The designer fashion industry is quite literally a multi-billion dollar industry in North America and around the world. Designer labels like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, Michael Kors and Burberry started out small and have grown to be recognizable global symbols of luxury. The industry is changing every day and the advancement and popularity of e-commerce and sites like Etsy, have allowed the novice and professional alike to take a crack at a career in fashion design.
For many though, the obvious first step is acquiring an education in fashion design, an education that not only encompasses the creative and artistic aspect of design, but also embraces the very important business aspect. The education options available to a prospective student range from a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Associate Arts Degree (AA) or even a Masters of Fine Arts (MA).Community college's also offer programs that are more geared to the practical side of the fashion industry, and aim to equip students with the tools that will allow them to hit the ground running as soon as they complete their education.
The curriculum at either educational option should include a focus on such topics as market and trend analysis, marketing and promotion, product development, computer technology for design and production of a professional portfolio.Upon completion of their degree, students should also understand the importance of communication and critical thinking, and how critical having those skills are in such a global industry.
Most fashion education schools should be structured to challenge and inspire students by incorporating the artistic, technical and theoretical elements into a program that prepares them for the competitive and sometimes cutthroat industry.
Something else that prospective students should look for in a potential school is the faculty. In many arts focused programs, it is important that the faculty who teach you, have hands-on, practical industry experience. In the top fashion schools, faculty consist of designers still working and producing lines and labels - or who work in the buying and retail side of the industry. Having professors with the inside knowledge of the industry will make your time at fashion school an even more valuable experience.
Upon graduation from fashion school, the opportunities in the industry are unique and quite vast. As a graduate of an accredited fashion school, some career options include:
• Fashion Design: Fashion Designer, Product Manager, Pattern Maker
• Textile Design: Textile Designer, Forecaster
• Knitwear Design: Knitwear Designer, Knitwear Merchandising, Knitwear Accessory Designer
• Fashion Merchandising or Fashion Marketing: Buyer, Store Manager, Store Planner, Product Developer
• Fashion Journalist
• Beauty Industry: Cosmetics and Fragrance, Product Development
Launching a career as a fashion school graduate in the design industry takes equal parts talent, education and experience. Having these skills is necessary to break in to the industry and become a success. Your first step to getting there is learning hands-on skills at an accredited fashion school, skills necessary to succeed in this incredibly creative and exciting field.