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5 Unconventional Tips for Aspiring Fashion Designers

The gurus have their top favorite tips, but what about the unconventional advice? Here are 5 tips for aspiring fashion designers you don’t often hear.

Like any creative field, fashion design has no clear road to success. Sure, you can read up on the steps to take getting through school, building your portfolio, and studying the industry, but when it comes to putting boots on the ground, it’s a large field with thousands of people just like you – all rivaling for the same dream career. The steps taken by the big names to make them big-named didn’t lie in their technical achievements, but in the lesser-known and hard-to-document rules of life they followed.

Here are the unconventional tips you’ll need as an aspiring fashion designer – not just to make it, but to make it worth it.

Your Vision Needs to Evolve with the Industry

By having a vision when you start your career, you are bringing a unique attitude to the people you work for and under, it gives you the drive to continue when the going gets tough, but most importantly, it makes the hard work worth it in the end. However, just like the fashion industry is ever changing, your vision needs to be able to roll with the punches. You may have created it under false pretenses, new developments can take the foundation out from under your goal,and it will need course adjustments as you further explore the niche. Don’t be afraid to let your vision look completely different at the end than it did at the beginning. By clinging on too tight, you could bar yourself from something greater.

Prepare for the Production Boost

You spend hours daydreaming of the day when you can walk into any store and see your line proudly on display; it’s what drives you to keep with the hard work and tolerate the colleagues you’d rather strangle. But when the stars align and this dream comes true, you’ll quickly find yourself crushed under the production demand. This can lead to a lower-quality product, a creative roadblock as you strain under the pressure, and even a downward spiral as the industry passes you by for someone more prepared. As you’re growing your career, don’t make leaps you’re not ready to take full responsibility of. If you lack the funding to cope with it, or aren’t in a place in your life to handle the demand, slow down. It’s more important to be ready.

Think Outside the Box by Making It Personal

There’s nothing new under the sun, they say, but fashion has managed to keep itself diversified since the beginning of time. The key to this lies in evaluating a need and then catering to it. The best designers admit their inspiration comes from their personal life, so look at your environment and see what need isn’t being fulfilled. Deciding jeans were fashionable but too clumsy led to the creation of jeggings, so perhaps a friend has a skin tone that needs complimented or their body type doesn’t work with the latest fashions. It’s not just about look and style; it’s about filling a gap, and the more personalized it is, the more it will appeal to others.

Remember That Inspiration Comes Outside the Drawing Board

Hard work and determination get you everywhere – sometimes into the ground. Burnouts and overworking yourself aside, if you focus too narrowly on the industry itself, you’re limiting the scope of your creativity. By broadening your life through hobbies, relationships, and other fields unrelated to design, you’re opening yourself up to a new perspective to draw from. Jumping into singles chat could lead to meeting someone that gives you your next great idea, and taking up a sport could unveil a unique gap in the market you’ve overlooked. Inspiration isn’t just at the drawing board; you need to remember to live.

Build a Team of Advisors

Movies have created an idea that fashion designers are independent beings, only touching down with others long enough to bark a few orders and flippantly ask for their latte before they whisk off on their next inspiration. In real life, that just isn’t happening. Success lies in having a strong team surrounding you, whether they’re colleagues to help you with the work or friends in the same industry to give you guidance and advice. With the fast pace of the field, it’s impossible to stay abreast with all the nuances and the signs of a changing trend, so by growing your circle of partners and companions, you’re extending your reach and knowledge to stay ahead of those changes, making improvements when they need to be made.

While building your portfolio and studying the industry is valuable, true success lies in preparing for the curveballs that could stunt your career’s growth and building the connections you will need later. The skills you need won’t all be inside the industry, so begin broadening your horizon now.


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