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Why Studying Fashion Can Help You Break Into The Fashion Industry

September 6th, 2021 by Cassidy Welling

In the ultra-competitive world of fashion, a fashion design or related degree is a must. Talent and passion alone are not enough; you also need to learn the foundational knowledge and the guided practice and experiences as well as nurture relationships with mentors in the industry. According to Businesswire, the global apparel market REACHED NEARLY $527.1 BILLION (approximately £400 billion) in 2020 and is expected to almost double by 2025 at a 9.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). A vastly expanding market means more people to serve, with more competitors, and THIS IS WHY STUDYING FASHION can help you break into the fashion industry.

Why is it a must?

A fashion design or related program instills the knowledge foundations on textiles and fabrics, design techniques, textile and garments production processes, as well as computer-aided design (CAD), among many others. One also has access to experienced tutors who not only teach the course but also have insider knowledge and contacts in the fashion industry they can make referrals to for good and promising students. One also gains practical experience and skills under the guidance of a mentor. So, one has the opportunity to fast-track their career instead of being on the outside looking in, trying to learn the ropes on their own by trial and error.

After one earns their degree, they are eligible for jobs, directly and indirectly, related to Fashion Design. Directly related jobs would include fashion designer, retail buyer, retail manager, retail merchandiser, fashion stylist, textile designer, and visual merchandiser. Indirectly related jobs would include clothing/textile technologist, event manager, jewellery designer, magazine journalist, makeup artist, and public relations officer.

Top fashion designers who went to fashion schools

Anyone can launch a clothing line if they have the money and influence to do so, but to have longevity in the industry, an education is a must. Alexander McQueen, famous for his precise tailoring, groundbreaking designs, and shocking catwalk shows, has an MA in Fashion Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Anna Sui, known for how her deep research into vintage styles and cultural arcana influences her contemporary designs, has a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons The New School for Design in New York.

Meanwhile, Issey Miyaki, distinguished for his technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions, and even perfumes, studied Graphic Design at the Faculty of Graphic Design at Tama Art University in Tokyo, and Haute Couture at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale in Paris. Noted for his high-end ladies footwear, Manolo Blahnik studied Art and Stage Design at the Louvre Art School in Paris. There's also Oscar de la Renta, who is known for his elegant designs combining European luxury and American ease, and he studied Painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, even as he apprenticed under Cristobal Balenciaga.

Higher education enables innovation

With the pandemic on plus the challenges OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE and complex social transformations, will there still be a need for fashion designers? Definitely. In fact, there is now a growing breed of sustainable fashion designers transforming the industry. As more consumers become conscious of the environmental effects of synthetic dyes and clamouring for SUSTAINABLE DYES IN THEIR TEXTILES, sustainable fashion has become a growing movement today. Sustainable fashion promotes social and environmental responsibility in making, buying, and wearing clothes, including clothing accessories.

Top designers like Stella McCartney who is known for her sustainable and ethical luxury brand, studied at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and at Central Saint Martins. Meanwhile, Nanushka designer Sandra Sandor who is known for her vegan leather and upcycled style, studied at the London College of Fashion. There's also Eileen Fisher who is known for disrupting the linear production model by working in a circular model, who first studied Mathematics, then switched to Interior Design at the University of Illinois.

It enables you to diversify and understand your customers' needs

Pursuing higher education allows you to be aware of the changing needs of consumers, and it enables you to diversify and adapt accordingly. Nowadays, there is a growing demand for gender-fluid fashion, and it's becoming mainstream. Designers who turn out clothing made for all genders have made people rethink and incorporate identity, gender, and authentic expression in everyday life.

A good example of one such designer is Harris Reed, who is Harry Styles's favourite designer. Reed was just a student at Central Saint Martins when he designed the white, flowing dress Styles wore in Vogue's December 2020 cover. There's also Pierre Davis, head designer and co-founder of No Sesso (Italian for "no gender"). Davis, who studied at the Art Institute of Seattle, is the first trans woman to present a collection at the 2019 New York Fashion Week.

Talent is your raw material, passion is your fuel, but an education in fashion design is your ticket to making it in the exceptionally competitive global fashion arena. Combine all three and you're off to a strong, superior start.

Categories: fashion