Tag Archives: Fashion Designer

Addicted to Style & Fashion?? These is an App for that!!..

Looking for a great fashion app? Happy Downloading!!

 

NY Magazine recently named their favorite fashion-centric apps to see which ones are worth your precious downloading time!  Below are their top ten picks for the iPhone.

shopstyle mobile Fashion App

shopstyle mobile Fashion App

ShopStyle: Mobile 
This site’s stylish and intuitive spinoff app aggregates clothing and accessories from more than 100 e-commerce sites (Asos, Bluefly, and Neiman Marcus among them). Poke around indiscriminately or filter by category, keyword, brand, store, price, color, size, and sale. If you fall in love, the site forwards you to an online retailer. The free app is best for those who don’t really know what they want (“a white dress … maybe sleeveless … ideally under $200″) and would like to cast a wide net to see what’s out there. Download it here!

Chicfeed Fashion App

Chicfeed Fashion App

Chicfeed
This bare-bones app pulls photos from some of the Internet’s most respected style blogs, including the SartorialistFace Hunter, and Lookbook. The sorting functionality — or lack thereof — leaves something to be desired, but if you’re just seeking quick-hit eye candy, there’s no better way to see loads of style snaps all in one spot. The app is available two ways: free with advertising or 99 cents without. Download it here!

DVF - Diane Von Furstenberg mobile fashion app

DVF - Diane Von Furstenberg mobile fashion app

Diane Von Furstenberg
While many designers with apps remain skeptical about mobile commerce, Von Furstenberg told W, “We already do so many things from our phones, so shopping is a natural progression.” Accordingly, DVF’s app allows users to shop via a “Looks We Love” section or by thumbing through the collections — albeit not 24/7. (Our nighttime request to purchase a one-shoulder floral dress wasn’t addressed until regular business hours.) Still, DVF gets props for rounding out the app with Facebook-sharing capabilities and access to her Twitter feed. Download it here!

GAP StyleMixer Mobile Fashion App

GAP StyleMixer Mobile Fashion App

Gap StyleMixer
This innovative brand app allows you to mix and match Gap items with pieces already hanging in your closet. Create outfits using uploaded photos or use the “Mixer” to browse Gap products and create head-to-toe new looks. Shake your phone and the Mixer will generate a random combination of pieces, including shoes and accessories. The “Community” function allows you to share your uploaded looks, as well as check out combos other app users are creating. On the downside, if you’re near a Gap location, you can also supposedly “unlock” a special promotion on your phone; we tried, but were lamely told to “check back soon for a new offer.” Download it here!

Glamour Ask a Stylist Mobile Fashion App

Glamour Ask a Stylist Mobile Fashion App

Glamour Ask a Stylist
Wang or Wu? Jeggings or jorts? Dr. Scholl’s with socks or without? These are the types of pressing sartorial questions one might bounce off a trusted friend — or one of Glamour’s on-call app stylists. Here’s how it works: Browse their mini-bios (some are from glamour.com, others from Craigslist), choose the one most up your aesthetic alley, upload your outfit pic and/or inquiry, and wait. Our selected stylist responded to our day-to-night dilemma fifteen minutes after we fired off our request. And, in true women’s-mag fashion, we were given an extra boost of confidence (“You’ll look awesome wherever you go!”). A solid bet for the indecisive. Download it here!

iShoes Mobile Fashion App

iShoes Mobile Fashion App

iShoes
Scroll through more than 50,000 kicks in the shoe-porn Finder, or search the sea of shoes by style and designer. The app indicates which pairs are on sale and connects you straight to buy-it-now retailers. The app is free, functional, and offers decent-size closeups of each item, though we hope its creators introduce better browsing filters (like color, size, heel height, material, etc.) with the next update. Download it here!

