of photography. Even starting out as an assistant to a photographer it is very important that you have a portfolio that shows all of your work.


Promote Your Own Clothing Brand – Top Fashion Networking Sites

Fashion marketing is undergoing a quiet revolution at the moment. Traditionally new fashion designers have had to compete with the major corporate labels through magazine advertising, direct mail, events promotions and if the budget is there, television ad campaigns. The Internet has for a long time been a useful tool for introducing sales leads to your clothing range, but until recently, budget dictated your site’s popularity on the net.

Things are rapidly changing, and it is almost all due to the Social Networking phenomenon. You will have no doubt heard of Facebook and MySpace, however over the past couple of years there has been a distinct increase in social community sites that have geared themselves towards the consumer lifestyle market, and in particularly fashion. Many of these online communities run on a democratic principle. Ideally, if enough people vote or bookmark a particular product, say a t-shirt for example, the product and designer’s popularity increases. Within a relatively short time. Using tools such as bookmark sharing and recommendations, a relatively unknown designer can attract an enormous amount of positive publicity.

I have researched and collated a list of the most popular and useful fashion social networks for you to browse at your own leisure. You will find there is a wide variety and scope offered by these fashion-related communities. The larger and more established sites are great for breaking new products in to the fashion consumer market, others will provide invaluable assistance from fellow designers, retailers and manufacturers. Most of whom I am sure will be more than willing to guide you through the next stages of your burgeoning fashion career.

Fashionising.com is dedicated to fashion, this social fashion community offering a news, photo and video service for upcoming and established designers, labels, models and more. Very friendly and welcoming community, mainly professionals in all fields of fashion.

Stylehive.com is an online style portal for people who love and/or work in fashion, design and retail. You can connect with fellow style addicts and share all of your new design discoveries and latest finds together. A trend-setters social-networking club, part pop-culture lab, Stylehive.com is one big ensemble cast of trend-setters creating, discovering and buying the next big thing!

Kaboodle.com is a social shopping network where people discover, recommend and share products. Kaboodle’s excellent range of shopping widgets mean you can begin organizing all your favorite items in shared lists, discovering new things from people with similar style. Easy to find the best prices and discounts on the most popular products. This site offers fashion products amongst many others including gadgets, soft furnishings, art and more.

ThisNext.com focuses its online and social-shopping community more towards the next big trends. Your popular votes count, everyone recommends their favorite up and coming products for others to discover and purchase online. This global community is in the pursuit of cross-cultural shopping habits for the year to come. This site is laden with more branded advertising and e-commerce solutions making it a more attractive media platform for corporate marketing. The system encompasses each product in a process of discovery, consideration, trial and purchase. Fashion is a big favorite here.

StyleFeeder.com is a personal shopping engine that uses a unique matchmaking system to offer daily personal recommendations, just for you. It’s a great way to find new clothes, shoes, in fact anything stylish and keep track of what you’re shopping for online, using visual their bookmark options. Great widgets for incorporating your style-feeds in to your personal blogs or commercial sites. I regularly use this site to promote my own fashion — a great resource for designers.

ShareYourLook.com is a new fashion community for all trends-setters, shoppers and designers, (currently in beta). If you read articles New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, you will probably recognize the co-founder’s name – fashion have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, fashion journalist Melissa Ceria. The format is easy to use and on the eye: upload photos of you modeling your favorite outfits, and let other members rate your look and leave you comments. Don’t worry, there is a policy of fair and objective criticism, even compliments and most of all useful style tips. The whole site relies on a great blog style tagging process, plus a great feature where you’ll be able to post favourite ‘looks’ to your network of fashion friends. You even get your own styleblog.

OsoYou.com is the UK’s first social networking and fashion website. Focusing more on High Street fashion and all the latest clothing items, plus features on the hottest celebrity styles and a chance to share fashion with your friends via some innovative social networking options.

Avenue7.com should be classed as up and coming. From my research it seems to be aimed at a younger audience. They already use some rather clever programming to help you create your own perfect outfit and also offer fashion scouts. However there are some even more promising features in the pipeline including ‘The Fashion Show’ and ‘Start a Makeover’. This is more of a hot or not direction for the field of fashion social networking, but it’s bright, bold and adventurous and I’ll take a punt it will do well in the future.

StyleMob.com is rather funky looking (though corporate owned) street style community StyleMob offering a service that is part Hot or Not, part fashion magazine and part MySpace.

TeamSugar.com is one of the latest contributions to the market. Backed by the Sugar Network, this series of blogs primarily targets fashion-conscious women. The most popular is PopSugar.com, where celebrity gossip and fashion come together in a hedonistic mix. TeamSugar.com pro-actively promote their content, encouraging their community to form around it. Blog syndication integrates the network — PopSugar.com, DearSugar.com, TeamSugar.com and FabSugar.com, encouraging users to switch sites to see the latest news on each one. Ultra intelligent marketing – helping to boost the popularity of the whole network at the same time. Standard social networking features friends list, leave comments, send messages, write a blog and voting in polls.

