How many episodes of Project Runway does it take to actually become a fashion designer?
This is the career that many creative people have dreamed of, and very few have achieved royalties and an actual paycheck.
Find out why with this list of pros and cons of being a fashion designer.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Fashion Designer
- Cons of Being a Fashion Designer
- Pros and Cons of Being a Fashion Designer – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Fashion Designer?
Pros of Being a Fashion Designer
1. Style is the Golden Child of All Ages
Everyone loves to look stylish–people of all ages.
The better you look, the better you feel about yourself and the world around you.
As a fashion designer, you are front and center in the way people dress.
You are the person adding actual garments to the retail racks where people choose to buy your styles.
It’s a wonderful feeling, to be a fashion designer and see shoppers walking around with your brand on their bodies.
Very few professions have this type of personal effect on people they’ve never met.
2. Money, Power, and Prestige
Sometimes you can be a millionaire as a fashion designer.
Of course, this is like winning the lottery, and you have to have a combination of attributes on your side.
If you have talent and hit on the trend of the decade, you might become one of those fashion labels everyone is talking about and wanting to buy–but can’t because it costs too much money.
Think…Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, Prada, and Chanel.
If you see your name after Chanel in that lineup, then you sound like a future fashion designer worth a fortune.
3. Having Something You Love to Wear
If you are tired of trying to find something that is not quite your style, maybe you should become a fashion designer.
You can always make your own stylish outfits to wear–even if you never sell a collection.
This is when you get to avoid the competitive labels and wear what you think is the coolest look for your own taste.
Of course, you could always be in a career to make fashion you don’t want to wear–that can also be your prerogative.
4. Styling the Stars
Who do fashion designers primarily dress?
Why, the stars of Hollywood, for starters!
You might also get to choose or create an outfit for someone like the US President or the Royals in the UK.
Whatever you envision would look great on that cool rock star could actually be the outfit you one day design and sell to them.
That is what fashion designers do, after all.
5. Costume Designers are Cool, Too
You don’t have to just sell a collection of clothes to a store in order to be a fashion designer.
Careers that utilize fashion design include costume designers for theaters, film sets, and stage performers.
Here is where you get to do some really interesting things with fashion, generally based on historical accuracy or some fantastical idea of a playscript writer.
Working as a costume designer can also lead to a job at an amusement park like Universal Studios or Disneyland.
At these parks, there is always a need to have wearable fashion based on a concept, such as a Disney movie or character.
6. Halloween is Always a Hit Holiday
When you become a fashion designer, you can never say you have nothing to wear.
Halloween will be the holiday where you must stand out from the crowd in order to be taken seriously.
After all, your job is as a fashion designer.
What better time of year than Halloween and trick or treating to have the coolest-looking costume–you made and designed by yourself?
It’s the perfect advertising moment and one that you will look forward to with all of your skills, pieces, and materials to utilize.
You might even get yourself into a side hustle where your customers want you to make them a Halloween costume…or a costume for a cocktail party or some other event.
7. Three Percent Job Growth
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an anticipated three percent increase in jobs for fashion designers.
This is based on a need for 600 more fashion designers through 2031.
More fashion design jobs mean that there is a growing demand to hire more people in this career field.
That’s great to hear from someone who wants to train to become a professional fashion designer in the US.
Cons of Being a Fashion Designer
1. You Need a Fashionable Taste
Who is to say you have the talent to be a fashion designer?
You could learn how to sew a dress, only to have zero ideas about taste and…fashion.
That happens a lot by the looks of the sales bins at department stores.
If you think you can be a fashion designer and you have the money to buy fabrics, as well as the time to sew outfits and the ability to do so, then you can be a fashion designer.
The question of your talent and fashion sense, though, can also be off-putting at best and you could go nowhere fast with your line of apparel.
2. You Need to Sew a Lot
To be a fashion designer, you must know how to use a sewing machine and have the ability to sew fabrics of many types.
Otherwise, you will struggle with getting your fashion line off of the ground and no one can buy clothing from someone who does not produce garments.
Therefore, your sewing skills must be sharp and fast, and you need to be ready to invest in sewing equipment and training.
3. You Should Attend Fashion School
How do you become a fashion designer?
You have to find people to train you in fashion and design for clothing.
This is generally achieved by going to a fashion and design school, of which there are few in this country.
New York City is the typical big city where students go to train to be fashion designers.
Getting into a fashion school, though, is another story.
You need talent, money, and time to attend school, as well as the capacity to complete the coursework.
4. Fashion is Fickle
Like a pickle, fashion goes bad sometimes.
This is what happens when your popular line of currently trending outfits gets tossed aside for some trend that goes in the other direction.
Your fashionable clothing collection is suddenly the opposite of what everybody is wearing.
Sure, like in the Seventies, your items will be “back around,” but who’s to say when?
In the meantime, you are left with enormous debt–and the need to update your collection to meet consumer demand.
Again, fashion is fickle, and you have to be ready for this constant ebb and flow of what fashion means in the here and now.
5. You’ll Have to Move to California or New York…or Paris
There are few places in the nation that hold such a grip on fashion, like California or New York.
Outside of the US, you have Paris, France, as well as most of Italy, where Venice and Milan are major cities for fashion.
That being said, you will want to live in one of these fashion capitals if you want to get anywhere with your fashion designer career.
Moving and living in these places is going to cost you a fortune, but it might be worth it–if you have the skills.
6. Knowledge of Fashion Brands is a Must
The fashion world is one of a great deal of power and money, as well as social influence and control.
If you are at the top of your game, you stand to have a lot of all of this for your own brand.
Gucci, Banana Republic, Louis Vuitton, and Zara are fashion brands that most people know about and that control a large percentage of customer loyalty in shoes, apparel, and accessories.
Know about the brands and study how they have done so well over the decades with modern mass consumerism.
Then learn how to pronounce all of the fashion brands so you avoid the faux pas of mispronunciation when talking about “fashion.”
7. Fashion is 90 Percent Creative
Are you someone who loves art and design?
Then you might be a good fashion designer.
Fashion is mostly a creative enterprise, and you must have a creative sense of yourself.
You must also be able to apply your creative concepts to real-life clothing, shoes, handbags, and other accessories.
This means you know about things like the difference between a tote and a bag, and be excited about creating new styles of both–for all four seasons.
How can you creatively come up with a new concept for a tried and true tote?
That’s what you need to be able to do when you become a fashion designer.
Pros and Cons of Being a Fashion Designer – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Fashion Designer
|Cons of Being a Fashion Designer
|1. Style is the Golden Child of All Ages
|1. You Need a Fashionable Taste
|2. Money, Power, and Prestige
|2. You Need to Sew a Lot
|3. Having Something You Love to Wear
|3. You Should Attend Fashion School
|4. Styling the Stars
|4. Fashion is Fickle
|5. Costume Designers are Cool, Too
|5. You’ll Have to Move to California or New York…or Paris
|6. Halloween is Always a Hit Holiday
|6. Knowledge of Fashion Brands is a Must
|7. Three Percent Job Growth
|7. Fashion is 90 Percent Creative
Should You Become a Fashion Designer?
To say you are a fashion designer, and to actually get paid as a professional fashion designer, are two different concepts.
However, you have to start somewhere.
Most people do have hopes of becoming paid fashion designers, but they stop short after being unable to sew well or having a lack of money to pay for fabrics.
If you can’t create fashion, then it is difficult to take that next step and become a fashion designer.
If you have the talent, skills, and capacity to focus on making fashion as a designer, which might involve college, then yes, you should be a fashion designer.