Advice to aspiring Fashion Designers

I did an interview for a local glossy today.  Some new questions, some I've heard before.  It's hard to come up with fresh new answers every time.  I can't decide whether to be consistent or to be a freak!

Anyhow, the title of the post was and often is, a question.  One that I've thought about a little more each time.

  • Be Nice: It's free!  Even if they smell funky, smile and plan your exit. You don't have to be fake.  It's just a good life policy. You feel good, they feel good.  I'm always reminded of the fable where the greasy old witch is really a magical princess just testing your character.  You can't imagine how people will resurface in your life.  Wouldn't you rather them be on your side?!  This last show I worked with people that resurfaced from highschool.  We didn't hang out much then, but good feelings were shared.
  • Network:  You can really only network effectively if you are genuinely being nice.  Networking isn't all about you.  If an oppurtunity presents itself where you can offer your services, jump on it.  Those favors will be returned.  If not from the receiver, maybe you'll be receptive to a favor when it's payed forward. Because we do not give to get, right, but because it's its own reward.  Always introduce yourself confidently, with a smile.  Repeat the persons name, exchange pleasantries and a card, helps with name recall too.  Try to follow up in an email immediately, especially if you really gained something from the encounter.  I've meet so much of my extended creative team that way, including journalists. 
  • Know your market.  Don't try to be everyone to everybody.  It doesn't work.  This matters in your materials choice, pricing, packaging.  It will show you care and are trying to offer the best, most relevant product.  Goth kids aren't going to wear what their bankers wear.  Wellll, maybe underneath all the eyeliner or gabardine, their hearts are simpatico....
  • Know your limits.  You do not have to come out of the gate with a 40 piece collection.  What a disaster that would be.  How would you pay for all the materials?  Who would order enough of each item to really create an economy of scale?  Who would sew one of each?  If only we all had 5 sewing maniac grannies that loved us since they changed our dyddies.  6 is a reasonable number of pieces.  In addition, keep your material selection very managable.  Go ahead and do all ostrich leather. Take your time to grow organically.  Don't burn yourself out.
This list could go on for a while, but I've decided to keep it managable;)

Here's a filmed interview of the lovely Mulleavy sisters...