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Is it possible to pursue a career in Fashion Design and incorporate other pastimes?

This may be more of an obscure question, but there are multiple extracurricular activities I enjoy keeping up with and I hope to continue incorporating them into my schedule, even if only for college. Would you recommend or advise against packing in an occasional theatre production, choir, or other commitments in general on top of a Fashion Design major/career? Essentially, how time-consuming can this career choice be?
#fashion #fashion-design #fashion-industry

Thank you comment icon That's actually a really good point to keep in mind, thank you so much! Graciela

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Monica’s Answer

Hi Graciela,


It depends largely on the company you end up working for. In the Fashion Industry, there's a range on how demanding your work schedule is from company to company. I have friends who tell me stories about midnight rushes to finish collections while other friends happily enjoy happy hour regularly with their co-workers.


The great thing about being a working professional is that you get to choose what's the best fit for you. I believe that extracurricular activities allow you to be a more interesting, well-rounded, and a happier fulfilled individual.


I personally value a good work-life balance that allows me to work during work hours (40 - 50 hour weeks) and have my evenings and weekends all to myself. I make it a point not to take work home, but some prefer it, as it helps them focus better, but as long as good work is being done, usually there's no problem.


I would advise you to carefully research companies and be attentive during interviews to catch cues on the work culture. There is a wide range of employer expectations on how many hours and what tasks are expected of you, but YOU get to decide what you're okay with as well. Just because some people are getting 4 hours of sleep a day and spending 16 hours at work, doesn't mean that needs to be your path too.


Fortunately, I've experienced very respectful and supportive work environments where employees aren't abused into working insane hours. There are plenty of these awesome companies out there, and there are just as many companies out there that demand extensive hours and a certain level of stress, but may have their own benefits as well--often seen at more well-known Designer labels that are highly competitive. At this level, employees are usually very career-ambitious and volunteer hours due to being accustomed to this work culture where it's expected of them. There is often a shortage of help and one individual has many talents and is expected to execute collections single-handedly where other companies have whole teams for this. At times, this can be exciting and a great learning experience, so there is an appeal in this if you're willing take on the challenge.


All in all, I would say generally a high percentage of the industry require 40 - 60 hour weeks.


Hope this helps!


Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I'll definitely keep this in mind for the future, it's really helpful advice! Graciela
Thank you comment icon Monica - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week! Jordan Rivera, Admin COACH
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Janiya Rose’s Answer

Hi Graciela! Fashion design is just as time consuming as theater arts. It sounds like you are a triple threat, like I was graduating high school. The great thing about fashion design is that you can definitely do it in your spare time until you figure out what your specialty is. A question for you is, have you tried seeing if you can design some of the costumes in any of the theater performances you are in. There are many different routes to go in fashion. If you sing and act, you should be always looking for opportunities to dress the people in your productions and then you will be able to see if you you like it. I also recommend that you build rapport with a designer you admire, could be a local designer, celebrity or design professor who ACTS RESPECTABLY (very important) :) personally and professionally. If you enjoy their body of work you can reach out them and let them know. And ask the same questions you are asking us. Let me give you a couple of pointers. Google these different fashion jobs, they are all different and require different skills: stylist, costume designer, apparel designer, knit designer, couture design, fashion illustrator, non-textiles, apparel manufacturing and definitely textile design. I can tell you if you are going to into designing for a retail fashion brand you like, it will be very helpful to know textile design they get first dibs, and you will need to go to a school that has a good program for that if you do not try to learn on your own.


Keep doing your activities it is very positive that you are staying busy and especially while in school. Internships are a great way to build relationships with companies and also develop your skills.


Good Luck! And feel free to ask another question if you need to. Being inquisitive you are going to learn a lot.


Best,

Janiya

Janiya Rose recommends the following next steps:

Think about what you want to design and try making one sample
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the feedback! I've tried to contribute a little to the costuming department during some shows, but, judging by those attempts, costuming might not be my thing. 'Triple' may very soon turn into quadruple, or even quintuple threat (no such thing as too busy I guess), but I have done an internship at a local bridal boutique last summer and absolutely loved it. I'm attempting to gain a little business experience as well by making and selling makeup bags for my school's gift shop. As far as pursuing your own line (of bridal/formalwear), would you recommend starting by working for another company/designer and develop the line on the side or building from the ground up with a small custom design business? Graciela
Thank you comment icon Janiya - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week! Jordan Rivera, Admin COACH
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Christina’s Answer

In most cases, absolutely! Depending on the structure of the company, if it is fully staffed it is abnormal to take work home. Also, depending on the company and products offered you will have particular times of the year where workload increases, in this case it may be advantageous to take some work home to meet a deadline. For example, some companies produce new product lines twice a year, others may offer 4 times a year - leading up to those deadlines your to-do list will likely significantly increase. But for the most part, working in Fashion Design can be your day job allowing you to have free evenings/weekends to pursue other passions!

Thank you comment icon Great! Thank you so much for the feedback! Graciela
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Kristen’s Answer

Hi Graciela, I am so proud of you for reaching out to experienced professionals for advice, there is some great input on here already! Some of the best advice I received when I was beginning my career in design was to get out of the computer. In the current technology driven times, it is SO easy to lost in the web of tumblr, instagram, pinterest, etc. But real life happens outside of the computer and real inspiration and design intuition is built through interacting with the real world around us. I think there is nothing more valuable than getting involved in activities that inspire you outside of your career and education.
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