This supplemental list offers links to more general/shopping social networks that feature some fashion content, and a few to keep an eye out for in the future:

TheFind.com is the leading shopping search engine to find stores, brands and products, bigger than any other product finder online.

ShopWiki.com is a shopping search engine designed to help consumers find specific products on the Internet with ease. It is the only shopping search engine that combines advanced Web-crawling technology with a consumer-written wiki.


Fashion Marketing Internships: What It’s Like

A fashion marketing internship is one of the quickest ways to break into the ultra-competitive fashion industry It’s a giant industry that is completely dependent on the professional fashion-designers, marketers and retail merchandisers. What is created as a masterpiece by its expert wardrobe designers remains a far-fetched dream for the customers unless it is made available on the floor of showrooms. But it needs team work especially of the dexterous marketers, who are responsible for the extreme success. It is extensive training imparted to the selected individuals, which creates an army of skilled marketing executives, and this training begins with a fashion marketing internship.

These executives attend the lectures and learn all the strategies to promote business. To join the apparel industry, the new entrants need a degree or they have to undergo short-term fashion marketing internship program. Also known as merchandising professionals, these fashion-apparel-promoting marketers, conduct marketing research to identify new trends of fashion so that stylish wardrobes can be introduced in the market. They dwell on the mood of fashion-loving people, especially the young generation, for stylish fashion-dresses. Such kind of extensive survey helps the expert-designers read the psychology of customers and thus help the fashion-designing specialists create superbly developed fashion wardrobes.

The Retail Merchandisers Serve As Both Retailers & Wholesalers

Before embarking on a career in fashion marketing, one must understand what it they would be doing and why fashion marketers are so important. Creation of a stylish wardrobe is only half done if the items are not supplied in the market for sales. The marketing is shouldered by the retail merchandisers, who look for a market. Flooding the market with attractive fashion products can not yield any result unless immense curiosity is aroused among the people. This is the job which indispensably is accomplished by the retail merchandisers in order to promote sales of attire. These marketers popularize the exquisitely-designed fashions through internet. In order to attract the customers, these merchandisers highlight the outstanding features of latest wardrobes that in turn blooms the business unbelievably. And as part of a fashion marketing internship, the intern will be mirroring the professional performing these tasks, and possibly taking part in them.

The retail merchandisers inspect the market and make sure that the demand for a trendy wardrobe is met at every cost. Another important issue which the marketers focus their attention on is the price. The retailers often charge arbitrarily and this affects the business in an unfavorable way. Being aware of such acts going on in the market, the retail merchandisers can conduct raid at the blacklisted showrooms, and expect the fashion marketing intern to monitor their actions. If they find any defiance of ‘legal & fair trade practices’ norms, then they impose heavy fines and take legal action against the culprit.

Plenty of Information is Posted Online

In order to let the fashion fans keep in touch with the newly introduced fashion line, the fashion marketing internship team is expected to keep updating the website regularly, highlighting the code of dress, price and discount as well. To redress grievances of the dissatisfied-customers the fashion- companies mention on their sites their E-mail address and phone numbers also so that customers can communicate their problems.

Fashion Industry Provides Employment

If you are a fresh off your first fashion marketing internship or right out of fashion school and curiously looking for a lucrative job, do submit your resume to fashion houses, fashion pr firms, and the lke. As retail merchandisers are the backbone of fashion industry, you can be considered for respective posts with great honor. If you hold a degree in fashion design and are courteous, have an eye for style and a keen knack for business, the fashion marketing has got to be your destination. If you have no certificate or degree in the fashion-designing then you should go for 2 to 4 years course in respective field to herald a career in fashion industry, or at least take on a fashion marketing internship while you are studying another line of work.


Fashion Business School Is Just Plain Smart

Fashion is big business, and is a multi-billion dollar industry. Over the years, more and more fashion students are considering entering fashion business school. At first glance, possibly fashion school seems a frivolous course of studies, but when you think that some haute couture designer dresses go for $20,000.00 dollars and more, you realize that there is a lot of money in fashion, and if you are dealing with any amount of money, a business course seems only reasonable.

Another excellent reason to go to business fashion school is if you are interested not just in working for another designer, but if you are interested in designing your own line. In this case, you have to know how to run your business in a business-like way. You can’t think that Gucci or Lauren went into fashion with no idea how to manage money, are have any business skills, even if they now use others to do the business end of fashion for them. It should be obvious to you that any students out there who are serious about their success should think about taking some fashion business courses.

When you are looking for a fashion business school, there are a few criteria that you should be looking for. You will want a school that has courses that not only teach the business end of the business, but one that teaches current fashion trends, and the history of fashion. A truism is that you can never know what is going to happen with fashion in the future until you know what went on in the past. Where fashion came from is just as important as where it is going. The evolution of fashion is an important trend that has great bearing upon the business of fashion today. You can see this in the repeating of styles, and the retro look that occurs nearly every year in at least one collection.

