Designer Business

by Karin Evans
Fashion School Review Columnist

March 25, 2005

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With a fashion course successfully completed and the necessary fashion know-how securely fastened in your mind, there are a number of career options open to you, one of which is to start your own fashion business.

Countless people start their own business every day in the US but only a small proportion of them are successful. A key factor in success is careful, realistic planning. To achieve this, you need a sound understanding of the industry in which you hope to carve your niche, and a clear idea about what your niche is.

American InterContinental University prepares you with the knowledge, skills and practical work experience you need to succeed in today's competitive workplace.

Building a firm foundation

Before you begin, therefore, it might be helpful to gain some experience in a fashion industry job to get a feel for how the industry works. From your fashion course you will have learned a great deal about how to turn your ideas into fully formed marketable fashion items. You may have also had the opportunity of an internship that has allowed you to develop your personal style and get a real sense of how the fashion industry works.

Time spent in a fashion industry job will consolidate what you've learned and give you time to fine-tune your ideas. Experience in the fashion industry, on top of your fashion school qualification, will also give some weight to your business case if you're seeking funding, and to your sales pitch to potential customers.

Tips for the top

Other points to consider:
  • Test the viability of your designs, brand, prices and target market. Start small, in your spare time if possible, maybe by selling items at craft fairs for example.
  • Develop a strong brand name and distinctive image and stick to it.
  • Independent stores are the most likely to carry your line of clothing.
  • The Internet is a low-cost outlet option.
  • Chose a fashion school where you can combine study of fashion design and fashion merchandising.

About the Author
Karin Evans works for a government agency researching and writing reports to inform policy. Her previous experience includes teaching, editing, and sales and marketing - all in the field of English Literature and Language. Karin has graduate and doctoral

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