This week I’m excited to announce that our designer and CEO, Ginger Nichelle, has started her youtube channel! The first videos on the channel, a short introduction and a video on the 6 steps to becoming a fashion designer have already been posted, and we’ll be getting updates weekly! Every video will be an informative, realistic look at the fashion industry for any aspiring designer or just lovers of fashion!
This week’s video is a rundown of the basics of getting started in fashion and how to curate your own brand. Ginger shared her biggest pieces of advice for anyone that wants to be a designer but isn’t sure where to start. You can watch the full video below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our youtube channel so you don’t miss any of the new content coming your way!
Understand Your Audience
First is the importance of knowing who you’re designing for. This includes knowing your target age group, gender, what aesthetics they enjoy and what price range they are looking to shop in. Being sure that you know your audience also helps you to promote yourself more effectively, because you know exactly the kind of person who would love your clothes.
Your Brand’s Story
Along with knowing who you’re designing for it’s key to know what you want your brand to represent. Are your clothes simple and easy to style? Fun-loving statement pieces? Bubblegum pink or studded leather? Do you want to change the world of plus-sized design or advocate for social justice through your work? No matter what clothes you’re making, letting the story of your personal experiences and the things you love shine through will always make your brand stand out.
Understanding Your Garments (and the fabric you’ll use)
Regardless of your sketching and drawing skills, it’s important to educate yourself on different styles of garments and how to design your pieces in a way that makes them durable, well-fitting, and pleasing to the eye. Knowing what makes a garment functional, from zippers and buttons to seams and trim, is essential to making a finished product you’re happy with. Having an understanding of how even the smallest details can make or break a style can help you to put thought and purpose into everything you make.
Part of this is also learning about fabric. A garment can be beautifully designed and perfectly sewn, but if it’s not in the right fabric the piece will fall flat. Knowing when to use a stretchy fabric over a stiff one, or a lightweight material instead of a heavy one, is what allows your pieces to have the fit and flow you’re looking for, as well as being comfortable for the wearer.
The Importance of Fit
With years of domination by fast fashion, which often sacrifices quality for cost and speed, crafting a well-fitting garment is more important than ever. Ginger recommends using a dress form to design and create garments, but also being sure to fit prototypes and final designs on models. Having a person try your garment on allows you to see how it fits on a person’s body rather than just the standard measurements of a dress form. It also lets you see how the piece looks while in motion, so you can be sure that the flowing fabric moves exactly how you’re imagining it would down the runway. A real person can also help you work out any parts of the design that can be improved to make sure your work is wearable. Sometimes a zipper, sleeve, or seam looks perfect on paper, but isn’t comfortable for everyday wear.
To get started in such a crowded and competitive industry, designers need to learn to put themselves out there. This might be through networking, social media, participating in contests, or promoting yourself in other ways. This might be scary, especially when you’re just getting started, but if you know what makes your work special and learn how to market that to potential buyers, collaborators, and customers, you’ll find success!