Fashion designers live a life that’s very fulfilling. They get to do a job that they are passionate about. They get to use their talent to improve their standards of living and they get to do it everyday. Not many people in other vocations can claim to make their passion their job. Becoming a fashion designer is not tough. While many believe that you don’t need any degree to become a fashion designer, in reality a professional degree helps accelerate growth. Once you complete a bachelor of fashion design course, you automatically come to the notice of people.
If you are keen to become a fashion designer, you must begin your journey early. The best thing to do is enroll in a reputable and recognized fashion design course after 12th so that you get the maximum leverage later. Nowadays there are many courses available for aspiring fashion designers, from the traditional fashion designing course to the more advanced apparel production, communication design, fashion management and textile design. While the core idea in all types of course remains the same, the approach and teachings vary from course to course.
Bachelor of Fashion Design
A Bachelor of Fashion Design can mean different things. A full-fledged 3-years’ bachelors’ degree, a 6 month or 12 month diploma course, post graduate diploma and so forth. Where you want to see yourself in a future should determine what you want to study now.
There is no doubt that in the last two decades fashion designing has become a very popular vocational program in India, so much so that today it is a highly competitive space. Probably we must thank stalwart designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Wendell Rodricks, Satya Pal, Ritu Kumar and so many others who have made fashionable clothes accessible to all. There was once a time when designer clothes were meant for celebrities and affluent people. Today that’s not the case as everyone has access to fashionable yet affordable clothes. This means that there is a huge scope for new designers to enter the market and become a part of the fashion industry.
Scope for Fashion Designers
In this age of social media glitz and glamor, anyone can become a social media star. This means that anyone can earn followers easily by posting quality content online. Since the world has become more open to newer talents who are not necessarily celebrities at the first instance, more and more young people are drawn towards social media popularity. This has opened floodgates of opportunities for fashion enthusiasts who can help social media influencers reach their goals by styling them appropriately. Other than that the traditional opportunities for fashion designing aspirants still exists. In fact boutiques and fashion brands have become all the more common which has made it easier for fashion designers to make their mark.
There is no dearth of opportunities for fashion designers today. From opening their own boutiques right after passing from a reputed college to working under a well-known fashion designer for few years, there are many ways to grow in the industry. Moreover, no one looks down at experimenting fashion designers anymore. The more you experiment with your designs, the more you collaborate with influencers, the more you create sustainable designs, the more opportunities you get.
What Are the Core Responsibilities of a Fashion Designer?
A fashion designer is responsible for steering trends towards newer directions. Conscientious fashion designers make sustainable decisions that help create lesser pollutants and waste. As a beginner, your core responsibilities will begin with –
- Conceptualizing new designs and using new materials
- Staying abreast with emerging fashion trends
- Understanding technical aspects of designing, production and cost estimations
- Understanding mass fashion requirements and collaborating designs according
- Developing products that have a wider acceptance
- Collaborating with sales executives to understand the demands of the market
- Identifying target audience and market based on gender, age and socio-economic status and molding designs accordingly.
Characteristics That Makes a Successful Fashion Designer
Talent is naturally a pre-requisite for becoming a fashion designer. But talent can take you only so far. You will need to develop other qualities, some of which we shall be discussing below, that will help you become not just a better designer but also a successful one. If you have read inspiring stories about how fashion designers have taken over the world with their creativity and business acumen, you must understand that they didn’t achieve all that in a single day. They toiled hard, burnt many midnight oil, failed numerous times, rose every single time and continued to persevere despite of all challenges.
So, what makes a successful fashion designer? Below we shall be discussing a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Confidence – The fashion industry is a grueling one. You cannot easily succumb to the pressure. You will need to build a wall of confidence around you to sell your ideas and designs to retailers, buyers, other designers and stakeholders. Your efforts will not be recognized instantly but you must have confidence in your skills and know with certainty that you will succeed.
- Perseverance – It takes more than just talent to become a successful fashion designer. You have to be patient and persistent in your efforts to succeed. You must have the tenacity to recognize failures as stepping stones to success. You must have a never say die attitude to succeed.
- Personality – You must have noticed that fashion designers have a flamboyant attitude that puts them apart from the rest. Personality is surely a winning trait in a good designer. Your designs can take you only to a certain level, but your personality can heighten your success. It is your personality that will help you promote your brand successfully and also win more admirers.
Why a Degree in Fashion Designing is Necessary?
When talent is a pre-requisite to becoming a fashion designer, why do you need to study it as a subject? This is a question often asked. Though it is true that your talent can determine how successful your career as a fashion designer will be, it is often not enough to succeed. You need to also understand the nuances of the industry, the challenges ahead of you, how to beat competition, rise above mediocrity and showcase your talent in a manner that helps fulfill your dreams.
If you want to rise about mediocrity and fulfill your dreams quickly, you should enroll in a fashion designing course right after your 12th.
What to Expect From A Fashion Designing Course?