Lucky at your Service Mobile Fashion App

Lucky at your Service Mobile Fashion App

Lucky at Your Service
This free app uses GPS, e-commerce, and flesh-and-blood staffers to hunt down editor-approved clothing, shoes, accessories, and beauty products. Once you’ve settled on that to-die-for Nanette Lepore dress, the app will direct you to an online retailer, and in select cases, a store within 50 miles (typing in a Manhattan Zip Code netted results within the five boroughs, as well as White Plains, New Jersey, and Long Island) that stocks it. If you’re game for an in-person pickup, tell the app your desired size and color, and the Lucky ”concierge team” will call the store to see if it’s available (regular business hours apply). If it is, they’ll even ask the store to set it aside for same-day pickup. The app was super-buggy when it first debuted and is still slow, but it’s the closest us proletarians may ever get to having a personal assistant. Download it here!

Lustr Fashion Finder Mobile App

Lustr Fashion Finder Mobile App

Lustr Fashion Finder
Get off the G train in a new ‘hood and want to kill time at a men’s business accessories trunk show within walking distance of where you are? This impressive sales and promo finder shows you exactly what’s happening in real time near you, and draws up a list of upcoming events and promotions searchable by distance, neighborhood, and time remaining before sale end. Navigate sales based on your location and specify down to the type of product you’re looking for (accessories, beauty products, shoes, etc.), the occasion for which you’re shopping (working out, getting married, etc.), or the style you’re going for (edgy, preppy, etc.). You can even create an itinerary and score exclusive-to-Lustr deals. Download it here!

Style.Com Mobile Fashion App By Condé Nast Digital

Style.Com Mobile Fashion App By Condé Nast Digital

Style.com
Instead of downloading a bunch of individual designer apps, peruse this hub of major ready-to-wear and couture collections (including menswear), dating back several years. The free app features runway videos beamed to your iPhone hours after the collections debut, as well as show reviews and photos of every look. Supplemental features include international party-scene coverage and access to the site’s Style File blog. The app occasionally stalls and crashes, but it’s thoroughly comprehensive and easy to use. Download it here!

StyleBook Mobile Fashion App

StyleBook Mobile Fashion App

Stylebook 
Like most wardrobe-organizing apps, Stylebook ($3.99) lets you upload photos from your closet, tag and categorize everything you own, plan out what you’ll wear in the coming month, and track how many times you’ve worn each piece. But unlike the others, it allows you to move, assemble, and resize pieces from your wardrobe right on the screen, layering outfits to see exactly how they might look. The biggest drawback was the app’s inability to edit out the background from uploaded photos — your best bet is to use the “manual erase” function, or just Photoshop it out yourself before uploading. All in all, Cher Horowitz would be pleased. Download it here!

 

 

Source: blog.scad.edu

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All About Fashion Design (Part 1) – Fashion Design, Fashion Structure and Fashion History

Fashion design

Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social lattitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They attempt to satisfy consumer desire for aesthetically designed clothing; and, because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, must at times anticipate changing consumer tastes.

Fashion designers attempt to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They must consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn. They have a wide range and combinations of materials to work with and a wide range of colors, patterns and styles to choose from. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear fall within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are usually sought for special occasions, such as evening wear or party dresses.

Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, as in the case of haute couture. Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market, especially casual and every-day wear.

Fashion designers can work in a number of ways. Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion company, known as ‘in-house designers’ which owns the designs. They may work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers. The garments bear the buyer’s label. Some fashion designers set up their own labels, under which their designs are marketed. Some fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a ‘name’ as their brand such as Calvin Klein, Gucci, or Chanel are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a designer director.

Structure

Designing a garment

Fashion designers work in different ways.Myriam Chalek, Owner of Creative Business House states it in Vogue Magazine: Each fashion designer is unique hence the uniqueness of the sample’s development. Nevertheless the mainstream is pretty similar: From a sketch to a sophisticated illustrated CAD design, fashion designers before using any fabric put their ideas on paper. It’s only once they have the concept of the wanted design that they will use fabric. Myriam Chalek explains that the first steps of the garment production are very important: once the designer is in sync with whats in his head and whats on paper, he will either create a muslin prototype of the sample and once satisfied he will have the pattern done and then the final sample. Or he will create a pattern and then work directly with the fabric to produce the sample. This second method is usually not recommended if the designer is going to modify the sample as it is being created in so far as the fabric can be wasted and the final sample not being the true representation of the original designer’s concept. The pattern production is the most crucial part of the garment’s production because job the fit of the finished garment/sample depends on the pattern’s accuracy. Samples have to be perfect because that’s what the fashion designer present to potential buyers.

