A fashion designer isn’t just a creative professional who draws inspiration from different sources around him/her and sketches it down as unique clothing designs. It's a complex process that goes way beyond that. As a fashion designer, just possessing good creative and visualization skills aren’t enough, managerial and business development abilities are also skills needed to be a fashion designer. Only then will you be able to build your name in this supremely competitive market.
If your designs, as well as business ethics, resonate with your ideal client, you’ll be able to carve out a niche for yourself within no time. However, if you just stick to your traditional techniques without keeping up with the changing market, then creating your own brand name and reaching out to the global market would seem like a far-fetched dream. If you’re set on making fashion designing your career, here are ten essential skills needed to be a fashion designer, in order to rise ahead in this field and build your own name.
1. The willingness to experiment
In every creative field, innovation and experimentation are a must to keep your clients excited for what’s coming. In this modern world, where we have tons of fashion bloggers and influencers constantly inspiring people to experiment with their style, it’s important for fashion designers as well to keep up with this era of innovation. People today are more open to trying different styles. And no matter what you come up with, if your concept and design are in line with a certain target audience, all you need to do is market them well to witness good sales.
2. Top-notch visualizing and sketching abilities
Visualizing and sketching are two prime skills needed to be a fashion designer. By just looking at the fabric or a certain print, a designer should be able to sketch out a design that would bring out its absolute best. Some designers also prefer stepping outdoors every once in a while, to draw inspiration from nature or age-old traditional cultures.
Source: Unsplash 3. A deep understanding of fabric quality and textures
As a fashion designer, having an intense knowledge about different fabrics, textures, colours and prints is extremely important to create diverse outfits. You should also be able to figure out the quality of the fabric in one feel. That’s the only way to ensure the quality of your finished garments. With every new fabric that hits the market, make sure to study them well and list down all their features by talking to local vendors or manufacturers.
4. Being up to date with the latest trends
Fashion is a dynamic industry that’s ever-changing and ever-evolving. We notice new trends hitting the ramp or different online portals with every blink of an eye. In the world of digitization, people are quick to find out about the latest trends and want to keep up with them. It is necessary for a designer too to be updated with the latest fashion trends and grab every opportunity they can find.
5. Develop your signature style
Your signature style is nothing but the flagship look that represents all of your creations. Every designer has a certain essence in their technique that remains synonymous throughout their collection. Signature styles also determine your target audience. If your style is vibrant and free-spirited, people who have similar tastes are most likely to become your loyal customers. Make sure to position your brand as per your signature style, but don’t restrict yourself to any particular pattern.
6. Great interaction and collaboration skills
Just like any other creative field, fashion designing also requires team effort. While you’ll be handling the entire conceptualization work, you need a team to ensure its execution as well as sales. For this, you’ll need excellent communication skills, as you won’t just be interacting with your team and overlooking their work but also be communicating with several retailers, vendors or even fashion bloggers for collaboration.
7. A knack for business development
The main goal behind every designing process is to eventually create business and boost sales. For a fashion designer, it is important to ensure that the garments reach the right target audience. In order to make that happen, you’ll either need to hire a marketing team that puts your designs out there for your audience to see or you’ll have to invest in fashion shows and exhibitions to reach out to investors and direct customers.
Source: Unsplash 8. A competitive spirit
Fashion designing is all about being the first one to create and reach out to the correct audiences. This fast-paced world requires a competitive spirit and a never-say-die attitude for sustenance. There will be many highs and lows in this field, but if you keep up with the competition and manage to build a name for yourself, there will be no turning back.
9. Effective management of time and deadlines
Deadlines are a part and parcel of every industry. In fashion designing as well, your ability to deliver as per your commitments truly matter. If you’ve agreed to a certain deadline, make sure to deliver around that time or you would end up gaining a bad reputation for yourself and your brand. In case of an emergency or a sudden need to push the deadlines forward, make sure to communicate it to your client for relevant reasons. 10. Problem-solving abilities
A basic life skill that can save you from several disasters and take your business to great heights. The ability to solve your problems efficiently doesn’t just come from experience or intuition, it also comes from making well-informed decisions. Whenever you’re faced with a problem that requires you to choose, try consulting with your team and experts in a similar field to arrive at a sound decision. Apart from the pressure to continuously innovate, communicate and create a business, the life of a fashion designer is filled with glamorous and exciting events. You’ll get a chance to work with a lot of talented people in the industry and hone your skills with time. However, to generate business you’ll also have to put yourself in the limelight whenever you can. You can start your career by personally branding yourself and showcasing your work online. Eventually, after that, you can move on to hosting events and conducting influencer promotions.
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