Career Spotlight: Getting Serious About Fashion

by Joe Cooper
Fashion School Review Columnist

June 4, 2007

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Pursue A
Fashion Degree
The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Fashion can be a great hobby, but making it your career is serious business. It takes fashion design school, experience, and a lot of hard work.

Working at Fashion
Designer Emily Suzanne Scott Lay of St. Louis expects her career to have blossomed already, at age 28. But as veteran designer Paula Varsalona responded, it can take many years before success is reached. And even then, you have to keep working.

Ms. Lay knows this, though, and keeps working, creating casual clothing and also costumes for independent film. Hard work will get her where she wants to be.

Getting Prepared
Gillian Hung is a staple in the Malaysian fashion industry, as the president of the Malaysian Official Designers Association (MODA). And to her, fashion is a serious thing.

As she told The Star recently, "The fashion industry needs students who understand that it is not just about clothes and models. There is a need for aspiring designers to have knowledge ranging from the manufacturing of textile(s) to the retailing of fashion."

She's right. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in fashion, "Employers seek designers with either two or four-year degrees who are knowledgeable about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends."

Fashion design jobs are out there, but they're not always easy to get. Many people are enticed by the glamour and the fame associated with fashion, but most designers start out far from this kind of dream lifestyle. Most fashion houses, retail chains, fashion merchandising companies, and other fashion employers seek education along with experience in applicants.

With an internship, a portfolio, and a fashion school education, you may stand a chance at qualifying for entry-level positions in the fashion industry when you graduate.


About the Author
Joe Cooper is a freelance education and technology writer and edits medical literature. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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