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Victims of Sandy Hook

Stop the Slaughter of Innocents. Congress is bought and paid for by gun lunatics and gun promotion groups. If you want to live in a safe America, help buy Congress back for America. Send a donation to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 909 Third Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10022

How to Become a Fashion Designer

There is no formal education or certification required to become a successful fashion designer, but that doesn't make the feat any easier. You will need to have a combination of drawing, sewing, and design skills, a knowledge of the fashion industry, and unparalleled perseverance. A few ideas to help you get started are outlined in this article.

Honing Your Fashion Design Skills

Develop your fashion design skills

1. Develop your skills.

Successful fashion designers have a wide array of skills, including drawing, an eye for color and texture, an ability to visualize concepts in three dimensions, and the mechanical skills involved in sewing and cutting all types of fabrics.

• Get excellent sewing tuition if you haven't already learned this skill well. Being able to sew difficult fabric under challenging situations will stand you in excellent stead throughout your career but you need to work at it - it's a skill that doesn't come easily to many people.

• Understand how fabrics move, drape, breathe, react when worn, etc. Your in-depth knowledge of fabric is absolutely essential to using it properly when designing. Also know where to source materials from.

• Learn from existing designers, not just who they are, but their backgrounds, their signature style, the learning that they undertook, where they studied. Knowing this will help you to be a better designer yourself, as you can borrow and build on their ideas.

• Learn how to create storyboards and product ranges. Be good at researching trends through media, comparative shopping and trade shows.

• Start developing these skills at a young age. Be prepared to devote hours of time to perfecting your craft.

2. Learn more.

If you can, it makes good sense to get a diploma or degree in fashion design or a related program. You'll learn a great deal, make excellent early contacts and have ample opportunity to show off your skills in a less judgmental environment (although still be prepared to be critiqued!) Do one (or both) of the following:

• Get a degree in fashion design. Most programs are three or four years long. FIDM and Parsons are two of the most popular design schools in the United States. You will study drawing, color and composition, pattern-making, and draping. In addition to learning practical skills like these, you will also be working with industry professionals who may serve as important contacts in the future and who can give you first-hand advice and feedback on your work.

• Apply for an internship or apprenticeship. If school is not for you, or if you simply feel that real-world experience will be of more benefit to you, then find a fashion internship. You will need to have an impressive portfolio to apply and be willing to start at the bottom; interns are often given menial tasks like getting coffee. Again, the connections you make through your internship or apprenticeship will be vital as you pursue your career in fashion, and working with industry professionals will give you an opportunity to pick up important skills first-hand.

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