Personally, the fashion and lifestyle industry is one of the fastest growing and sustainable industry in the world. As the eyes of people are being opened to the importance of the media to the growth of their personal brands and businesses, so also are people beginning to see the importance of the fashion and lifestyle industry as an important sector of that great move. People; no matter their trade, calling or profession are beginning to accept the truth that looking good is actually a good business. But as important as this industry is, most fashion designers are still finding it difficult to grow their career. Some people are of the school of thoughts that fashion designing is a skill and not a talent, but as a talent Coach who have been privileged to study the nitty-gritty of talents I can confidently say that fashion designing is first a talent and then a skill.
Man started living with his skills when he lost the ability to maximize his God given talents. There are people who are born fashionistas, while some learnt it. If you are privileged to have it as either a talent or learned it as a skill and you are finding it difficult to grow, then, this article is for you.
After months of research on the fashion industry, I was able to gather some tips for growing your trade even on a lean budget.
– Be good
One unique thing about fashion is that it has the ability to sell itself. Thanks to social media and camera phones, any fashion wears that is well designed and produced has the ability to attract more sales to its maker. Being good is very important. If you apply the other keys listed below without applying this, your career may not stand the test of time. So therefore, you have to invest more on developing yourself than on promoting your wears. Do short courses on fashion designing. Even if you are not a good tailor, you must have eyes for good wears, and also employ the services of skilled tailors.
* Below are pictures of Eli Ebosele; a fast rising Nigerian Model, red carpet host, and actress
– Leverage on Influential Friends
By this I don’t mean that you should start looking for celebrities to wear your designs, but if you have access to any celebrity you can simply ask or pay them (I.e if you can afford it) to wear your designs. But if you don’t have access to any for now, no problem, you can start from where you are. Leveraging on influential friends is a more effective form of publicity. It’s not enough to post pictures of your designs on social medias, people are more likely to buy designs they saw on somebody they admire than designs they saw hanging somewhere. Most celebrities will ask you to pay them to wear your designs, but some upcoming ones (like me *winks*) will be very happy to wear your designs if the designs are good and will belong to them at the end. There are so many upcoming and influential celebrities like models, musicians, actors, motivational speakers, and even some very influential social media users who will be happy to wear your designs and post the pictures on the Internet.
– Attend Fashion Shows
Fashion shows are avenues for upcoming and even established designers to launch their products. Some fashion shows are free while some aren’t. Not everyone has the opportunity to have their wears featured in top fashion shows in the world but every designer can be featured in a fashion show. I always emphasize on the church as a good place for newbies to start from because the church is one of the most influential institutions in the world today. In order to grow your fashion career, you can team up with other designers to organize a fashion show in your church. You can even ask your Pastor, pastor’s wife, lead vocalist, or any member of the ushering unit to wear your design (this takes us back to our second key). Not every fashion show should be attended, but it’s advisable to attend events that has a very strong media presence. Fashion shows are quicker ways to grow your brand because most people who attend fashion shows are those that love fashion.
– Make Friends
A woman was asked if her husband’s brother’s wife knows how to sew well, she replied No. As I stood there with a friend listening to their conversation, we couldn’t believe what we were hearing because we knew that the tailor in question was good. She didn’t want to recommend people to the tailor because they were not in good terms. As a fashion designer, you need to learn how to network with fellow designers and non designers. In the fashion and lifestyle business everyone is important. The easiest way to grow either in the fashion designing industry or any other industry is through recommendations and making friends with people increases the rate of your recommendations. Some customers may not recommend you to people even if you are good, they will prefer to recommend people to their friends and relatives who may not be as good, competent and reliable as you. Try to be at peace with everyone, not because they deserve it but because you need them to grow.
Succeed You Must.
By Johnspeak Uwangue