Become a Fashion Designer With These Basic Steps

Becoming a fashion designer is a creative journey in uncovering the student’s likes and dislikes. Styles and fads come and go and then come around again. This is true of the fashion design industry also, particularly so! The industry is often influenced by the entertainment industry (television, movies, music, etc.) For example, “That 70’s Show” gave hippie fashion a new comeback chic. This is true of other movies as well. A great example of this would be “Pirates of the Caribbean” that brought about a huge influx of skull and cross bones designs. The typical pirate symbol, more related to a gothic or punk style, became mainstream after the debut of the movies.

This pop culture influence inspires mass market designers. However, couture fashion designers strive to be the source of the inspiration rather than an imitator. The difference between this can be found in the training of the merchandiser versus the designer. Many aspiring fashion designers choose to go into fashion merchandising. However, these two fields require slightly different curriculum. One will focus on sales, marketing, and business where as the other–fashion design–will focus on creativity and imagination in bringing ideas and concepts to life.

Following middle school, students can choose college preparation courses to direct their educational tracks to their own possible careers. For a student wishing to take the path of a designer of any type, art classes are essential to building the basic knowledge and core concepts that they will use.

High school courses should be selected to assist in building a professional portfolio to show to potential design colleges. By starting their educational planning very early, it is possible for students to make the most of their high school years by focusing on extracurricular activities that will add spice to their college applications. For example, potential fashion designers can take classes not only in art but also specialized math and computer classes, multimedia classes, and drama activities that will allow them to explore different aspects of the fashion world. Some high schools even offer classes in small business ownership or entrepreneurial skills.

For students who end up at the college level and wish to break in to the fashion design industry, it is never too late. Courses in drawing, painting, life drawing, and silkscreen, and color theory, fashion and art history are some of the beginning requirements for any fashion design student. Advanced students of fashion design will continue with patternmaking, sewing basics, advanced sewing techniques, and digital designing.

It is crucial for a fashion design student to have access to this type of basic curriculum in college in order to prepare for the true test of their abilities: their internship. Once the student has taken the basic and advanced courses, it is time for them to specialize in some aspect of the fashion industry. When people think of fashion, they think of runway shows and couture collections. There are fashion centers throughout the world, but most people tend to consider New York City the center of all fashion design. If the college student did not choose a college near a fashion design center, it may be possible for them to choose an internship located in that area. Some other possible internship locations would be Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, and other metropolitan areas.

The best source of internship possibilities will be the college faculty and guidance counselors. It is important to do your homework by researching potential internships; but, they can definitely guide the student to someone that they may not have considered.

The fashion world has its niches. Every designer starts somewhere. They do not just graduate from college and poof have their own design house and their own collections. They were mentored by someone in the business. Some of them were self taught and did not have the opportunity to study in a college environment but learned in the school of hard knocks. Whatever the case, if there is a desire to learn the fashion design business, then there is a way to do it.

Consider working at a place that does alterations or tailoring to build up sewing skills. Consider designing your own clothes. Think of functionality, practicality, body type, personal statements, coloring and fabric choice. Study the masters–who is on the edge of fashion now that you want to emulate? Why do you like their style? What IS your style?

Lviv – A Contemporary Fashion Center

I consider myself rather laid back and conservative when it comes to fashion. My wardrobe consists of quality, timeless pieces that I have had for years. Last fall I fell prey to all of the hype and glitz of the fashion world by attending Lviv’s bi-annual fashion week.

Founded in 2008, Lviv’s fashion week is a fashion followers delight with catwalk shows by designers from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, France etc… The atmosphere was electric- cameras flashing with fashion gurus and media hounds dressed to the nines in the “Lemberg” Convention center.

This was a far cry from my childhood memories of Lviv spent in poverty, where one rejoiced when parcels of practical garments arrived from our relatives in the American Diaspora. I also have images ingrained in my mind of the Soviet era where the life essentials were in deficit let alone items of “haute couture”. The totalitarian government of the time repressed any show of personal identity or originality. As “comrades”, were were certainly not encouraged to such frivolities as freedom of expression let alone fashion trends.

Tourists came here with suitcases full of the forbidden blue jeans which were strictly black market items. The few stores available sold strictly utilitarian wear in repetitive styles. The lengthy hair styles of the 60’s were quickly shaved off on the streets by KGB officers.

