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How could I start a career as a fashion designer?

I love to design and make my own crochet clothes and accessories but I don't know where to go from here. I am in 11th grade and do not have a job yet so I cannot afford sewing classes at the moment, but would sewing classes help? What people could I talk to for help and advice on how to become a fashion designer?

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Ben !

I am happy to share some thoughts and advice with you about a career in fashion. You have already started ! You are creating wonderful garments and accessories already, so now one thing you can start to do is photograph every thing you make and start a portfolio, a hard copy one as well as an on line one. Although the Beyond Talent website (link provided below) states that a hard copy portfolio is not necessary, I highly suggest that you make a hard copy book for your styles. I say this because you may encounter a situation in which the evaluator may not have time to review things on line, call you for an interview and you'll be prepared with a portfolio that the evaluator can hold and see and ask questions about while interviewing you. Some may want a three dimensional, tangible book to even see how professionally you've prepared it. So go with both to cover all possible opportunities. The online portfolio is good when the notice states "e-mail your portfolio to me".

Continue what you are doing now. Becoming professional is a process and you do have a good start happening right now. Join any groups you can find affiliated with fashion and also find opportunities to have live fashion shows of your styles. Inquire at your high school, faith based organizations that you may belong to, ask around at various venues. Any fashion show you coordinate will go on your resume. Concentrate on the present and you will take the right steps towards a career.

The absolute best way to obtain free sewing lessons is through the numerous videos on You Tube and ideas on Pinterest. I have been known to take advantage of this ! Learn stitching and how to operate a sewing machine, different fabrics, mending, altering, working with patterns and even re-styling. This is your best bet for now if you do not have the means for paid sewing lessons. Yes, it will teach you a lot so it is worth every minute you put into it.

Of course, you know that we always want you to reach out to us on Career Village for advice. You can also go to your local tailor's or alteration shops and ask questions there, too. Sometimes the store Michael's has jewelry making classes. How about shadowing a fashion student at one of your local fashion schools, or auditing a class ? You could always ask questions of the staff there as well. Read fashion websites and blogs and keep up with the trends and sometimes they have a message board where you can ask questions, too. The process on the way to a fashion career is challenging but a fun journey !

Most of all, don't give up. Keep creating, be original, take risks with your creativity and, although it may take a good while before you get where you want to be, know that you've got this and you can do it ! I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

CREATING A PORTFOLIO https://beyondtalentrecruitment.com/blog/fashion-designer-portfolio-for-job
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice and encouragement! I will absolutely use YouTube and Pinterest to get sewing knowledge, All this advice will definitely help with my career. Thank you! Ben
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Katherine’s Answer

Besides these really great answers from other posters, you might find it interesting to check out this workbook and see if it sparks any ideas for you about how to go from "zero" to a next step of some kind, and so on.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/topics/self-reliance/2017/14678_sgmb_book_eng.pdf?lang=eng
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Ben
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Aisha’s Answer

Hi Ben,

Working in the world of fashion calls for a colorful palette of skills. Designers tap into their imaginative spirit and keen sense of style to craft beautiful designs. This field requires you to be a great communicator, a team player, and someone who pays attention to the smallest details. Practical skills, such as proficiency in design software, understanding of garment construction, and a comprehensive knowledge of fabrics and colors, are also key to a designer's success.

If you're a student with dreams of running your own fashion empire, you'll need to master marketing, sales, advertising, and management too. Independent designers use their sales and product development skills to tune into their customers' needs and create designs that are in high demand. In a nutshell, to be a successful fashion designer, you need to blend your artistic flair and passion with technical expertise and business acumen.

Here's how you can get started:

1. Enroll in a Fashion Design Degree Program: Most fashion designers have a bachelor's degree in art and design.
2. Get Hands-On Experience: Practical experience is invaluable.
3. Network Within the Industry: Building connections can open doors.
4. Build Your Design Portfolio: Show off your best work.
5. Stay Up-to-Date on the Fashion Industry: Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

I hope this helps, Ben. Good luck with your fashion journey!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I will definitely improve all my skills now that I know what I need to work on. Ben
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Sebastián’s Answer

Hi Ben, many of my friends have encountered the same question you're facing now, and it's truly an incredible journey. Yes, it can be challenging and sometimes monotonous, but it's definitely a journey worth undertaking. The world of fashion and fashion design, in all its forms, is thrilling and ignites a creative spark that everyone should experience at some point in their lives.

One invaluable piece of advice for someone young and starting any business in the fashion and creative industry is to start SMALL. Aim for NICHE markets, not a wide audience. Focus on specific creative development and resist the allure of the industry's industrial capabilities. You don't need a huge budget to start; with the fantastic support of social media, you can turn this dream into reality.

I would also recommend setting aside a small amount of money for a few reels on Meta for Instagram. This platform was a great help to me when I was starting my own brand. It's very affordable and can get your brand noticed by hundreds of potential customers and spark conversations about your products.

Lastly, don't be disheartened. It's common to see a lot of interest without immediate sales. This is normal and expected, so stay motivated. Focus on continuing to produce your product on a small budget, for niche markets. Invest a small amount each month and utilize apps like Inmelo with preloaded templates to display your products. Always be ready to answer questions and respond kindly to your customers. And never underestimate the value of your art. Keep up the great work!
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