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How to become a fashion designer


How to Become a Fashion Designer

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So you want to become a fashion designer? I will give you my expertise on what is needed.

1. The very first thing you need is creativity. Do you have great ideas for fashion designs? Creativity is the number one trait needed to be a fashion designer along with a close eye for detail.

2. Is there a void in the market for what you want to design? Many people realize their fashion calling because they can’t seem to find anything they like when they go out shopping. They feel that by bringing their vision to the world - it would benefit others and themselves.

3. Passion and commitment. Is becoming a fashion designer just a fly by night thing for you or do you seriously want to take over the world of fashion against all odds and challenges to gain creative and financial reward. There is nothing like seeing other people wearing and loving your designs.

4. Fashion School. Do you have the funds to go to fashion school and get a well rounded education on fashion. Fashion schools provide a lot of useful information on becoming a fashion designer. They offer courses in pattern making, drafting, CAD illustration, drawing, fabrics etc. Fashion schools are quite expensive. My only gripe about fashion schools is that most of them just teach you how to work for someone else at the end of day. Very few go out on their way at this time to teach you how to start your own fashion line. There are a few fashion schools that have come up to speed with today’s times like The Art Institute of San Diego that also teaches our 1 Book How to Start Your Own Clothing Line Course in addition to their regular fashion curriculum. In close, fashion schools are great for those that can afford it and want a well rounded education. Now, what if you don’t want to go to fashion school or you simply can’t afford it? There is still much hope for you! Which brings us to number 5. Can you become a fashion designer without a college program. Absolutely! Some of the most famous designers either went to fashion schools for short periods of time or failed to go at all.

5. Illustration is king! In fashion design - the main objective is to convey your creativity as best as you can to others. When others see your fashion designs - they should be moved - they should know exactly what your vision is without having to use their imagination too much. I might be a little biased but in reality I think hand sketching in today’s times is a little overrated. Let me tell you why. I have worked with many clothing manufacturers from all over the world. I remember when I first started I would send them these hand sketches with a bunch of notes and instructions wrote on them. After a while, they E-mailed me to tell me that they would prefer that our company sent computer drafted sketches vs. hand sketches. This is how Digital Fashion Pro was born. Of course we heard from other big companies (that I’m not going to name right now) that designers who work for them needed to know how to use Adobe Illustrator.

We decided to do a little something different for a number of reasons. We created a system that would go three steps further. We decided to create our Digital Fashion Pro system that would adequately convey our fashion designs to our manufactures in a way that was superior to the sketches they were getting from others. We also created catalogs with our the Digital Fashion Pro system and took them to the Magic Trade show (Clothing Industry Trade show) where we were exhibiting. Buyers took to our realistic fashion sketches because Digital Fashion Pro makes the best fashion sketches hands down.

With creativity and The Digital Fashion Pro System - your fashion illustrations will be incredible. So I said all of that to say this. As long as you can create professional computer illustrations of your concepts - you are well on your way to becoming a fashion designer. With the Digital Fashion Pro system that not only gives you the software to create but also the learning tools to know how to create can help you become a fashion designer. There’s no need to put your dreams off just because you can’t afford fashion school or don’t have the time to go. Another great thing about the Digital Fashion Pro system is that it is based in art - not just click and snap. You get a real art course that shows you how to design like real designers do. The best part is that you can have limited drawing skills to no drawing skills and still make beautiful cutting edge designs. Now if you can draw already - then Digital Fashion Pro will even help you expound on your creativity and take it to new heights. We are quickly becoming the industry alternative to Adobe Illustrator which is just a general purpose software where our Digital Fashion Pro is not just a software but a complete system dedicated to art of fashion. With new clients such as Ed Hardy coming aboard everyday - Digital Fashion Pro is the right choice to start making your fashion designs with.

