The Five Things You Need to Have a Fabulous Fashion Design Career

by Kristin Marino
Fashion School Review Columnist

September 7, 2005

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What are the five must-haves of every successful fashion designer? You're about to find out.

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  1. A muse. This is a stylish chum that inspires you, the designer. The ideal person to wear your designs and the one you have in mind while designing your couture collection. This might be a fashion model, but more likely a fashion-forward socialite, actress, or political wife. Oleg Cassini had Jaqueline Kennedy, and Karl Lagerfeld has Nicole Kidman. Who will your muse be?
  2. A degree from a good fashion design school. Most design houses won't hire you to sweep floors unless you've been to fashion design school. Don't worry, your creativity won't be stifled, your spirit won't be broken. Maverick designer John Galliano attended fashion design school, and so have plenty others.
  3. A quirky fashion statement. Karl Lagerfeld is all about the fingerless leather gloves these days. He claims it's because he doesn't like shaking wet hands, but his quirky fashion statement keeps the tongues wagging in fashion circles. Betsey Johnson has her beribboned, braided, multi-colored hair that just screams "I am creative!" Get to work on your own quirky fashion statement.
  4. Knock-offs of your designs being sold on street corners. You'll know you've arrived in the fashion design realm when fakes of your fabulous designs are being smuggled in from the Middle East and sold on street corners in major cities and flea markets. Just ask the designers at Prada and Louis Vuitton.
  5. Good connections. You can make a trash bag look like a wedding dress. Great. All the design acumen in the world does no good if you can't get your well-heeled foot in the door. Best way to make connections? Fashion design school. Research any famous fashion designer. Chances are they attended and probably graduated from fashion design school.

About the Author
Kristin Marino is obsessed with haute couture, even though she lives in Reno, Nevada, where you can't even get Gucci or Louis Vuitton, let alone Jimmy Choo. She has a Bachelor of Art in English Composition from the University of Nevada.

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