The very basic thing you need to become a fashion designer is creativity. You need to be able to imagine newer designs and have the skills to execute your idea into something more tangible. This is where a professional education comes handy. An academic program will help you mold your creativity so that you can get best leverage in the industry. When you enroll in a fashion designing course right after your 12th, your young mind is ready to learn a lot of new things. If until then you had been scribbling in your drawing book and making innumerable designs then during your academic pursuance, you will learn your mistakes and know ways to improve yourself.
In a professional environment, you will get the exposure to know how to improve your skills. You will be taught by professional designers who have a thorough knowledge about how this competitive industry works. Within the confines of a college, you will the opportunity to know how challenging the work of a fashion designer really is. However, enrolling in a reputed fashion designing college will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for the challenges of a professional life.
Skills You Will Learn in a Fashion Designing School
Scribbling designs on a notebook isn’t fashion designing. That’s just your talent outpouring to fulfill your creative pursuits. That’s not going to take you too far. You need to enhance your skills and learn newer things that will improve your skills. When you enroll in a fashion designing program you will learn new things that will help you enhance your skills. Some of the things that are commonly taught in fashion school are –
- Creativity – It is a core skill that will define your path ahead as a fashion designer. You should be able to look at a piece of fabric and imagine how best it can be styled. You should be able to determine which material will do justice to your designs. Creativity is the fundamental asset that is at the core of all your future endeavors. In an academic environment, you will get ample opportunities to improve your creativity.
- 3D Designing Skills – Technology is a part and parcel of any profession today. Even as a fashion designer you should have the know-how on how to use technology for better reach. Learning 3D designing skills is absolutely necessary today when you want to hasten decision making, design while on the go, share digital samples whenever you want and also to become more sustainable.
- Visualization – Your mind may be brimming with ideas but unless you can visualize where the design will look the best, you cannot go forward. In a fashion school, you will be taught visualization skills which will help you ideate better. For example, if you are designing for women, you will be in a better position to understand which design requires which material and so on.
- Improved Communication Skills – Designers thrive when they interact with colleagues, industry experts, models, consumers, retailers, raw material suppliers etc. Communication is key to success. Designing is only one step to becoming a fashion designer. You will need to explain your ideas to your team members, liaise with manufacturers on fabric requirements, communicate with production team on how the final outlook would be and further talk to retailers/wholesalers/boutique owners to sell your designed clothes. All this can only be successful when you can communicate clearly. Developing your communication skills is an important lesson taught in fashion schools.
- Multi-tasking Skills – Right now as a young final-year school student, you may have the time to sketch for endless hours without a worry. But once you become a professional designer you will have to do a lot more than sketching. You will have to source materials, talk to clients, enlist in fashion shows, promote your brand, maintain public relations, and more. Multi-tasking is very important if you want to do all the above without getting flummoxed. When in a fashion school, you will have to multi-task everyday which will prepare you for the tough journey ahead.
- Becoming an Environmentally Conscious Designer – Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter just after the oil industry? Yes! The adverse impact of fashion on our environment is huge. As we battle global warming, it is important that the next generation designers become conscious and responsible of what and how they produce fashion goods. Today, it has become an essential skill taught in fashion schools.
How to Enroll in A Fashion Design Course After 12th?
Since fashion designing is a professional course, there is no restriction on who can enroll in the program and who cannot. Students from any academic background can join a bachelor’s program in fashion designing. The main criterion is to have the knack for fashion, to be able to understand fashion and its changing milieu and have the drive to become a part of this competitive environment.
Though many colleges give admission on a first come first serve basis, many other reputable colleges require students to clear either the –
- All India Entrance exam for Design(AIEED)
- National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT) entrance exam or the,
- National Institute Of Design(NID) entrance exam
A minimum age for qualification is 17 years while the maximum is 23 years which can go up another 5 years in case of ST/SC/OBC/PWD category students.
Career Opportunities for Fashion Designers
Innumerable opportunities open for fashion designing graduates after the completion of their course. You can be hired by famous fashion designers as interns and then you can slowly climb the ladder of success. You can also be inducted into a corporate setup when you are hired by a bug fashion brand. Alternatively you can start your own business right after graduating and open your own boutique. The opportunities of participating in fashion shows, both nationally and internationally also open when you graduate from a leading fashion school of the country.
The important thing to remember while enrolling in any fashion designing course is to know what you want to specialize in. As the academic scope of the subject expands, there are more and more specializations being added to the course every few years. So you could be interested in a simple fashion designing degree or go for specializations in textile designing, accessory designing, fashion merchandising, leather designing, fashion publisher and lot more.
A professional degree in fashion designing will help you realize how to best utilize your creativity. You can forge a path in creative arts in a more professional manner when you are armed with the right degree. Join the course right after your 12th so that you can become a part of the industry quickly. Find out more about Bachelor of Fashion Designing before enrolling in any program.