History

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth’s success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.

It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, which was much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.

READ ALSO:

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 2) – TYPES OF FASHION, INCOME, SCHOOLS

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 3) – FASHION STAR SYSTEMS, WORLD FASHION AND THE GLOBAL FASHION INDUSTRY

Source: Wikipedia.com

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How to Become Fashion Designer ( Part 8 ) – Look Good on Paper

Writing a Resume and Cover Letter That Will Get You in the Door


The resume is your marketing tool that will sell employers on the idea of interviewing you. Even if you’re an ideal candidate for the position, if you don’t look good on paper, recruiters won’t give you a second glance. Not only do your skills and qualifications have to impress, but you need to make sure they stand out amongst the hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of other resumes that companies will receive for the same position. Keep reading to find out how to create a well organized, intelligent resume that will get you through the door!

What They Want to Know

Your resume should include the following information:

  • Contact info: Basic information about yourself that also serves as your header. Include: Name, Address, Phone, and Email
  • Objective: A brief statement (one or two sentences) describing the position you are seeking and how you hope to contribute to an employer.
  • Education: Name of school, Years attended, Concentration, Degree received, GPA (if above 3.0)
  • Qualifications/Skills: An itemized list describing relevant abilities such as knowledge of computer programs, languages, etc.
  • Work Experience: chronological list of previous employers, starting with the most recent. Include position held, duration, and important responsibilities/accomplishments.
  • Honors and Awards: List any honors and awards and year received.
  • Course Highlights/Relevant Activities: If you have limited work experience, list course highlights, or relevant extracurricular activities, clubs, or organizations you may have participated in.

There are tons of resume creating resources and examples out there, many of which can be misleading and inaccurate. If you choose to seek more examples, make sure you select a reputable source. Click on the resume sample link below to see our example of a well formatted, clearly organized resume.

What They Don’t Want to See

Knowing what not to include can be just as important as knowing what to include. When listing work responsibilities, don’t over exaggerate – a professional recruiter can see right through an unrealistic resume. Also avoid making general statements- if you can, always list specifics to support your qualifications. For example, instead of citing “designed collection of dresses”, state “designed and illustrated 5 piece dress collection for Fall 2007 collection”. Giving specifics adds individuality and gives the recruiter better insight into your achievements.

When listing job responsibilities, it’s a good idea to use action verbs to add variety to your statements. Write Express has a good variety of action verbs to choose from. And then of course are the basic resume no-no’s: any personal info like age, religion, race, and salary requirements have no business in your resume.

Formatting

There are of course many different ways to format your resume, but keep in mind that your resume has only a few seconds to grad the recruiter’s attention so if it’s not easy to follow, you won’t stand a chance! As an entry-level candidate or even after a few years of experience, your resume should not exceed one page. Recruiters won’t care what high school you went to (unless it was industry specific), or what your hobbies are, so keeping your content concise and relevant to the desired position is a good way to maintain a reasonable length.

Just because your resume is clean and organized, doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative with it. Experimenting with different fonts and coloring for your headers is one way to make your resume stand out amongst a sea of black and white. If your field is eveningwear, using a delicate script for your headers can be a great accent. Just remember to keep it simple- the fonts should still be legible and should support, not detract from your resume.

Presentation

While you will probably use Microsoft Word or a similar word processing program to create your resume, if your resume is going to be emailed, you should convert the file to PDF. When printing your resume, select a professional presentation paper. Your local stationery or office supply store has tons to choose from. Once again, paper choice should not detract from the content of your resume or affect its appearance if your resume is faxed or photocopied.

Cover Letter

Anytime you fax or email your resume, it should be accompanied by a cover letter. The first thing that recruiter reads, the contents of your cover letter should serve as an introduction and offers an opportunity to talk briefly about your background and knowledge of the company. You should definitely invest the time to make your cover letter well-written and well-focused. A poorly written, vague cover letter is a surefire way to get your resume overlooked.

