If Tom Ford first tried his hand at entirely different callings such as architecture, and Ralph Lauren started out as a sales assistant for Brooks Brothers, is it truly impossible for you to take the leap of fashion and join their designer ranks?
Although these are just some among many famous names synonymous with success in the world of fashion design, their incredible stories serve both as inspiration and warning of the challenges that lie ahead. Their careers are not simply a result of luck or extreme talent, but a mix of several key qualities, hard work, and incredible perseverance to stay true to their authentic expression.
A fierce imagination
The element that helps us remember the exquisite from the mundane designers, your creativity will play a major role in your ability to stand out among all those people who already stand out. It’s one thing to flaunt your imagination in the world of mere mortals who aren’t interested in forward-thinking trends, but a completely different one when you need to actually produce novelty.
The ability to bring new ideas to life and to live and breathe innovation is at the very core of fashion design, and no matter how skillful you might be at drawing or well-versed in the latest runway trends, you need to be original. And of course, you need to be able to bring that originality to life.
Do you know what makes a Donna Karan dress so wildly different from a nameless dress in your local boutique? Her life-long dedication to fashion creation, and her equally impressive education that shaped her into the icon that has graced the fashion industry with talent and innovation to this very day.
As a future fashion designer, learning about those who have paved the way for you, understanding the current fashion climate, and anticipating the market trends all make for essential skills to succeed in the industry. For example, this Master in Womenswear Fashion Design at Raffles Milan, lead by Gabriele Colangelo, allows you to immerse yourself in the world of fashion and shape your skills to meet the needs of the modern world.
A keen eye for detail
In addition to thinking outside of the box and getting acquainted with the trends, your spirit for innovation should also be reflected in your ability to rethink fashion through details. Do you remember the latest spring collection by Marco De Vincenzo, and his playful twist on midi skirts and blazers? The fringe moment was so notable, and yet so delicate, but it shaped the upcoming months of spring-perfect wears.
You need to be able to see beyond your personal preference and play with new textures, colors, shapes, and cuts in order to deliver ingenuity. These brilliant designers show that sometimes a single detail in your collection can make a difference in its reception with the public, and that massive, loud changes sometimes cannot even come close to the effect minor alterations can have on fashion thought of today.
Even with a unique take on fashion and an innovative edge, your ideas may never see the light of day if you don’t have the skills to present them to the world and deliver them to the right audience. Your internships, courses, and all the assistant jobs you’ll take to get closer to the best of the best also serve as a way to learn about the business ways of fashion.
You need to master the art of marketing your ideas, and the fundamentals of budgeting for your future brand. You cannot work as a designer out of the goodness of your heart, hence the need to make your skill as profitable as possible.
Very few designers are so lucky as to have a straight line soaring to success. A much more frequent scenario involves numerous failures, roadblocks, and a steep learning curve. However, these setbacks are no reason or sign that you are not meant for the world of fashion – in fact, they are often just a set of challenges meant to shape your own expression.
To that end, if you are truly passionate about this calling, do your best to equip yourself with the right skills and knowledge, and keep working toward your goal in an attempt to become another memorable name associated with innovation.