6. Education on the real world of Fashion Designing. This is another important requirement. Illustration will only get you so far. You still need to be well rounded in the business of fashion and understanding the fashion design process. Fashion schools comes into play here but even if you are in fashion school or a graduate (in which a lot of our customers are) - you will still need the following things in addition to a graphics program like Digital Fashion Pro:

a. A good Spec and measurement book such as the one found in our superstore that will teach you how to measure and grade your garments. Having good specs and great illustrations are by far the 2 most important pieces of the puzzle to getting your clothing made. You need a spec chart for each article of clothing you want made period. Sending a garment from another clothing line or designer for a manufacturer to try to make yours from isn’t going to get you far. You need good measurements period. After having good measurements - your illustration at this point gives the manufacturer the visual reference they need to do a good job. Many new designers under estimate this point. Further note that while patterns are good to have and send to a manufacturer - they aren’t mandatory. The single most important thing again is having your technical sketch and a spec chart! In fact, once again many new designers go through a lot of money, time and energy trying to ship patterns to manufactures because that is what they were taught. Only to find out that even with the patterns - manufacturers still get the garment wrong. At this point, you will be out of pattern making cost, shipping cost and the time it took you to ship your pattern to the manufacturer in the first place. The most economical way to send your styles to manufactures is via E-mail. Send them your tech pack and they’ll be off and running.

b. The know how to create your own garment technical specification charts - we actually teach how to illustrate garment technical sketches and set up spec charts on our Digital Fabric Library Upgrade CD for Digital Fashion. We also have The Fashion Business Center CD which comes with clothing spec sheet templates and more.

c. The knowledge about how to get your clothing made and work with manufactures - see the starting a clothing line 1 book course. It is important to get smart fast about the fashion industry. The - 1 Book Course from is the best there is in terms of learning the ins and outs about being a fashion designer and starting your own clothing line. The information presented in the Official Step by Step Guide to Starting a Clothing Line is a must for all new fashion designers according to Julie Patterson - Department Chair - at the International Academy of Design and Technology. We agree! Also the course covers getting your Trademark and more.

d. The desire to seek and find any helpful information that can help you learn more and more about fashion design and the business side.

e. For those of you who can sew (which is a definitely a good skill to have but not a requirement) could also invest in Pattern Making Software. This will allow you to print your own patterns. For those of you who can’t sew don’t fret. You just focus on creating the design and surround yourself with others who can sew. People like seamstresses, tailors, professional pattern makers and garment manufacturers will do your sewing. Just make sure you pay attention to detail and learn along the way. The funny thing about fashion is sometimes a person can sew very well but lack artistic vision. On the other hand, some people can’t sew but can design super well because they ooze with creativity. Remember Creativity is #1!

f. Another item that all fashion designers and companies have in their arsenal is a good old fashion / textile Pantone Color Book. This book is the international standard of color. When you want to communicate to others the color you desire - you give them the color’s pantone number and they will be able to reference the same color on their end.

There it is. These are the things needed to become a fashion designer. Once you get an understanding of fabrics and you can illustrate your designs - you can become a illustrations, head designer, or even start your own fashion line. Remember - the first thing you need is creativity so you can create some killer collections. Then you need a great computer graphics program or system like Digital Fashion Pro to help you convey your fashion message in the best way possible. Now just how good of a fashion designer you become will depend on your own creativity and ingenuity. So if you want to become a fashion designer - don’t put it off no longer. There is no time like today to get started. You don’t have to get everything I mentioned here at once but by all means - put your fashion dream into action today! You owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.

So where should you start? I would say get one of the Digital Fashion Pro packages and start creating some designs first to get a feel for designing. Start getting your feet wet then move on from there. Showing others your designs could spark others like investors to get behind you.  Your designs can also be used to start building clientele and general interest in your clothing designs. You could even start doing freelance designs. Designing is definitely a great place to start because that is the foundation of your fashion career. The buzz you’ll start creating will also serve to build your confidence as a designer and give you the passion you need to go forward.

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Examples of computer generated fashion sketches using Digital Fashion Pro. Notice the detail. Click on any image above to learn more about fashion design software.

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