Without repeating the details of your resume, introduce yourself to your prospective employer in three or four concise paragraphs including the following points:

  • Why you are writing / the position of interest
  • What you have to offer the company (accomplishments, work ethic etc)
  • Your knowledge, enthusiasm and reasons for interest in the company
  • Request an interview and specify how you will follow up

Keep in mind that the desired outcome of the cover letter is for the recruiter to take action so it should be tailored specifically to the company you’re applying to instead of for a general position. Use your company research (you did research the company right?) and draw upon your knowledge of what they usually look for in successful employees to demonstrate how you can be an asset to their organization.

A quick word about following up: do it! I cannot tell you how many interviews I’ve received because I followed up after sending my resume. Not only does it demonstrate your follow up skills (very important) but it emphasizes your interest in the position. In one instance, a recruiter told me that from over 300 resumes he received, he contacted me for an interview because I was one of a handful of people who actually followed up. A handful (out of 300+) sounds like a pretty good way to make yourself stand out!

Once you’ve prepared your resume and cover letter, proofread them more than once to catch any mistakes or irrelevant information. Have a friend take a look to catch any mistakes you might have missed. When you’ve finished your resume, you’re ready to begin applying for positions! Remember that even after you’re hired, your resume should grow along with you. Keep it constantly updated as you gain experience and skills and when it’s time for you to look for another position, you’ll be glad you spent the time on it along the way.

Source: Designernexus.com

 

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How to Become Fashion Designer ( Part 7 ) – Setting the Course

Decide Where You Want to Go and Develop an Action Plan to Get There

So you want to be a fashion designer, right? You might be applying to different fashion schools, already in school, about to graduate, or maybe you already have your first job in the industry. No matter which stage you’re at, it’s important to have an idea of where you ultimately want to end up. If you’ve read the previous “Break it Down” article, then you’re aware of the different categories and specializations within the fashion industry. Have you thought about which fashion market you want to end up in? What specialization? With so many different options, how do you know which one to choose? In this segment, we’ll walk you through the process of weighing your options, setting career goals, and developing a plan of action to increase your chances of reaching them.

Know Yourself

Before you can plan where you want to go, you need to figure out where you are. Getting a clear picture of who you are will clarify what will make you happy and fulfilled in your career, and in life. Here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • Preferences: What do you like to do?
  • Skills: What do you do well?
  • How do your personal desires fit into the picture?
  • How much do you value creating a balance between work and your family and friends?
  • Do you prefer a small or large company setting?
  • What are your work values, and how important is it that your employer shares these values?
  • What’s your ideal work environment?

Career assessments are great tools that will cover the above questions and more to help you identify and organize your qualities and preferences. Assessments can easily be found at your school’s career/guidance office, career agencies, and of course via Internet sites such as www.assessment.com.

Do Your Homework

Once you have a better idea of your skills, interests, traits, and desires, you can begin selecting career choices that fit you best, and weeding out the ones that don’t. Take another look at our “Break it Down” article, and using the results of your assessment, decide what design market is the most appealing to you. Select a category that interests you, such as menswear, womenswear, sportswear, or intimate apparel. Then break it down by specialization. Would you prefer to work with wovens, knits, tops, dresses, bottoms…? You may find a few that interest you- and that’s ok because the next step is to do your homework and research your chosen markets and specializations.

Make a list of companies within your chosen market and research them as well. Your objective is to educate yourself as much as possible in these areas so you can make an intelligent decision regarding career choice. As you learn more about your chosen paths, you may discover that you had unrealistic expectations and your needs and wants may change. Informational interviews can be a helpful way to gain insight into a particular category/company of interest. Informational interviews will be discussed in more detail in our “Preparation is Key” article (coming soon).

Define Your Goals

After assessing yourself and exploring your career options, the next step is to set career goals for what you hope to accomplish. Defining your goals will help you take the right steps to reach your ideal career. Keep in mind that your goals may change at anytime. In fact- as you reach your initial goals and continue to grow and develop personally and professionally, setting new goals will be essential. It is important to constantly motivate yourself- keep learning and striving for satisfaction. Remember, the world changes quickly and so do you!

