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10-10-2005
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Education to Become a Designer: Is a Degree Necessary? Can I Do Individualized Study?
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Hi everyone, I was wondering if someone wants to be a fashion designer, and have their own clothing line, do they need to go to school for it? I mean like actually get a degree in Fashion Design?
I know that a few fashion design courses could help, but I am not sure if one has to get a degree in fashion design. What if someone can't afford to go to a design school, but has the dream to become a designer?
Also, I wanted to know how people get internships in the design field? I know school is a way, but are there any other ways?
I am thinking about going to Parsons for the continuing education courses, I just wanted to know if that would help me out any.

thanks


Last edited by BetteT; 14-06-2011 at 12:47 PM.
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10-10-2005
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School is good but if you have the talent and the perserverance you can make do without. You just have to be VERY confident, VERY good, and VERY persistent. You have to rely on your portfolio, your attitude, and your achievements to get your foot in the door rather than the education portion of your resume. There are big designers who went to expensive schools, big designers that went to community colleges, and even some big designers that never went to school at all. More importantly though there are people that went to expensive schools that never got anywhere. School does help but if you can't afford it, as I know I can not, you can do it on your own. It's a lot harder though in every way. If you want to work for another company you need to have the best portfolio they see. If you want to work for yourself you better be well informed about everything in the industry when you approach the banks for financing orders and they want to know you know what you are doing.

Personally, what I am doing is a few things. First I can not afford school so I have bought textbooks that are used at schools and am teaching myself.

Second I have taken on a couple of mentors, one in the industry and one that mentors all new business people on various business topics. The industry one I found myself by being persistent and emailing as many people as I possibly could and posting on message boards until someone finally replied answering my questions. The business one I found through a local government run business resource centre.

Third I plan on taking a couple of advanced sewing classes at local sewing stores to hone my construction skills.

Fourth I'm taking a fashion drawing course (6 saturdays) because though I know what the garment should look like I need other people to be able to understand my ideas as well.

Fifth, I am doing soooo much research that I am totally sick of business plans, sales forcasting, marketing strategies, etc and have a permenant eye strain headache. BUT you will not succeed as an entrepreneur unless you are willing to put yourself through hell and keep a smile on your face: there's mine hehe

If you can afford the continuing education courses then definately take them, they will help you out. There is a part time 2 year evening program here that I plan to take when I can afford it. I will hopefully already have started my company and therefore will know most of the topics they will cover but having instruction and criticism will help me grow and refine my skills.

Take as many free or cheap business seminars and workshops that you can, you'd be surprised how many are offered by local government business service centres.

Oh yah and feel free to contact me. I'm not very knowledgeable yet but we can support eachother as we go through our mutual goal of having our own companies

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11-10-2005
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yes, i believe school IS required ..patterns are not easy to be selftaught

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11-10-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
yes, i believe school IS required ..patterns are not easy to be selftaught
Do you really think a full time program is required though? She indicated she is interested in taking the continuing education / part time courses and wanted to know if it would be okay or if she needed to do a fulltime degree program.

Personally I think the basic courses should be enough to get her going if she is willing to work hard at it.

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11-10-2005
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I was wondering about this too. How is it that some designers, (Heatherette, for example) can design w/ no formal training whatsoever? Intriguing...

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11-10-2005
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rockitgirl, where are you from? I am from New York City. I knew about the cheap seminars and stuff like that. I just went to a seminar on Saturday. I am trying to get as much information as possible, and do as much research as possible. I will keep in contact with you. Support is always good.


Last edited by Fashiongirl1; 11-10-2005 at 10:35 AM.
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11-10-2005
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I worked as a designer for a while and then went onto work for a womens supplier. There was no one that hadn't been trained at school, except the sample machinists.

I went to London College of Fashion and went up to a degree. People who are self taught have often picked up bad habits or techniques that a college would straighten out. Like Lena said, pattern cutting is pretty tricky to do on your own.

But there are people who haven't gone all the way to a design degree. If thats want you really want to do then it will show through.

But personally, if I was the employer and had a choice between a formally trained applicant (and there's certainly plenty of them!) and one who wasn't, the obvious choice would be the first.

But I'm talking from London experice, maybe its different across the pond. Best of luck!

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Last edited by Fashion Puss; 11-10-2005 at 11:48 AM.
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11-10-2005
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What about the continuing education courses for those who cannot afford to go to an art college? Or does not have that type of time to do a fulltime degree? Also, what if someone cannot afford to do either, should they just give up their dream of being a designer? What if someone is trained, but still would like to take courses (of course this does not apply to me, its just simple "what if" questions) without getting a full degree? Is that helpful as well? Or simply, college isn't for everyone, what about those who college just isn't for?

thanks

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11-10-2005
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I used to do pattern cutting and draping courses part time in the evenings after work. In London the best places for evening / part time courses are at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. Sometimes, my emplyer paid for me to go on these courses, of course I had to pitch it to them that it was worth their while Its quite possible to work and train / study at the same time. It can take it out of you but its worth it in the end. Training is never a waste of time.

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11-10-2005
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As to starting up as a designer withour training, the best thing you have can do is get a work placement. It won't be paid. But you have to be persistant for that place, you are up against people who have spent years in fashion college bankcrupting themselves to get their training (like me (sigh) )
Fashion's a very tough business.

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Last edited by Fashion Puss; 11-10-2005 at 05:09 PM.
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11-10-2005
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oh no.. my reply got lost in cyber space..
promising to post here soon

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01-11-2005
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A Career as a Fashion Designer. Is a Degree from a Fashion School Necessary?
I believe I am a very good designer. Problem is I am not a very good pattern maker as it requires a lot of education.

Now I've considered taking the one year course at Marangoni in Milan... But money is an issue. I could save for it and sell off my cars next summer if I needed to.

But what other options are there?

I could continue teaching myself and take a few classes from the scary old ladies of the local fabric store... But my guess is they wont teach me enough and they scare me.

Decisions decisions decisions Wish it were as easy as getting an editior to look at my drawings, like YSL.

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01-11-2005
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Just my opinion....

most successful designers get their first- and subsequent- jobs through an agent, who opens the door for them.

Many designers-past and present- never learn to draft patterns. It absolutely could not hurt, but there is no guarantee it will help.

Tom Ford, Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren never learned to sew or draft patterns.
Oliver Theyskins, Nicholas Ghesquiere and Albert Elbaz absolutely can draft their own patters, but it is not likely that was considered in recognizing their talent, and they do not draft anything themselves anymore.

I think an agent and PR is more important than technical skills, but am prepared for rebuttals........................................: unsure:

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01-11-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday
Just my opinion....

most successful designers get their first- and subsequent- jobs through an agent, who opens the door for them.

Many designers-past and present- never learn to draft patterns. It absolutely could not hurt, but there is no guarantee it will help.

Tom Ford, Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren never learned to sew or draft patterns.
Oliver Theyskins, Nicholas Ghesquiere and Albert Elbaz absolutely can draft their own patters, but it is not likely that was considered in recognizing their talent, and they do not draft anything themselves anymore.

I think an agent and PR is more important than technical skills, but am prepared for rebuttals........................................: unsure:
That's very interesting someday. How do I go about finding an agent?

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01-11-2005
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If only I knew the answer to that.......

The Fashion Directory has a few mentioned under PR firms.

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