You’ve always had a passion for fashion. You’ve wanted to make a career in making clothes for as long as you can remember. You can’t wait to get out there and start designing, show off your design skills and become the next Coco Chanel.
Well, it’s not quite that simple. Sure, the fashion industry is one of the largest and most enduringly profitable businesses in the world today. That said, with the biggest corporations making billions each year and countless other fashion lovers around the world hoping to stich themselves into the fabric of the fashion world, it’ll take more than your own dreams and ideas to get you into the business. You need proper training and an inside view of the fashion world, which in turn means attending a fashion college. It is no surprise to anyone that college itself is an expensive investment, and you don’t want to pay all that money for a degree that won’t help you in the long run.
Here are four fab tips to help aspiring fashionistas find fashion colleges that can help make their design dreams a reality.
Know Yourself…And What You’re Getting Yourself Into
First thing’s first, ask yourself—is fashion college right for you? That isn’t meant as a rebuke against your ambitions, of course, but an earnest question. It should not come as a surprise that fashion colleges are extremely competitive in terms of admissions, and even more so among those applicants accepted. Making it to the top in the fashion industry is as rare as it is arduous. Be prepared for a life of classes, meetings, internships which pay little or nothing—and even less in the way of free time.
Plan Your Costs
Let’s say you’re a true first-class fashionista, however, and you eat, breathe, and sweat fashion and are up to the challenges ahead.
Now comes the tricky part—actually affording fashion college. Student debt is one of the biggest economic issues facing the West at the moment, making it all the more important for you to plan ahead of time how you’re going to pay for fashion college. Ideally, of course, you’d want to avoid student debt wherever possible. Used books, alternative room and board solutions, colleges which are a bit further out of the way but more affordable—if money’s an issue, these and other options are worth exploring to help keep costs down.
Above all, the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to applying to fashion colleges is to plan your costs ahead of time. Budget your next few years carefully, and always live within your means.
Prestige Counts Big-Time
If you’re enough of a fashion-forward individual to have made it this far, you can probably rattle off all the great centers of Western fashion in a single breath—Paris, Rome, Milan, London, New York, Los Angeles, and so on. These are all incredibly glamorous, high-profile places. They’re also some of the most prohibitively expensive cities in the world—not exactly ideal if you’re a starving fashion artist looking to keep costs down. That said, part of what can make destinations like these worth it for young fashion stars are the prestigious fashion schools and houses based in these cities.
Why is that so important?
As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know. If you can’t even get your foot in the door, those fab footwear designs you have won’t count for much. Realistically, to get a job in the fashion industry you need connections, and internships and fashion schools are the two best places for young fashion stars to gain those connections. That, as much as anything, is what makes those prestigious big city fashion schools worth it. You can learn quality fashion from many great schools and houses around the world, most of which are far more affordable than those at the prestigious peak of the industry.
But there’s a reason they’re at that peak, after all, and it’s more than just talent. With hundreds of thousands of fellow fashionistas gunning for the same jobs as you, every advantage counts, making the prime endorsements of well-connected friends and faculty at fashion colleges a must for those seriously hoping for a career in the fashion industry.
It’s a hard road to hoe, but if your passion’s truly fashion, these fab tips can help you get started working toward the school and career of your dreams.