Set the Course

To set your career plan in motion, you will need to follow through with the goals you’ve set. Break each goal into manageable “chunks.” Each week/month tackle a step or two. For example, if one of your first goals is to get a position as an entry-level designer for a better sportswear company, your calendar may look like this:

  • Week 1: Research moderate companies
  • Week 2: Prepare portfolio
  • Week 3: Prepare resume and cover letters
  • Week 4: Prepare interview responses and wardrobe
  • Week 5: Apply for positions

Breaking your goals into smaller tasks will help them seem more feasible, and by completing each task one by one, you’ll reach your goal faster than you thought!

When your job matches your interests and your personality, you are more likely to be happy and successful in your work. Having a plan of action and being prepared doesn’t mean that you’ll get that dream position immediately after graduation. But your classwork, job search, market research, etc. will all be focused in the direction that will get you there one day!

Mialn Fashion Campus

Source: Designernexus.com

 

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How to Become Fashion Designer ( Part 5 ) – Fulfilling Your Vision

Becoming Your Own Fashion Designer

I know some of you may have been disappointed by the realities we exposed in our “How to Become a Fashion Designer” article series. Our apologies, but we had to destroy the bliss of naivety to spare you from many rude awakenings when you start your fashion career! That being said, I’m sure there are also some of you who are determined to become that ideal vision of a fashion designer: create your own label, design your own fashion lines, runway fashion show and the whole nine. We commend your ambitiousness and of course, we are here to help! Here’s our suggested approach to become your own fashion designer.

Learn the Fashion Biz

First thing’s first, and we’ve all heard it a million times: Fashion is first and foremost a business. Yes it’s true – you could have the best apparel collection in the world, but if you don’t have the business savvy to manage your fashion design operations or market yourself; you’re in for a rough and disappointing journey in the fashion industry. Countless talented fashion designers try creating an apparel line without the proper business foundation to support them. Issac Mizrahi, and Narciso Rodriguez are just a few well-known fashion designers whose fashion careers were almost destroyed by their lack of business knowledge.

We highly recommend educating yourself and taking business courses- either in school or on your own. Really get to know the fashion industry. However, if for some reason you prefer not to, you should at the very least seek a knowledgeable (and trustworthy) business partner to handle that end for you.

Finding a Niche

Concerning the actual apparel designs, if you want to make your mark and get noticed in the fashion industry, you have to make sure your apparel designs stand out amongst the swarm of pretty outfits already crowding the runways. If your vision for your collection is just to design “pretty” clothes, the chances of your work getting noticed are like finding a needle in a haystack! The cliché word of advice is to design for a niche market. But what does that mean?

A Cause for Design

Here’s our take on finding a niche: find a cause, and design for that cause. Choose something that you’re passionate about, or pick a theme and design for that theme. Create a trademark that you will become known for. Betsey Johnson is known for her funky, outrageous, one-of-a-kind garments that reflect her quirky personality. Diesel created their highly functional, hardware driven signature style from the construction worker lifestyle. When apparel designs are consistently focused around a specific element or concept, they will receive more attention and that concept will become your design signature. Once your fashion line is established and well known, you can always expand. And whatever you decide on, make sure it’s something you believe in; something you are passionate about. When your fashion designs come from the heart, it shows, and you’re inspiration will be endless.

Get Your Name Out There!

So once you’ve selected your cause and designed an extraordinary apparel collection around it, how do you make sure your fashion designs get publicity? Fortunately, modern technology makes promoting yourself a much easier task. There are tons of venues that showcase emerging fashion designers such as nolcha.com and haute.net (See the Independent and Underground Fashion at our Resource Center for more links). There you will find underground designer showcases that give beginner designers their own venue space. You bring the designs – they bring in the crowds.

In the past few years, an underground fashion revolution has emerged, creating a shift in the apparel industry. Consumers are tired of apparel fashion clothing that is dictated by an elite few fashion designers, and have begun searching for more unique, down to earth sources for their apparel & fashion needs. New waves of fashion designers are discovered in unconventional places and recognized for their individual fashion design styles. Educating yourself, knowing the business, designing for a cause you love, and promoting yourself through new avenues are all steps in the right direction towards having the fashion design career you’ve always envisioned!

