Take Your Clothing Design Career Across the Pond

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

January 15, 2007

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London has always played an important role in modern fashion. But in recent years, it's taken on a leading one, producing staggeringly talented designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, and luminaries like Stella McCartney. Here's why a post-fashion school move to Savile Row might make good career sense.

Life After Fashion School
After fashion school, most U.S.-based students head to one of two American cities - New York or Los Angeles. And who can blame them? Both are very exciting towns, brimming with opportunity for emerging clothing design talents.

Surprisingly, a move to the old world might prove more interesting and inspiring. Just consider the talent the British have produced in recent years. There's Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, both of whom continue to wow fashion-forward audiences fashion show after fashion show.

Clothing Design in the Big Apple
Back in New York City, you have lots of big names with very important revenue streams. Designers like Tom Ford have made careers in fashion out of turning sleepy luxury brands like Gucci into extremely profitable fashion houses. Then you have the fashion giants - Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan, who consistently suck the air out of the fashion scene.

Careers in Fashion Made on Savile Row
Back in London, however, there's a strong and enduring regard for the sartorial arts on Savile Row that seems to value tradition, skill, and creativity over business savvy, over-hyped runway shows, and erotically-charged ads. Internships on Savile Row also introduced the finer points of clothing design and construction to McQueen and McCartney.

Of course, there are always downsides to moving far from home. There's a new culture to acclimate to as well as distance to manage between you and your family back in the U.S. But it's a move worth considering, if only for a short time, to complement your clothing design education and get your career in fashion off on a strong foot. After all, who wouldn't want Savile Row credentials to set their portfolio apart from the others? So get ready to complete your fashion school degrees and pack your bags for a career-making move to London.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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