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How will being a self-motivated learner help me? Fashion Designer


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Wanda’s Answer

Self-motivated learning is what leads people to create new ideas, theories, technologies and everything else new. Learning is questioning and finding the answers. For a fashion designer- some self-motivated learner decided to find out what happened if you created a pair of pants that was a cross between a pair of jeans and a pair of leggings. All of the style and all of the comfort in one package. If you are not a self-motivated learner, you will only ever be a follower. The goal in fashion design is to be the trend setter, the person that comes up with the latest fashion craze, or the person that comes up with the type of clothing we didn't realize we couldn't live without until that self-motivated learner showed it to us. For me, it is outfits that look great, but feel like pajamas. No one can force you to learn or even to want to learn. The motivation to learn, ask questions and find answers has to come from inside of you. Because he was a self-motivated learner, almost everyone knows who Benjamin Franklin was and it's also why they know who these people are:

  • Coco Chanel
  • Donna Karan
  • Giorgio Armani.
  • Calvin Klein
  • Donatella Versace
  • Christian Dior



Thank you Wanda Helena G.

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Eve’s Answer

Being a self-motivated or active learner will help you no matter what you choose to do. The other thing that's crucial is knowing what you need to learn to reach your goal. There may be some steps on your path that you're less passionate about or that are more challenging.

For instance, when I was in school for fashion design, I saw lots of students who didn't understand how to read a ruler, do fractions, look up information in the library or online, or sew. One of the things I commonly heard from them was: "I don't need to know how to do (pattern drafting, sewing, sketching, computer-aided design, research) because I'll pay someone else to do that."

But everything that you learn informs the designs that you create.

Reading a ruler and being able to do fractions are crucial to being able to create and resize (grade) patterns. Knowing how to sew and passionately pursuing new sewing techniques allows you to make samples that showcase your ideas. Understanding the properties of different fabrics lets you pick the best materials to use for any given project. Being able to research trends, techniques, and designers will widen your knowledge of what's happening right now or what's come before. The ability to find sources for fabric and parts online will allow you to work with a wide variety of materials and give you flexibility in bringing your vision to life. Using computer-aided design programs means you have a digital pattern that's easier to resize and send to manufacturers. Understanding how to communicate with clothing manufacturers and what their limitations are means being able to get the product that you want produced. Looking for internships in the industry and building relationships with fashion professionals will help you understand the industry at large.

All of these things will make you a better designer and mastering them can help you find work in a highly-competitive industry.

Eve recommends the following next steps:

Investigate the skills necessary to enroll and succeed in a fashion design school or a school that offers fashion design.
Master as many of those skills as you can before applying to schools.
Talk to local fashion professionals in your area (for instance Seattle has a number of small shops owned by fashion designers as well as Nordstrom which employs designers and a number of outdoor wear and accessory design shops). Ask them how they got started, what they think is helpful, and what next steps they can suggest.
Experiment. Don't forget to play with what you know. Sometimes creating something that fails will teach you more that playing it safe and only doing what you know will work.

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Kelly Michelle’s Answer

Hey there! Being a self motivated learner will help you in every single way in your personal life and your career.

Being self motivated means taking initiative for your success and learning beyond what may be expected of you.


In the fashion industry from my personal experience and watching other designers that I have worked with it is absolutely crucial to be the one that will take their work into their own hands by crafting the pieces that challenge you.

Do not let these challenges cause you to slow your momentum, but encourage you to research new methods, find better ways to construct the piece and become more inventive.

Taking the initiative will show you and others around you that you can handle challenges and find better methods rather than expecting direction and guidance along the way.


Most companies do not want to work with designers that need a lot of encouragement to learn they want the designers that are eager to work and learn and do their best even if it fails.

Kelly Michelle recommends the following next steps:

Have a fashion mentor
Plan your days and find one thing you learn, one thing that challenges you and one thing you have a question on.

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