Source: Designernexus.com

 

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How to Become Fashion Designer ( Part 3 ) – Fashion Designer Skills 101

Important Skills that Fashion Schools – Don’t Cover Nearly Enough

In fashion school most of your time was spent learning how to draw fashion sketches, drape, sew, and create garment flat patterns. While these are certainly good skills for fashion designers to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first design job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to draw fashion flat sketches, measure garment specs, and create CADs and presentation boards. I know some of you are thinking “But I learned those things in school too!.” To which I reply: “You think you know, but you have no idea!”

Apparel Draping and Patternmaking

Take it from experience: fashion schools don’t focus on the above skills nearly enough to fully prepare you for your first job in apparel design. Patternmaking and draping are valuable skills, which come in handy when you are dealing with a lot of apparel fittings. Usually garment fittings are conducted by technical designers, but if you are interested in a fashion design career for creative reasons, you’ll most likely be miserable in this type of position. On the creative side of fashion design, all you need is a basic understanding of what creates a good fit, and how to fix a bad one. In the vast majority of apparel designer positions, hands-on patternmaking skills are not necessary, unless you plan to enter Project Runway!

Sewing

On the creative side of fashion design, sewing is as relevant as patternmaking is for technical design. It’s good to understand the general concepts of garment construction, but you don’t need to be a seamstress. In the apparel industry, if you need to know how a certain garment is constructed, there are tons of references available: from apparel in clothing stores, to “how to” fashion design books and online articles. The point I’m trying to make is: if your sewing skills leave something to be desired, don’t stress over it.

Illustration

Sadly, fashion illustrations are a dying art in the fashion industry – they are very scarcely used by apparel designers in the real world. They take too much time and have no practical application. The fashion illustration has been replaced with computer drawn stylized garment sketches (floats) or more accurate technical flats (flat sketches), which are more popular for their practicality. Not only do they present a clear representation of the apparel design concept, but they are also a must have when it comes to garment production. Fashion flats can be turned into CADs and can be used in mood/presentation boards. Amazingly, fashion schools have not followed this industry shift, and still focus more heavily on fashion illustrations, and not enough on flat sketching.

Computer Programs

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing popular computer applications for creating fashion flats, floats, and CAD sketches. Most apparel design companies expect proficiency in Adobe IllustratorAdobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel. These programs are relatively affordable in comparison to other fashion industry specific software, which run from $7Kto $30K per user – yikes! Unfortunately, the coverage of Illustrator and Photoshop provided by fashion schools does not meet the actual demands of the apparel industry. Many fashion companies also request knowledge of WebPDM, so if your fashion college offers a course in this program, it would be wise to take it. If your fashion school does not teach WebPDM, make it a point to find a school or venue that offers this program and take it!

On the Interview

It’s amazing how many fashion design candidates are rejected because they don’t know the most important basics. I’ll look at applicants’ fashion portfolios: filled with beautiful, well-drawn fashion illustrations and then say “That’s nice, but can you draw flat sketches?” If fashion flat sketches are included in their portfolios, they are usually very basic, lack important details, and are not visually appealing. If the candidate’s apparel sketches are halfway decent; my next question is “do you know Illustrator and Photoshop?” Almost everyone says yes,but when tested, it’s usually far from the truth. It’s not that they are lying… a lot of fashion design graduates and even professional designers seriously believe they know these programs well. They did well according to the fashion school standards; but fashion schools don’t teach how to use Illustrator and Photoshop for fashion designwell enough for entry level fashion designers to be competent in the demanding apparel industry. Fashion schools just cover the basics, which are quickly forgotten without practice. Take the extra effort to explore these and other CAD programs beyond what fashion schools teach: read books, find online courses and tutorials. Not only will you be ready with the skills you need to succeed in the fashion industry, but discussing how you went the extra mile to keep up with apparel industry standards will definitely impress any prospective employer!

