Wed | Apr 25, 2018

Do you want a career in fashion?

Published:Monday | June 17, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Do you live and breathe fashion? Did you spend your childhood making clothes for your Barbie doll instead of playing with your friends? Did you run a boutique out of your home at age 10? Does your heart palpitate at the sight of gorgeous couture dresses from the runway shows? Answering yes to any of the aforementioned questions just signifies that you are destined to be in the fashion industry.

If you want to be the next Valentino, it helps to be completely and utterly obsessed with fashion.

The fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar industry. If you don't believe us, just ask Miranda Priestly of Devil Wears Prada fame. Unfortunately, its not enough for you to be creative, you also have to have a business sense. As fashion gets more and more corporate-driven, it is important to be aware of the business climate and understand the mechanics behind it. If you consider yourself to be a 100 per cent creative genius, you still need to be smart enough to negotiate a contract or pick a business partner.

On Wednesday, July 10, college graduate and self-taught fashion designer, Project Runway's All Star Gordana Gehlhausen will speak about her experience in the industry with fashion design hopefuls at The Collection MoDa seminar at JAMPRO. The 45-year-old designer will also unveil her new collection on the Collection MoDa catwalk.

Investment opportunities

Aspiring fashion designers will also get a chance to hear Ryan Peralto from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation speak about opportunities right here in Jamaica.

With many aspects to the profession, the value of top creative talent is high. Take Marc Jacobs, for example. It is rumoured that he earns between US$8 million and US$10 million per year. Don't get it wrong, not all designers are as lucky. Many independent designers have a hard time growing, and may have to live just above the poverty line for several years.

There are different ways to embark upon a fashion career. Most people find that the best foundation for a design career is to get a fine arts degree in fashion. Perhaps many might think so, but that's not necessarily the case. School may not be for everyone, and, with the Internet, there are many courses that are easily accessible to you. There are a few designers out there that never attended fashion school but have made a great name for themselves. Dior's menswear designer Hedi Slimane, Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghefquiere and countless others are prime examples.

The smart inexpensive solution? Download free tutorials. The Web offers tutorials on everything ranging from design, drawing and illustrations, pattern making and practical skills. Internships also play an important role in gaining knowledge, and meeting people. Many famous designers started out as interns with no formal training.

The Collection MoDa, in association with First Global Bank, has developed a grant, valued at $100,000 for one lucky designer to grow and expand their business. The question is. Do you have what it takes?

"Never lose your excitement, keep your belief in the beauty of fashion, and always pay attention to detail," Kerry-Ann Clarke, owner of Kerry manwomanhome.