How to Make it as a Designer: Student Recap

It's the last year of your degree and graduation is in sight, you can almost feel the degree being pressed into your hands. But after the lovely ceremony, which may or may not include the tossing of your hat, comes the reality of your situation - it's time to find a job. But how do you ensure you stand out in an already overcrowded industry? We list the top tips graduate can take to make it as a fashion designer.

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Graduating from an established fashion school

Taking a few steps back, hopefully the initial foundation for landing your dream job as a fashion designer was laid during the school application process. Graduating from an established or recognised fashion school helps as "brand name" recognition can certainly help pry open doors in the future and whilst adding credibility to any job application.

True Grit

Something that sadly cannot be taught in school, true grit will help you fight until you have secured the interview for the job you seek. Students who may not have the best grades, but are full of confidence, passion, quiet focus and not afraid to work hard will go much further than those who graduate with flying colours but lack the grit to chase their goals.

How to Make it as a Designer: Student Recap

Value craft and creativity equally

Learn how to draw, even if most fashion jobs are in favour of digital illustration. There is no full substitution for a gorgeous hand drawn sketch which evokes the fantasy of fashion. Learn to technically spec your garments fully as the power of detail and analyze is vital. Learning the inner workings of the industry before graduating will also give you the upperhand when landing your dream job. Doing an internship during the summer vacation before the final year will help ease the learning curve of any first job .

Training by osmosis

Try and sample as many different levels of the industry you can, so you can begin to see where you fit, whether is may be at a mass-market retailer, independent label or designer fashion house. Try and land internships solo and pick up all the experience during you can, so when a paid position does open up, you will be considered. Be warned, employers will not train you as they expect you have to pick up all information via osmosis.

How to Make it as a Designer: Student Recap

Be true to you

Choose your first position as wisely as you can. It may not be easy with all the competition n, but try to ensure that it is an area of the market you see yourself working in five years from now.

Smarten Up

Cluelessness, outside of the 1990s movie, is not cute. Be sure you fully research the company you are interviewing for and are able to translate your knowledge on their business, product and customer base during your interview . Read as many trade journals such as FashionUnited, Business of Fashion and WWD and make note.

Lastly, remember even if you graduate with the highest grades and a lovely portfolio, reject may still rear its ugly face. Do not let this defer you as you have to be in the right place at the right time.

All images: Jackie Mallon

How to Make it as a Designer: Student Recap During the month of August FashionUnited will focus on Work in Fashion. For all reads on on the theme, click here.

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