Practice, practice, practice

My suggestion is to practice flat sketching as often as you can. Make sure you learn and are really comfortable with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for Fashion Design – what you’ve learned in fashion school is not enough!! To acquire additional knowledge: read books, take additional courses, (offered in either classroom or online settings). Take a look at industry standard examples of flat sketches. Our Fashion Flats section contains many free downloads of flat sketches in both JPEG and vector (Illustrator) formats for your reference. If you can improve your skills to reach the quality of those shown, you’ll be in very good shape. They are free for you to use. Please download them so you can also use them as slopers to trace and basics to work from.

Educate Yourself!

Many fashion schools such as FIT in New York (Fashion Institute of Technology) offer “Flats and Specs for the Fashion Industry” courses. But believe it or not, they are not required by the curriculum; they are electives! These are some of the most important skills that fashion design students should be learning. Another good elective course is “Creative Fashion Presentation” – this skill is very handy. Sales people use CAD fashion presentations a lot as visual aids. In addition they create a good impression and convey your creativity level. If you can make outstanding fashion presentations, you’ll be asked to make them often, and believe me: it’s much more fun to make presentation boards than do fittings, send faxes, and organize showrooms.

Creating Specs in a Copycat Industry

So now we can talk about specs (garment specifications). Knowing how to spec (measure and detail) a garment is a fundamental skill for a fashion designer. Many apparel companies create their fashion spec sheets using Microsoft Excel. Although garment sizes and measurements vary from one fashion company to another, if you know the principles, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the standards of any company. You don’t even need to know how to develop apparel specs from scratch!

As a head fashion designer, I’ve had to make decisions on what garment spec standards to use. Often I simply went to different fashion stores, and found garments with good fit and copied the basic measurements. And this isn’t a rare practice – the fashion industry is a major copycat industry: most apparel that we see hanging in the stores are knock-offs of another fashion brand, who copied the design from another design brand, and so on. There are even official terms for copied fashions! A “knockoff” is when a style is copied, and a “rub-off” is when patterns are copied. Once, while I was on a European shopping trip in London, a sales person at a store noticed I was a fashion designer collecting design ideas for an upcoming season. He mentioned that his store received a constant flow of fashion designers from American design companies such as Calvin Klein, whose designers come to knockoff their merchandise. That’s right: even top fashion design brands use knockoffs for their ready-to-wear collections.

Givenchy Fall Winter 2010/2011 Haute Couture - Veladoras: long   corseted dress hand embroidered in an open lace design in golden thread,   fine gold chain and crystals worn with a tail coat embroidered with   hand cut gold metallic sequins and crystals; Coronos: long corseted   dress embroidered with hand cut gold metallic sequins and crystals

To sum it up: in order to get a job in the fashion industry before the rest of the entry level fashion design candidates, you need to focus on refining skills that are highly demanded in the apparel industry. Become proficient in drawing flat sketches and include apparel flats in your fashion portfolio, and be extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in Illustrator and Photoshop. Check out the My Practical Skills Store, where you’ll find our ebook tutorials for Adobe IllustratorAdobe PhotoshopMicrosoft Excel, and How to Spec a Garment for the Fashion Industry. Each ebook contains easy to follow tutorials, with illustrations every step of the way. They are designed to prepare you with comprehensive industry specific skills and foundations to give your fashion design career a competitive edge.

Source: designernexus.com

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How to Become Fashion Designer ( Part 2 ) – Fashion Industry Career Specializations

Fashion Industry Career Specializations -BREAK IT DOWN

Coming straight from fashion school, you might be thinking that as a fashion designer, you’ll have the opportunity to work with all types of apparel. But what you may not know is that generally, the fashion industry is split into categories, and then categories within categories. Basically, the apparel industry is very specialized.
The breakdown begins with price (which usually corresponds with quality). The lowest apparel classification is Discount, and at the height of fashion is Haute Couture:
  • Discount Fashion: These stores sell fashion merchandise that retails at a discounted price from what other apparel stores charge. Outlet malls or stores like Ross, Walmart, Target, or Conway are example of discount retailers that sell discount labels.

