Are you brave enough to make a bold move, traveling to some big fashion center and presenting your portfolio to some big shot designer? Having courage is important, but unfortunately, it’s not enough. Becoming a fashion designer is mostly about developing your designer skills and making the necessary connections that will help you move higher up in the fashion world. Furthermore, there are many other important aspects including current trends and the current economic situation that can hugely impact the fashion world.
Find out What Types of Designers Are High in Demand
There are many different areas in the fashion industry, and almost all of them constantly require different kinds of professional, capable designers. In the UK, there are many designers for womenswear who are signing, studying or finishing colleges. On the other hand, there are only a handful of menswear designers, accessories designers or sportswear designers. If you are in the UK and you want to be a designer, it would be a good thing to go with accessories, sportswear o menswear, because there are not so many designers in these markets, and finding a job will be much easier when the competition is weaker.
The current fashion market in general has a great demand for pattern cutters who can also do designs and who understand the whole process. In the fashion world, a certain field can easily get overcrowded and this is why you should look to aim at the areas that are in demand, while at the same time learning about other fields as well, so that you can switch if needed.
Knock On Many Doors Until You Get Your Chance
Already established designers are very busy people who have no time to spare. They will probably be annoyed when you approach them randomly, but still, it’s important to make an effort and show your ambition and courage. No matter how the designer reacts to your approach, he or she will still be left with a positive opinion of you; they will respect you for making an effort to fulfil your dreams.
Remember, successful designers started off like you, fighting for their own piece of glory. There are many students that traveled to Milan, New York, or Paris, to hand their CV or design projects personally to the companies and designers they wanted to work for. As expensive as this may be, those students were delivering projects or CVs they worked on for a long time, and now, some of them have the chance to work for Vogue, Chanel, Dior, etc. Designers want to meet the people who are behind the work they are looking at, and they want to ask more question about their ideas, inspiration, etc. This is why delivering your material personally is highly important and why you should always look to go knocking on doors by yourself, rather than sending your CV or project via e-mail.
Consider What Qualities You Can Bring To Internships and What You Can Get Out Of Them
Is the designer in the company for which you want to intern going to give you access to new knowledge? Will you be able to learn skills that are going to be useful to you in your further career? Besides getting payed adequately, you should always look for positions that can teach you something, to improve yourself as a designer. On the other hand, you should always look to evaluate yourself and see what skills and knowledge you have that a certain company might find useful and relevant for their needs. There are companies who are all about craft techniques and sampling, while there are others that are organized and operate by designing on computers. The important thing is to find a designer company that is suitable to you and vice versa. Both sides will benefit a lot and both will improve as time passes.
Don’t Let Your Location Hold You Back
All fresh graduates and designers with a little experience should look to work overseas and avoid being picky when it comes to choosing the right location for their job. You have to be open minded and prepared to work anywhere, with anyone, if the opportunity is good. Many recruiters travel to other continents to work in designer companies. It’s a good opportunity to learn new languages, travel, meet new people, explore other cultures and get inspired by some designer ideas you might have in the future. When looking for your first job, you cannot afford to be picky when it comes to where you’ll work. If the pay and all other aspects are good for you, then go. You shouldn’t miss out on amazing opportunities just because the location is not excellent for you.
Get Your CV to the Right Place at the Right Time
Keep in mind that not all design roles for interns or graduates will be properly advertised. Most big designer companies don’t want to spend a lot of money on recruitment and advertising because they literally have designers standing in line to get a job with them. They want designers to be dedicated to them, even when they are not working for them. They want them sticking around, keeping tabs on current events in the company.
Furthermore, many employers will look to take advantage of their direct applications and contacts. This is why you must always keep track of the company’s news and make sure that your CV is where it needs to be at the right time. Consider creating a target list that contains the names of the companies you would like to work for. Write down at least 50 names and apply for work at each one. Even if your application gets rejected, send it once again when you find out they are in need of fresh designers. If you are forced to send an application via email, always make sure to include images that show your work.
Create Relevant Online Profiles
You never know who, when and how might come across at your profiles online. Make sure that you fully utilize on business and fashion networks such as Fashion Industry, Fashion United, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Create profiles on each of these, as you never know when someone important might check you out online. Many major fashion giants and recruitment agencies go fishing for new talents on these sites. You should also make sure to join a lot of portfolio sites to spread your work around and make it visible. Some of the best portfolio sites you can choose include Coroflot, Style Portfolios and Arts Thread. Furthermore, make sure that all of your social media profiles have images of your work and that your profiles are professional and offer important information about who you are, what your skills are, your passions and how much you love fashion.
Always Try To Complement Your Knowledge and Fill Gaps
When you start looking for a job, you will soon realize that a lot of companies and clients require strong skills in computer aided design (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or some other similar software). Assistant designers can make it easier for themselves to find a job by investing a bit of effort and time into acquiring these important skills.
You should look to check some fashion design software ratings to find out what are the best tools you can use to get the job done quickly and efficiently. What is truly unfortunate is the fact that not all universities and colleges include CAD, or other software training as parts of their programs. If this is your case, than you should look to acquire relevant knowledge online or sing up for learning courses. Having this knowledge is becoming more important each day, as everything is done on computers nowadays, and there are companies that already do designs exclusively in front of a computer screen.
All fashion graduates who know how to design garment shapes along with these graphics will find it easier to get a job. A person that has these skills will make it much easier on an employer to choose them, as they won’t have to hire two people, but instead, hire a graduate who can do fashion designs and graphic/textile designs as well.
As a final tip, it’s important that you start making valuable connections and contacts early on, to improve your chances of getting a job after you graduate. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to get hired for a high end company straight away after you graduate. There are many people studying to become designers and the labor market is quite crowded. This is why establishing connections at the very start will help you get recommend for jobs.