What It Takes to be a Freelance Fashion Designer
Are you wondering what it takes to be a freelance fashion designer?
A fashion designer creates clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. It's a great opportunity to get paid for your artistic vision.
Although a lot of people dream about making a living designing their own clothing line, a passion for fashion is only the beginning of what you will need to succeed in this competitive field. You will need an eye for detail and color as well as an appreciation of beauty. You should have a thorough understanding of the design process, including sewing and pattern-making skills. Even though these tasks are likely to be done by someone else, it's important to know every aspect of what will be involved in putting together a particular item of clothing.
As a fashion designer, you will constantly study fashion trends and you will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge of the fashion world, including colors, notions, and textiles. You will sketch designs of clothing, select colors and fabrics, and oversee the final production of your designs. The design process from initial concept to final production typically takes eighteen months or more.
Good communication skills are a must. A significant amount of time will be spent communicating with manufacturers, suppliers, and customers. Networking is an important part of this career choice. Most fashion designers travel frequently to trade shows to stay abreast of current trends. A certain amount of sales skills are required to promote yourself and your designs.
When you are first starting out, you will find that some potential clients won't consider working with you if you don't have a degree. Time spent in school learning all you can is well invested, because to some extent, a degree counts as work experience. Along with an education, you will also need an impressive portfolio. When you are competing with other fashion designers, an outstanding portfolio is often the deciding factor. Put together a collection of your best work, and constantly strive to better your best.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, about a quarter of all fashion designers are self-employed. To be able to succeed on a freelance basis, you need to be a risk taker. There is an aspect of uncertainty when you choose to work on a freelance basis, as your income may fluctuate. You could work by the contract or by the job, and as you do each job, you may not know for sure where your next job is coming from. You may design pieces for small stores or for individual clients.
Your working hours may have to be adjusted to accommodate clients. You may find yourself meeting with clients nights and weekends, and working long hours to meet deadlines.
Because of the competitive nature of the field, the biggest characteristic needed is an unwavering passion for design coupled with an inner drive to succeed no matter what.
What it takes to be a freelance fashion designer is imagination, self-discipline, creativity, and persistence. You must have problem solving skills and the ability to work independently. Above all, if you have the willingness to work hard and a commitment to hold onto your dream, this could be the right career for you.
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