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Becoming a Fashion Designer

ISBN: 978-1-118-14382-7
320 pages
March 2013
Becoming a Fashion Designer (1118143825) cover image
The complete guide to the fashion industry, featuring interviews with top designers who explain the intricacies of the world of fashion design

Anyone who has ever tried to launch a fashion design career knows how grueling it can be. The fashion industry is a highly prominent field, yielding a competitive environment that is greatly guarded, secretive, and difficult to infiltrate. Becoming a Fashion Designer provides all the information, resources, and tools you need to help you navigate these obstacles and successfully launch a career in fashion design.

Of the various job opportunities available in the fashion industry, the career path of a fashion designer consistently ranks as the most popular position in the field, making the competition even greater. The book pays special attention to this and demonstrates several ways in which an aspiring fashion designer can stand out from the competition. A dynamic and comprehensive career guide, this book imparts insider tips from top fashion designers and executives based around the world. Expert advice includes an introduction to a career in fashion design, educational requirements, career opportunities, the design process, portfolio creation, preparation for getting hired, steps to start and run one's own fashion design business, as well as a forecast of the future of the fashion industry.

  • Features original interviews from top designers and high-profile fashion executives, including Ralph Rucci, Reem Acra, Peter Som, Anna Sui, Nanette Lepore, Kay Unger, Stuart Weitzman, Dennis Basso, Randolph Duke, Zang Toi, Pamella Roland, Robert Verdi and Daymond John
  • Includes cases in point and insider tips throughout
  • Includes illustrations, drawings, sketches, and photographs demonstrating various aspects of working in fashion design, with special contributions from renowned illustrator, Izak Zenou and legendary fashion photographer, Nigel Barker
  • Offers in-depth resources to assist you on your journey to becoming a fashion designer

Whether a student, recent college graduate, industry professional or career changer, you'll learn everything you need to know to successfully develop a fashion design career.

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FOREWORD vii
by Nanette Lepore

PREFACE ix

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xv

1 An Introduction to a Career in Fashion Design 1

What Is Fashion Design? 4

What Do Fashion Designers Do? 32

History of Fashion Design: Then and Now 59

The Worldwide Fashion Industry by the Numbers 76

Embracing the World of Fashion 87

Finding Balance 109

2 The Education for a Fashion Design Career 111

Choosing a Collegiate Educational Program 111

Undergraduate Education 112

The Value of Internships 128

Studying Abroad 136

Postgraduate Education 137

Continuing Education 138

3 The Job Market 141

Determing Your Design Specialty 141

Personal Branding 152

Portfolio Development 155

Creating a Résumé that Pops 166

Networking Your Way to a Job Offer 171

Tried-and-True Job Search Strategies 176

Perfecting the Job Interview 180

Negotiating the Job Offer 201

4 The Fashion Design Process 207

Conceptual Development 208

Patternmaking 211

Sample Creation 214

Finalization, Presentation, and Hand-Off 215

5 Launching Your Own Fashion Collection 217

Writing a Business Plan 218

Choosing Type of Ownership 218

Defining Your Brand 223

Protecting Your Designs 231

Creating Accounting, Budgeting, and Bookkeeping Systems 236

Hiring Employees, Contractors, and Interns 237

Developing a Marketing Plan 239

Establishing a Sales and Order Fulfillment Strategy 251

6 Strategic Business Trends in the Fashion Industry 261

Outsourcing and Globalization 261

Corporate Social Responsibility 262

APPENDIX 281

Professional Organizations, Associations, and Councils 281

Fashion Industry Networking Websites 283

Professional Networking Websites 284

Social Networking Websites 284

Professional Trade Publications 285

Online Portfolio Websites 285

Color and Trend Forecasting Companies 286

Broadcast and Cable Television Programming with a Fashion Theme 287

Full-Feature Movies with a Fashion Theme 288

Documentaries with a Fashion Theme 289

Major Fashion Magazines 290

INDEX OF INTERVIEWS 293

INDEX 295

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LISA J. SPRINGSTEEL is a twenty-year veteran of the fashion industry who has worked for luxury design firms such as Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, and apparel powerhouses Phillips-Van Heusen and Limited Brands in a variety of capacities, from fashion design to global fabric sourcing, research, and development. Her experience extends to the media world, where she covered New York Fashion Week runway shows, interviewed top designers, and wrote numerous magazine and newspaper articles on fashion, beauty, and health. She has been featured in the Sean Combs MTV documentary, If I Were King and on America Live with Megyn Kelly on Fox News.

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