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  • Writer's pictureTeam DesignerShala

Five Ways to Start Your Dream Fashion Life

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Did you daydream your way into a fashion magazine as a little girl–someone who is surrounded by fashionable garments and all the glamour the fashion industry comes with? Well, us too! But, whether that dream stayed with you over the years or not, if you’re looking to pursue your fashion life now, let us tell you that this fashion dream looks a lot different today. The glamour and the fashionable garments stay but the overriding behind-the-scenes work, strategy, deadlines, long hours, and the hustle are in the picture too.

All in all, the big fashion dream is, certainly, a big one to pursue. With the many rewards it lets you reap throughout the professional journey, it comes with a limitless scope, growth, and creative fulfilment. So, when you set out to pursue that fashion dream, know that it takes passion, patience, and perseverance, but it is totally worth it. As for how to navigate that dream? Read on!

Source: Unsplash 1. Identify Your Dream Fashion Calling First

Before kick-starting on how to start that fashion dream life, you got to first identify what that dream is. Yes, we know that it’s fashion, but the industry is a vast one with different domains and directions under one bucket. This means that when you say fashion, it can mean fashion designing, fashion styling, fashion writing, fashion merchandising and so on. What we mean is that you got to identify your exact area of interest and aptitude under fashion, so you can work towards that very specific dream. Here are some ways to do so:

- Researching/reading up on fashion

The internet is your free library of sorts when it comes to reading and researching, but make sure you only rely on relevant sources. Filter your research by doing a little study on the source you’re looking at and gauging their brand presence. This ensures you’re looking up credible sources only. Besides online research and online reading, you can read books on fashion to understand what area you’re most inclined towards. Books, magazines, research papers, and of course, blogs and articles can be a great source of knowledge for you.

- Speaking to industry professionals

Getting hands-on guidance from someone who has already been a part of the industry you’re looking to head in, is a great way to get raw insights into the field. You can reach out to professionals whose work you are a fan of or the ones you admire on platforms like LinkedIn or their Social Media accounts. You could also reach out to a mutual contact who’s in the industry and get some guidance from them. While you do this, make sure you respect their personal space and act professionally at all times. Fashion events, panels, and seminars are also effective ways to network and connect with experts and like-minded people. - Finding your ikigai

Ikigai, a Japanese word that translates to ‘A Reason for Being,’ is a concept that combines what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. So, in retrospect, your ikigai is a combination of your mission, passion, profession, and vocation. By creating your own ikigai chart, pondering over each element, and making notes of them all, you can find your ikigai, and in turn, your fashion calling.

- Pursuing short online courses

Let’s say you know you want to pursue fashion illustration or maybe fashion styling, but you aren’t quite sure. So, how do you identify and get clarity in here? By trying, testing, and experimenting! We know, we know. It’s not possible to invest a lot of money, time, and effort in fashion education that you aren’t even certain of. Well, that’s why short online courses are meant for. Pursue a bunch of them at DesignerShala to understand what serves you better.

Source: Ashim D'Silva on Unsplash 2. Find Your Niche and Expand It

Once you’ve found your calling–a broad sense of which direction in fashion you want to branch into, you can then get into some detailed introspection. Let’s say you want to pursue fashion designing. But, what kind of designer do you want to be? What kind of a professional place do you see yourself in ten years down the line? Answer these specific questions about your career, identify and determine the details, and then figure the next step, which is education. Once you’ve narrowed it down to your niche and requirements, it is easier for you to determine a plan, which takes us to the next step.

3. Set Goals and Carve Out a Plan

So, you’ve found your fashion life calling, you’ve found your niche, and now it’s time to set relevant goals in place and create a blueprint to attain them. First things first–write down your primary goal. Let’s say it is ‘To become a fashion designer.’ Then, break that goal down into segments that are also around a timeline. Say, to become a fashion designer, you’d have to seek education in that, seek an experience with internships/jobs, and then maybe open your own clothing line or work under your favourite fashion house.

Whatever your goals may be, list them down in order and carve out practical plans for each. Let’s start with your fashion education. Here, you begin with full-fledged research based on the requirements of your specific niche. Look up colleges and fashion schools based on those requirements, your budget, dedication to the career, and other important factors. Secondly, create or work on the resources that you’d need to attain those goals like your portfolio, resume, and maybe a vision board as a motivating reminder?

Source: Scott Graham on Unsplash 4. Build Your Portfolio

One of the main resources you will need to attain those goals and especially move towards that fashion dream life is your portfolio. This is one of the main tools you’ll need to not only showcase your talent but also stand out with your individualism. Your portfolio reflects your commitment to your fashion life, your creativity, your personality, and your passion. So, it is ideally a compilation of some of your best work, put together as a powerful story of your creative skills and individualism. It reflects a theme that you are fond of, which you personally resonate with; it stands for you as a creative professional. Moreover, it should be personalized to identify with YOU and should be marked with some of your best self-initiated work too. 5. Time to Connect and Reach Out

As they say, the right people and the right connections act as catalysts to your career. Simply building a career isn’t enough, building connections is. Networking and building a community for yourself as a professional can go a long way in your growth. So, when we speak of networking, we don’t just mean attending events, seminars, and joining relevant clubs but also reaching out and creating a presence for yourself. Build a resume with just the right information about yourself, presented in a visually neat and crisp manner. Send out cold pitches to companies you’d like to work for and maintain a sense of personalization and professionalism in them too. Reach out to industry experts, mentors, and/or seniors you look up to on LinkedIn and simply say Hello to initiate a relevant conversation. Be to the point, respectful, and refrain from spamming.

Building your fashion dream career doesn’t come with a series of steps, we agree. But these form the foundation of one! They help you form a strong base for your career that will not only be successful but also personally satisfying. So, start here and now!

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