The fashion business schools should offer courses that cover all the aspects of fashion, from project to production. The commercialization and distribution of garments should be covered, as well as all aspects of retail. The product of fashion will be studied; including how long the trend is speculated to last, and what the next trend will be. Market trends and customs are also important aspects to know, and of course, market demands must be met.

The Business school should also teach about fabrics, quality control, collections and how to control costs. Communication and promotion are also important subjects for an all rounded study.
At the completion of the course, you should know not only how to take your projects from start to finish but how to collaborate with others on the various aspects of all stages of fashion and design

So if you are considering a career in fashion, you should be aware that it is not only the designing aspect of fashion that is important, and any school that you are considering should also teach the business end. You will need to learn all aspect of the fashion industry, from the design to the clothing, the marketing, retailing and promotion. If you know all of these things you will be able and confident to handle all aspects of the fashion industry. This will help not only your career with the company you work for, but for yourself when and if you decide to head out on your own with your own designs and collections.

So a fashion business and design school is and excellent idea for any student that who is interested in getting into the industry. If you love designing, but don’t know anything about fashion design or fashion business, then you should definitely consider going to a Fashion Business School.


Becoming a Fashion Designer

It seems like everyone is jumping on the designer bandwagon these days. And why not? The fashion industry is sexy – fashion shows, parties, celebrities, recognition, and even fame go along with a career in fashion.

Now herein lies the question: do you go to design school or go straight to starting a business? Not all fashion designers go the traditional route to design school, instead drawing on an entrepreneurial spirit, some “designers” turn their head for business into a thriving fashion enterprise.

Ralph Lauren is an example of a fashion designer who bypassed the sewing machine and headed straight for the marketplace. Which path you take depends on your personal motivation. If you love sewing and pattern making, the traditional route is going to bring the most satisfaction. If you love the fashion world but don’t have the patience for needle and thread, a career in the fast-paced and exciting fashion biz is still possible … read on.

So you want to go out on your own, what’s first?

You’ve always admired fashion designers and their ability to design trendy, unique and wearable fashions season after season, as if by magic. But it’s not magic; it’s a business. And to succeed in business, nobody is an island (meaning that everyone needs a little help to accomplish his or her dreams). And it’s not all glitz and glamour. Being a fashion designer means you have to actually run a business.

Before you print up those business cards, ask yourself if you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and tackle the not-so fun aspects of fashion.

At first, running a fashion business could mean fulfilling orders yourself (i.e., packing boxes until the wee hours of the morning), steaming clothes repeatedly during fashion shows, and bookkeeping. You could spend only a small percentage of your time actually designing; instead you’re networking, schmoozing and negotiating with suppliers and vendors.

If you’re planning to take the direct-to-consumer path, you’ll have to create a website and maintain it (and most likely have to pay someone to handle these tasks), get a merchant account to process credit card transactions and manage charge back cycles. If you’re not interested in learning what these things mean, then you may decide to work for a large fashion house to learn the ropes.

But if you have the endurance and enough friends with skills or services you can trade for, you could go out on your own and succeed. Today is the age of entrepreneurship, why shouldn’t you get a piece of the pie?


The fashion biz: a reality check

Exciting industries are rife with competition-some that will fade away and others that will give you a run for your money. You have to compete against the big names out there and trendy emerging designers fresh out of the best design schools or veterans of big fashion houses-not to mention all the celebrities popping up with their own labels.

Running your own fashion biz may require you to reach out to suppliers and potential customers all over the world, which means you better be organized. Are you prepared to coordinate the procurement of raw materials like fabric, trim and hardware, so that your manufacturer gets what they need at the right time to deliver a finished product on deadline?

Think of yourself as a business person first and a fashion designer second. If your fashion business fails, you’re the one that suffers. Always keep the business aspect in the forefront of your mind. Some people find this prospect exhilarating, while others can’t think of anything more horrifying. Still interested in starting your own fashion business?

I’m not a designer, can I still work in the fashion industry?

Yes … and no. If you have the design vision, you can pay people to take your idea and turn it into a tangible pattern or design. This is sort of like what a creative director does. If this fits your situation, then you’d better have the business chops to get your business off the ground and you’d better have a solid Core Value Proposition.

What this means is that you must have a strong business proposal and offer a product that’s valuable and in demand. That doesn’t mean you have to sell high-end couture clothing to rich people. Clothiers H&M and Zara focus on fast ready-to-wear fashion at affordable pricepoints.

There is more than one path to becoming a fashion designer. You can learn to sew and go to design school to learn the ins-and-outs of the business. But not everyone learns to draw patterns and stitch together garments. The keys to succeeding in the fashion business are creativity, a good business sense and determination.

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