  • Budget / Mass Market Fashion: Mass market apparel usually consists of knock offs of higher priced designer fashions that are sold at low competitive prices to the masses. Old Navy, Forever 21, and Charlotte Russe are a few popular budget apparel labels. Department stores in this category include JC Penney, and Kohl’s. This fashion market usually retails for less than $100.

  • Moderate Fashion: These include nationally advertised apparel fashion brands such as Nine West, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, and Zara. Examples of moderate department stores are Macy’s and Dillards. These apparel brands typically retail for less than $300.

  • Contemporary Fashion: More than just a specific price point, this classification is a fashion-forward image often aimed at women in their ’20s and early ’30s looking for trendy fashions priced more affordably than Designer pieces. BCBG, Betsey Johnson, Bebe, and Rebecca Taylor fall into the Contemporary fashion category, which usually retails for under $500.

  • Better Fashion: Also selling for less than $500, these collections use better quality fabric and styling than lower-priced brands. Armani Exchange, Jones New York and Anne Klein are a few examples of better-priced apparel lines.

  • Bridge Fashion: Priced under $1,000, these apparel fashion lines serve as a “bridge” between better and designer fashion categories. Bridge fashion includes names like Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman, DKNY, Emporio Armani, and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.

  • Designer Fashion: True fashion designer collections typically sell for more than $1,000 per item. The fabrics, fit, details, and trims are superior to other ready-to-wear items. Some examples of designer labels are Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani, and Chanel.

  • Haute Couture / Avant-garde Fashion: Also know as couture, these terms have been commonly misused by ready-to-wear brands. Haute Couture, or simply “couture” fashion designers sell custom, made-to-measure apparel, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, and is affordable only to a select few. Technically speaking, there are only ten official Haute Couture Fashion Houses including: Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and Givenchy. Avant-garde fashion designers produce high quality, one-of-a-kind garments that experiment with new fashion design concepts and push the envelope of popular apparel design.

Even within the fashion industry categories listed above, each apparel market is broken down into more specific career specializations. First, fashion companies are broken down by customer: men’s, women’s, children’s etc. Then are further divided by type of apparel: sportswear, eveningwear (special occasion), sleepwear etc. And then even fashion design teams are designated to specific areas like Wovens, Knits, Sweaters, Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear and so on.

A discouraging thing to note about the fashion industry is that it is very difficult to move from one career category to another. If you start building your fashion design career with mass-market apparel companies, you’re going to face some barriers when you apply for that dream fashion designer job at Ralph Lauren. The same goes for apparel design specialties. If you’re experienced in designing children’s woven tops, chances are you won’t land a position designing women’s dresses. If you’re absolutely determined on making a switch in the fashion industry, you’re best bet is to start from the bottom in your desired career field and work your way up again.

Something else to consider is the different types of apparel manufacturers and retailers out there. There are fashion manufacturers who design and produce their own apparel designs, which are then sold to fashion retailers. These manufacturers do not have their own retail fashion stores. Examples include Shoshanna, Jones New York and Carmen Marc Valvo. There are also fashion manufacturers that own licenses for a variety of brands. For example, at the time of this writing, Phillips Van Heusen (PVH) owns Calvin Klein and IZOD, but licenses brands like DKNY, Sean Jean, and Kenneth Cole.

Then, there are fashion retailers that only sell merchandise purchased from manufacturers. These include stores like Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. There are also many manufacturers that also have their own fashion retail locations such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange and Nicole Miller. Other apparel retail stores have their own product development teams and have merchandise manufactured specifically for their private label designs such as Gap, Old Navy, and Express. In addition to purchasing merchandise from outside manufacturers, many department stores also have their own private label collections. Examples are: I.N.C. (Macy’s), and Arizona Jeans (JC Penney).

Pre-Fall 2011

The largest employment opportunities out there lie within mass-market apparel companies. They often pay rather well to begin with, however these figures usually level off after a few years of experience. The higher-end fashion markets pay less to start, and work hours are longer, but the prestige you’ll receive from such reputable companies will do wonders for your resume.

Source: Desigernexus.com

 

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