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After spending years in fashion and design colleges, the real question strikes– what next?
As you leave college, picking the right path might be daunting. The fashion programme is fun, striking the right balance of technical knowledge and creativity. While the fashion world has existed for a long time, the global industry is expected to present top-line growth of 2 to 4%.
Fashion design schools train you to think out of the box, sketch and craft unique designs. But the journey doesn’t stop here. Whether you’re planning to take a job opportunity or plan post-graduation in fashion design colleges, strategically navigating the post-graduation phase is critical. Let’s dive deep into the scope of fashion design and future paths.
A programme in fashion design refers to the design and creation of clothing and accessories that make a statement. The process involves conceptualising, sketching and designing with various colours, trends, styles and fabrics.
In the current scenario, fashion and design colleges have expanded their horizon for fashion courses. Along with apparel designing, the courses also cater to handbags, jewellery, eyewear, footwear designing, etc. As one enrols into the study, they’re presented with several strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
Are you a fashion connoisseur who always stays in sync with the trends? Are you looking to build a career in fashion design? Let’s understand the basics of fashion education. The perks of enrolling in fashion and design colleges are:
The most common pain points in colleges for fashion designers are:
From costume design to accessory design, there’s no limit to the range of opportunities a fashion college offers students. As aspiring fashion designers undergo the course, they start developing specific interests. It could be visual storytelling or exploring fabrics, textures and patterns.
This becomes the deciding point for students to explore their specific niches and step further into them professionally. You can opt for a postgraduate degree in a fashion design school to better understand the subject or pick job opportunities for a learning experience.
The portfolio talks about your creativity…
After completing the fashion and design college course, the next step is building a fashion design portfolio. Showcasing your qualities as an aspiring fashion designer, a portfolio serves as the key to representing your creative abilities and skills to the fashion design industry. Whether it’s a minor assignment that you took up during the vacations or your college thesis project, never miss a chance to showcase your talent.
Do you find it challenging to begin compiling your works into a portfolio? Don’t worry. Here are six pro tips for building a standout portfolio that helps you confidently enter the fashion design industry:
Introducing the portfolio in a few lines is key to making an impression. Mention the purpose of the portfolio, and don’t shy away from adding a word about your inspirations. An introduction helps readers prepare for what comes next.
Pro-tip: Don’t make the introduction longer than seven lines, as excessive text will bore the reader.
Every fashion collection begins with a mood board. And that’s what your portfolio must present. Add concept mood boards before you offer the collection. Include fabric swatches, colour palettes, textiles, sketches, and pictures in a creative manner.
Pro-tip: Restrict the mood boards to one or two pages per collection.
Whether you’re building a portfolio for post-graduation or a job, the reviewer is the most interested in your fashion designs. Showcase them well with sketches, high-quality photos, inspirational looks and silhouettes. Ensure you present your best work from college, internship, or freelance collaborations.
Pro-tip: Keep the fashion designs a mix of hand-drawn silhouettes and digital presentations for a holistic approach.
Adding technical drawings is a choice. For a fast-fashion role, it’s advised to compile them in the folio as it exhibits your precision in design.
Pro-tip: Rather than putting simple designs, showcase your skills by adding complex specifications like that of a shoe, bag, coat, or trouser.
Nobody likes flipping through a lengthy portfolio. The longer it gets, the more boring it becomes, and the evaluator might skip a few pages. While presenting your projects, keep the best and not overstuff the details.
Pro-tip: Keep it restricted to about 10-13 pages.
As technology advances, so must your portfolio. Utilise digital platforms to curate an online book presenting your best designs.
Pro-tip: To make it easy to share, consider keeping the digital version to a minimum in storage.
Your design could speak volumes, but how do you make the audience listen? Networking is your answer.
After you graduate from fashion design schools, networking becomes quintessential. It’s the thread to stitch your success path. The connections in these highly competitive fashion industries will offer you industrial insights, opportunities, and mentorship.
Now the question is, how to build a network?
Social media effortlessly connects the world. Take advantage of the platform to build strong connections with industry-specific professionals. Leverage platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., to expand your network beyond borders.
Take advantage of attending workshops, seminars, or fashion events. Along with letting you showcase your creative works, it also enables you to learn from the experts. Discussions and workshops offer valuable insights about the ongoing trends and future of the industry.
Industry professionals and alums hold a wealth of experience. Always take opportunities to engage with them, learn from their experiences, and gain potential referrals.
Are you ready to step into the post-graduation world? The journey of holistic development as a designer begins with gaining professional experience. Here are the top advice on seeking jobs:
From searching for jobs to performing well at them, technology undoubtedly helps in every aspect. Leverage the online portals and job-hunting platforms tailored for job openings. You can even regularly visit the brand’s official websites to learn about the openings.
Are you an aspiring fashion designer? Look out for these online job portals to land your dream job:
Networking is the key to a successful career. Never shy away from establishing connections with professionals from a fashion background. It’ll always keep you updated with the market situation, and you’ll always be there as one of their referrals.
