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Chasing the Designer Dream: Breaking into the Fashion Industry

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Do you have an eye for what’s next in the world of fashion? Are your friends always commenting on your knack for the trendy? Do you love piecing together unique looks or designing and creating your own clothing? Maybe it’s time for you to look into a career in the fashion industry. For the style savvy, becoming a fashion designer can be a true calling. Joining the ranks of Donna Karen, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs doesn’t happen over night, but for those who are loyal enough to their passion, it can happen. If you dream of seeing your masterpieces make their way down the cat walk or decorating store front mannequins, here are a few tips to help you get you and your creative mind on the right path.


Starting Your Journey
In a high paced, competitive, and often over crowded arena like fashion, it’s easy to get lost among the hopefuls and hopeless who share your dream. While some designers made a name for themselves by coming up with a trendy idea inspired by sheer creativity, many others joined the academic ranks to give them the tools necessary to excel. Unless you have a clothing creation that is creating tons of buzz and a line of prospective purchasers, your best bet is to educate your self. A good fashion school will give you the necessary tools of the trade; some business experience, and the ability to build a credible resume.


Selecting an Academic Program
There are tons of colleges and universities that offer fashion programs as part of their curriculum. Unfortunately, not every school that offers a degree in fashion can offer you the edge you need to succeed. For men and women who are serious about a degree in fashion, the school you attend can make or break your dreams. The world of fashion is largely driven by brand names and that extends well past what the models on the runway are wearing. To really get a handle on your goals, it’s important to gain entrance into one of the more prestigious fashion programs.


Applying to Fashion Programs
As you may or may not already know, the fashion industry is extremely competitive and this competitive nature extends into the schools. Acceptance into a prestigious fashion school is not as simple as filling out an application and handing over a tuition check. Each institution will review your application and look for proof that you are a valid candidate who possesses the ability to successfully complete their program. Due to the nature of the program it’s important you possess and/or display a few key traits or characteristics including those listed below.


  • Sewing Skills: As a fashion student you will be required to create your own clothing. A huge part of this task is being able to sew, a skill you’re expected to show some competency in before you walk into the classroom.
  • Sketching/Drawing: While you may see the final product clearly in your mind’s eye, it’s the instructor’s eye that matters. The ability to sketch your ideas can be a huge plus for fashion design students. Take a drawing class or two so can visually portray your fashion proficiency through portfolio sketches.
  • Passion: Admission to a prestigious fashion school isn’t based solely on your current abilities. After all, if you were already a vastly talented fashionistas, you probably wouldn’t be attending school. Fashion institutes really want to see passion in their students. Whether it’s with a portfolio or during an interview, be sure to portray your personal passion for fashion.



Make the Most of It
Once you are admitted into a fashion program, it’s essential that you use your time their wisely. Go to class, put your all into every project, and develop close ties with your mentors and instructors. Most distinguished fashion schools work closely with the real world designers, meaning you will be rubbing elbows with some of the most important and influential people in the industry. Use your time in school to develop a truly remarkable portfolio and improve the quality of your relationships to real world designers who can help jump start your career once you’ve graduated.your journey to fashion success, there will be many bumps in the road. It’s important that you stay confident in your abilities and continue to give your all even when you feel like it’s no longer good enough. Whether you’re designing socks or working on an entire runway collection, each project is a valuable stepping stone to your ultimate goal.

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