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 on 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 brand’s identity & history as a starting point then I research into the trends whichever 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 Age, Gender, Profession, interests, hobbies, shop, etc.
Know your product- What are you going to specialize 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 the message your want to get across. I always find looking on Instagram pages helps 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.