How to Become a Fashion Designer without a Degree?: The meaning of fashion is different in different cultures. In fact, I don’t agree that the word fashion abides to any specific definition given to it. Fashion is a generic term; it cannot have a specific meaning applied to it. What fashion means to someone can seem a weird sense of get-up to someone else. So, forget about confining the term to any definition. Forget about following any trend that is in, invent something new or try something different.
Fashion to me means being comfortable with what you wear and carrying it with ease, being lively and presentable and for that, you don’t need to look around for inspiration. Just be your own guide and keep innovating with what you have at hand and soon you would be your own personal fashion designer.
Being a professional fashion designer is also not very different; you need to keep on innovating with a variety of things. You need to innovate with the fabric being used, the cuts of the product under development, colors and create something that would make someone look impressive and add an edge to the overall look of that person.
Getting into this field on a professional level requires both natural and acquired skills. Natural skills essential are good sense of colors, fabric and cuts and a proper understanding of the cultural background of the place where you shall work. Acquired skills are essential to give your work a professional edge. You can acquire skills for fashion designing through a course at a fashion institute or can learn on your own through experience or references to some scholarly work.
There are many ways to acquire professional skills for being a fashion designer. It depends on you to choose according to your choice of career. If you would like to get into fields of textile manufacture and design or presentation, management or fashion journalism, you will have to go for a proper full time course so that after the successful completion of your course, you would stand eligible for companies offering these jobs.
If you wish to go in apparel design solely, you can do it on your own, learn the basic skills from a local designer or take a diploma course, full-time/part-time or learn from fashion magazines and books. If your inventions stuck the cord with the local public or your target customers, you would definitely do well. On the other hand, you can also take a full time degree course from a reputed institute to earn a fellowship with a renowned designer wherein you would get the chance to learn a lot from the experience of the designer.
In the following excerpt, we will discuss ways of establishing yourself as a fashion designer without getting any degree. Following would be the steps that would allow you to start your career in this field of fashion designing on your own. Yes, some professional training would surely be required, but not necessarily a full time degree or diploma course from an institute or Fashion colleges. All you need to do is have that passion and the right sense of fashion within yourself to survive in the field. Here are the steps:
10 Steps on How to Become a Fashion Designer without a Degree.
Maintain a Journal
You can create a research file that contains detailed information about the various fashion categories like accessories, apparel, shoes, etc. While getting in the detailed information, you would get to know what field you are particularly interested in. Even when students get enrolled in a fashion institute, the research part is the first step of their curriculum. So, see yourself as a candidate in one such fashion school and be your own mentor.
Have an Inspiration
Your inspiration could be a renowned fashion designer whose designs really struck you. You can look at the designs, the cuts, the drapes, the colors, and the fabric used through pictures from the designer’s show or from some apparel donned by a celebrity. Have the photos, cut your favorite design and paste it somewhere near you. When you get to see something like this around you every moment, you naturally get inspired to move on the path you’ve chosen.
Learn Drawing and Sketching
Drawing and sketching are important to materialize a design. These skills are like a designers language. Your creative mind seeks a way to get to the real world. With drawing and sketching, you are doing just this, allowing the designs in your mind to come down on the paper. So, it is necessary that you learn these skills. You should in fact be able to tirelessly create designs and draw sketches so that when you finally get a chance to sew something, you would have a design at hand to start your work. Also, a drawing class will help you to understand the basics of color combinations that would be helpful for you when you design actual clothes.
Understanding the basic and advanced sewing methods, a proper understanding of the ways a piece of cloth can be sewn in a variety of ways. You can take a sewing class from a local designer or a part-time program from some fashion institute. Sew as many clothes as you can while you are learning. Try it on your friends, family or yourself so that you get a proper understanding about the types of bodies and fittings accordingly. Understand the basics of popular fabrics, how they can be used properly in your designs.
Sew Clothes for the People Around You; Start a Non-profit Professional Set-up
Sew clothes on a non-profit basis. This will allow you to build a good customer base to start-off and would help you to understand how you should deal with people. Also, as you get to design or sew clothes for a larger customer base, you will come across more subject for understanding basics of body types and their fittings. Take this as a learning phase, wherein momentary profit is not your goal; you wish to learn, that is it.
Take Part in Fashion Designing Competitions
Find out any local fashion design competitions around you. Participate in it. Even if you are not able to perform well, you would understand what others are doing and what you can do to improve yourself. You would get new ideas and a proper direction.
Set-up Your Own Small Work Place
Set up a small workshop with your sewing machine and a board, wherein you can stick your inspirational designs, some of your own designs; a place where you can sketch and design. Make it in a way that you would actually feel that you are into it professionally now and that you need to really be serious about it. You can also place a mannequin to which you can pin your fabrics, drape clothes in style and create a new design everyday. You can use papers or cheap fabrics to materialize the design; the actual design can be easily made afterwards.
Understand Your Market
When you are up to some serious investment, i.e, when you have a good number of really impressive designs at hand, understand the market around you to see what kind of fabric you can put in to make the clothes in a proper price-range; something that is good for the market you wish to enter in. You should understand what your target wants, to make sure that your products are sold.
Seek an Internship
Seek an internship with a local designer. Don’t keep money in mind while doing the internship; internship is meant for learning, and all you should do is learn as much as you can.
Create a Smart Portfolio
Have a portfolio that contains some of your best designs. When you approach a customer or when you are approached, such a portfolio can help you to show the customer some of your finest creations. This would help them in understanding your creativity in a quick glance and they would be assured of your talent. Such portfolios are also very essential when you approach a designer for an internship.
There are many other things that would come your way when you actually start working. If you have dedication and a real passion for your work, you can do really well. If not on the global market, you can be a renowned face in your local or targeted market. This is really good to kick start your career; many more things will keep on following after that.