Connect with the experts on LinkedIn, follow their posts, and discuss your thoughts through messages or comments. For an offline interaction, never miss out on the chance to attend live fashion shows or exhibitions like Lakme Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, India Couture Week, etc.
Let your skills shine through the resume. Tailor the content to highlight your talents, best projects, internships or other experiences. Here are the expert tips on curating a fashion resume:
Always write a personalised cover letter for each firm you apply to. Do not write a generic cover letter and then send it to everyone. It showcases your interest in their organisation and emphasises your passion. Never miss out on adding how you’ll best fit the role.
As you plan to begin your professional journey, consider taking up an internship for an entry-level role. It will help you kickstart your career by gaining practical knowledge.
Taking up freelance or consulting projects lets you work on a diverse range, collaborate with a set of designers, and explore unique styles. This approach helps expand your portfolio and showcases your versatile collaboration skills and expertise across different styles.
Another route for an entrepreneurial journey is defining your aesthetics by launching a label. It allows you to craft designs aligning with your vision and ethos. Establishing your brand demands rigorous groundwork with market research to understand the trends and identify the gaps within the fashion design industry.
While freelancing or physically setting up a brand might stay restricted to geographical boundaries, an online store or website reaches a global audience. Consider setting up an e-commerce platform to make it convenient for consumers to visualise products and shop. Use the online platform for storytelling and exhibiting your designs.
As you graduate from a fashion and design college, connect with industry experts and seek mentorship. Guidance from a mentor will make the journey smoother, and the insights will let you avoid common pitfalls.
Because one never stops learning…
Rather than getting into employment after a fashion degree, if you are considering a specialisation, then a master’s from a reputed fashion design college is your next step. An advanced degree certification or programme helps you better understand the specialised techniques, marketing strategies, design concepts, etc.
There are diverse options for specialisation in fashion design, like:
Sustainable fashion is all about blending styles with eco-friendliness. It focuses on teaching sustainable values and responsible production.
A specialisation in costume designs helps bring characters to life by crafting attires that shape the narrative effectively.
An accessory design is about creating functional and stylish adornments.
Footwear design is the masterful art of crafting styling and comfortable shoes as per the design language and occasion.
Textile design refers to creating textures, patterns and fabrics.
The role of a fashion journalist is to report the latest events and launches. They’re also responsible for analysing the new styles.
A fashion stylist crafts the look. Their responsibility is to match outfits with the accessories for a complementing look. The role is either performed for clients or photoshoots.
Before picking a course for further education, research what the market says. What is the current scenario and future of the chosen course? Will it sustain for long and offer you a successful career chart?
Once you select a course, it’s time to research the top institutes that offer the degree. Talk to your seniors and industry experts and consider renowned institutions. While higher studies broaden your learning horizon, it also demands significant time and money for investment.
However, it’ll open doors for better job profiles and let you work in your preferred niche.
Staying connected to industry trends is critical at every stage of your fashion design journey—whether you’re in college or have just graduated. Here are the tips to always move forward with the industry trends:
After graduating from a fashion and design college, you’re presented with the real world and its challenges. This is where you meet reality, manage your expectations, and sometimes deal with rejection.
Always view job rejections as opportunities rather than setbacks for continual growth and learning. Understand the scope of improvement and refine your skills.
Another challenge after graduating from the fashion design college is overcoming the entry-level experience hurdle. While only some roles will align with your interests, consider picking these positions for a hands-on experience to understand the industry dynamics. Stay flexible for diverse roles within the fashion industry for holistic growth.
Seek support from your peers, career advisors and mentors. It offers valuable guidance to navigate these challenges and emotional support for making informed decisions.
Whether stepping into your professional phase or pursuing a specialised course with a master’s degree, here are the must-haves:
Graduates from fashion school are exposed to a plethora of opportunities and real-world challenges at the same time. This is where networking, advanced education, and job profiles come into the picture to start building the career path.
As every challenge comes with its own personal development and learning set, embrace these and view them as catalysts for fostering improvisation. Every opportunity– big or small- significantly contributes to your professional journey.
Must-Have Resources for Fashion Design College Graduates
A. Providing links to relevant job portals, networking platforms, and educational resources
B. Citing industry reports, articles, and expert opinions
C. Encouraging readers to explore further for ongoing career development.
Explore Beyond This Article About Fashion Design
- Did you find what you were searching for? If you’re still looking for more information here’s a helpful here’s a quick guide on what to expect from a Fashion Design course at IIAD.
- Catch the essence of fashion design in a flash—watch now!
- Want to know the secret recipe on how to craft an effective fashion design brief? Don’t miss reading this one.
- Confused about which fashion course to choose—here’s a quick video to help you get started.
An architect turned writer, Saili has worked as an architectural writer, marketer, & curator. For the past three years, she has collaborated with multimedia publication houses, firms, studios, organisations, luxury brands, & educational ...
institutions; both national and international to communicate and market the AEC industry as an architect in marketing. She is a commentator on the design industry’s upkeep through her social handles while also being an avid reader and traveller.
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