For some people, picking out a shirt or a pair of trousers at a department store is tedious, but to you, it’s a magical experience everytime. The colours, the fabrics, the materials, the special touches - they all come together to create fantastic styles and statement pieces that make the fashion industry what it is today.
If you’re like most fashionistas, then a career in fashion would be your ultimate dream. You’d love to work side-by-side with designers and help them take their visions and transform them into a full-blown collection. Or maybe you’d like to bring your own ideas to life and start your own label, pouring your heart and soul into each thread and showing the world how you see fashion.
Perhaps you want to put your keen eye for fashion to the test and become a fashion merchandiser or forecaster, predicting which trends will sell each season and stocking your shelves with the hottest labels.
So what fundamental skills do you need to start working in the fashion industry? What abilities will get you recognised and help you stand out from the crowd? Here are our tops skills for working in fashion that will help you launch your career in fashion.
Drawing and sewing skills
All clothing designs started with a pencil and a drawing pad, so it makes sense that your skillset should start there as well. In the fashion world, you need to be able to draw well and translate your thoughts and ideas down on paper. If you can sketch well, then you’ll be able to speed up the production process by sharing your ideas with
You also need to know how to operate a sewing machine and sew from a pattern. Knowing how to make your own garments means that you understand how fabrics and materials work together and what types of stitchings work best for different patterns.
This also includes knowing clothing lingo. For example, if a client wants a sweetheart neckline on a dress, what does that mean? Or if the inseam should be 34 inches, what does that mean?
Strong communication skills
The world of fashion is all about communication. Designers communicate with their teams as well as buyers and, to some extent, the press. Buyers and merchandisers need to be able to communicate exactly what they need to all departments within the store as well as with designers themselves.
Designers need to be constantly talking and communicating with their teams. When new production starts, designers will have to communicate their exact designs and be able to answer questions about the production and cost. They will also need to speak with manufacturers who will supply the materials and put their creations together. With good communication, designers will see their ideas flourish and launch their newest collections without a hitch.
Buyers and merchandisers in stores need to be able to communicate between departments and decide on budgets. They need to able to give clear directions to other employers to ensure that windows are dressed just as and the right items of clothing are purchased from certain designers. Without good communication skills, buyers and merchandisers will find themselves struggling to keep the store running smoothly and profitably.
Eye for visualisation
The best designers and fashion mavens can visualise an event, such as fashion show, before the first clothing item is finished. They can see a store window before even looking at what props are on hand, and they know just what will catch a shopper’s eye.
Designers need to be able to see their collection before it’s finished and how a clear style goal in mind. They need to know which shoes will look best with each outfit and which accessories will complement or clutter the look.
As a buyer or visual merchandiser, it is vital that you can plan out what will look best on your shelves and what will catch a shopper’s eye as they pass the store windows. Buyers need to be concerned about fabrics and colours, knowing that they don’t want too much of one fabric or colours. Visual merchandisers plan store features and windows and need to know how to mix and match designers to create stunning combinations that will encourage shoppers to buy.
Of course, fashion involves much more than just patterns, colours and fabrics. To be successful in the fashion industry, you need to know how a business operates, whether you work for a designer or a boutique or department store.
As a designer, you need to be able to balance your budget and make sure you don’t overspend on one design. You’ll also need to be able to set your prices accurately, taking into account the costs in labour as well as materials. When you’re ready to sell your line to stores, you need to be able to market yourself and develop sales concepts that will interest businesses and entice them to buy pieces from your clothing line.
As a merchandiser in a boutique or department store, you need to have a clear understanding of your buyers and what they need from their clothing. With this in mind, it will be up to you to choose which designers you purchase from and how much of each clothing item you will sell. This involves meticulously monitoring your budget and choosing the best items to please your customers.
Now that you know what it takes to succeed, all you need are these skills to get started in the fashion industry. A Certificate IV in Textile Design and Development from Kangan Institute can equip you with the right skills needed pursue your fashion dreams and help you reach your goals and ambitions. After successfully completing the course, you’ll be ready to work as a visual merchandiser, photographic stylist or an exhibition or event display designer.
In addition, you’ll also be able to begin studying other areas of fashion, such as designing. Bring your visions of fashion to life and show the world how you view the future. Contact Kangan Institute to find out more.
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