Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Fashion Design Degrees Create a Pattern for Success

Abbey Swisher didn't necessarily want to become a fashion designer or consider fashion design degrees to be her forte in college until she was studying interior design and took an elective in fashion. "I just started to sew, and kept sewing and sewing," she recalls. "I'd come into class with outfits I had made, and people would be like, 'Abbey, why don't you become a fashion designer?'"

She took the hint, switched majors from interior design, and began taking fashion design courses at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design (Lakewood, OH). Now, with classes like tailoring, fashion illustration, and business law, Abbey's learning the crafts needed to become a fashion designer -- making suits and coats, illustrating her designs, and navigating the legal aspects of the industry. And, as anyone successful in fashion design careers will attest, fashion design degrees are instrumental in designing career success in the competitive industry.

Another way to set yourself apart if you want to become a fashion designer? Keep on top of opportunities in which you can show off your stuff like Abbey did. Recently, she designed a dress for a contest held by the Duck® brand duct tape company. Out of several fashion design students at her school, Abbey's dress design came in first. "It was the perfect opportunity to let my creativity run wild," she says. "When I started, I had a plain white dress. I wanted to do shooting stars, then I wanted to do watermelons -- I just wanted to get people's attention." And she certainly did. Her poker-themed prom dress, made entirely out of duct tape, caught the eye of the judges and won her an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City, as well as the opportunity to network with those who've made their mark within fashion design careers. If you want to become a fashion designer, big city exposure is a good start.

So are designer labels in the future for this aspiring fashionista? "Fashion design school is important to me -- more than anything else right now," says Abbey. "Once I graduate, I'd like to work for a designer, and what I'd really like is to start my own company. It's a risky industry, but the good thing is that you can be creative," she adds. "You have so many options for a job in this field -- everybody needs clothes." If you want to become a fashion designer like Abbey, get passionate about fashion design now.

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Elise B. Zito is a frequent contributor to The CollegeBound Network. Learn more about finding a school or career that's right for you!

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