Why did you choose fashion designing as a career?
I don’t really feel like i chose fashion design . I think fashion design chose me . I was always very creative as a child . I loved drawing and creating things out of my imagination. I started textiles in year 8 at school and had a great teacher , i think that helps. I was told i was very good at it & got good grades . My nan gave me her 1970s singer sewing machine to practice on which i still have & use till this day . I went onto study fashion at college for two years then at University for three years & graduated in 2010 . I could never see myself doing anything else.
What do you love about being a fashion designer?
I love getting to design for so many different brands . Every week is different . One week i will be designing women’s fast fashion then the next i am designing kidswear . I have designed from start ups to established high street retailers to cool lifestyle brands . I love how my work life is so versatile & i am always learning .
Who and which things are the inspiration while creating any design?
The brand is always my first point of inspiration. Every brand i design for is different so i must always recognize that and take that into account when designing. I look at the brands identity & history as a starting point then i research into the trends which ever season i am designing for . I use trend forecasting software , Pinterest , Instagram , competitors retail websites, catwalks on Vogue & maybe even go into shops to take photos.
According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful fashion designer?
You need to be very creative , innovative and have an eye for detail. Fashion is a very competitive industry so you need to have thick skin , being willing to work very hard & have the drive to succeed.
I would recommend going to art school and getting some work experience on top of that . I did three different work placements when i was at university.
What are your tips for anyone out there wanting to start their own fashion brand?
Know your market -Who is it you are selling to? create a customer profile . It should include the Age , Gender , Profession , interests , hobbies , where they shop etc.
Know your product- What are you going to specialise in and why ? Activewear ,Occasionwear , Party dresses , Loungewear , Swimwear, Casualwear etc.
How many products will you have in each season & what will be their price points.
Set yourself a clear visual identity of how you want your brand to look and message your want to get across. I always find looking on Instagram pages help me achieve this.
Be willing to invest money & time into your business. Starting a fashion brand is costly . You need to have a healthy budget for design , production , marketing and website.
Make sure people can find you. There is no good having an amazing looking brand with great products if no one can see your website . Get your brand set up on Facebook & Instagram even before you launch & budget for facebook /Instagram paid ads once launched . Do your research on google ad words/ PPC & SEO. Also remember to invest time in organic social media marketing & collaborate with instagram Influencers .
Finally ,your website & photography needs to look on point. Look at what your competitors are doing , look at their quality of website & photography.