The collapse of communism was met with an extremist reaction in fashion. The new found liberation was expressed by micro minis, super hiked heels, big glitzy jewelry and excessive make up. This counter reaction was immediately interpreted as women seeking foreigners and luckily did not last long. Lviv very quickly matured, and soon accepted the mainstream vogue of sneakers, blue jeans and t shirts.

In this day and age, Fashion is a very serious industry in Lviv and it has placed Local designers at an international level of respect. Graduates of fashion design from the Lviv academy of art have left their imprint of the global market. Some of the stars include Oksana Mukha whose wedding dresses “par excellence” have taken Paris by storm and have graced such venues as the ” Carousel du Louvre”.

Of particular interest is Roksolana Bogutska. I really respect the way she has incorporated indigenous patterns and fused folkloric elements in her contemporary collections.

Bagutska’s flagship boutique is located in the prestigious “Opera Passage” at # 27 Svoboda Ave. in Lviv.

This state-of-the-art retail center rivals Neiman- Markus Texas hand down! It oozes with luxury with its’ marble floors, wrought iron stairwells and antique fixtures. This upscale department store offers the up-to-the-minute trends from hand made cosmetics from England, Prada sunglasses and bags and even Brioni garments for men.

So who is it that can afford the high price tags attached to these upscale offerings? Not anyone in my inner circle of friends. What I find here are mainly “fashionistas” dropped off in blacked out SUVs. A saving fashion grace for the ordinary people struggling to make ends meet is ” Planeta”. “Planeta” is a series of second hand stores that sells (by the kilo) quality clothing shipped from Europe with fashionable and sensible labels such as “Marks and Spencers” and the “George” brand name.

I am proud of you Lviv- you have come a long way! I would agree with the recent statement by the Japanese designer at Lviv Fashion- Kenzo Takada. He was quoted to say:” The women in Lviv are better dressed that the women in Paris”. Quite a power statement, a strong testimony to the fact that Lviv has become a trendsetting world center- Bravo!

App Fog Genius Lessons From A Successful Entrepreneur

App Fog Business Startup Lessons from a Lucrative Entrepreneur

Lucas Carlson is a successful startup entrepreneur. When he first started however, he made a few bad choices that almost cost him big time.

Don’t Skip Business Setup Planning

At first he was just programming an idea for App Fog. He didn’t have a landing page, any bank account, brain storming ideas, or thinking about the ideal customers. Skipping key steps really put him back for years. He would program for weeks, and then finish the app idea. Then program for weeks and finish the idea. He couldn’t get people interested in the idea that was created.

Creating a Landing Page

Finally, he decided to create a landing page one night when he was too tired to sleep or even tell his wife about the programming idea. The app idea was PHP Fog. He tried putting it up on a site before that called Heroku.com. He registered the PHP Fog website and just simply wrote “it’s like Heroku for PHP”. Heroku’s site only allowed for Rudy on Rails applications so he couldn’t put the applications on that site.

Living the Dream

The next morning he woke up and had eight hundred people on his website! He didn’t market it anywhere else. All he did was put one link on Hacker News network. Also, he described the website in more depth. It turned out that the idea was a “hair on fire” idea without even the creation of the project! This gave him assurance that if the effort is put in, the results will be desired. After programming for two weeks. he just only had a prototype and the traffic went from 800 to 4,000 unique visitors per day!

Hair on Fire Problem Equals Confidence

He had identified a “hair on fire” problem. This gave him confidence to program the solution. This changed his life forever! He realized the difference between having a problem that people know they have versus the problems that people don’t know they have. PHP Fog wound up being AppFog. It raised $10 billion dollars and was later bought out.

No Marketing Expenses

He didn’t spend a dime on marketing! It wasn’t an accident. People already wanted the idea and were looking for it. He learned that he could find what people already wanted and then program an application based on what they wanted. He wasn’t taking a “shot in the dark” anymore.

Don’t be Intimidated

Creating a landing page or micro-website is very scary for most people. They don’t want to know if others like their great idea or not. There is a denial psychological part to this way of thinking. It can be self-defeating to the creation of an idea. They will think “Well I believe in the idea so much, that I don’t care what other people think about it”. This philosophy will kill a great idea. Put your “right foot first” and see what people need.