It is common for people to have more than one passion, but find that their work limits them to just one. People are not always fortunate enough to work in the fields they enjoy.
The fashion and design worlds overlap in many ways, and even if you are not employed in either field, you can still find your niche. How could you get involved in the design and fashion businesses?
Working for a Fashion Magazine
The popularity of fashion magazines continues despite it being easy to feel that print is in decline. Even if magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Elle disappeared from magazine racks, their websites would still need staff. Elle alone has 33 international websites catering to fashion fans and the people who work in the industry.
Layout artists, graphic designers, and illustrators are needed by magazines. They need people who have a strong working knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator along with other industry standards. This is one area a graphic designer could look at if they were interested in working primarily in the fashion industry.
Being a Freelancer
Working freelance means that your work will fluctuate, and you don’t have the security of being an employee, but it does mean you can focus on specific areas you enjoy. You will need to invest in software and equipment and be dedicated to finding clients may be difficult.
Design Hang Tags
Clothing garments have to have labels attached to them under US labeling law. Other regions such as the UK have similar rules, and these are there to protect consumers and inform them about who manufactured the garment and from where the materials came from. It might not be very interesting for a designer to work on these, but there is another form of tag that clothing manufacturers use.
Hang tags are different from laundry labels as these don’t have to contain any specific care instructions or legal details. They can be used in various ways to display different information-and this is where a designer’s role comes in. You could literally make a career out of designing hang tags as they are used in all fashion areas and for many other products. Although your client would likely have specific requirements such as the logo and corporate colors to be used, you may find many clients let you design custom tags, which means a lot of freedom.
There is a demand for custom clothing as some consumers move away from mass production due to concerns over the environment. This opens a new area for a budding designer. You could open an online store where customers upload designs that you then turn into professional-looking artwork. You can outsource the printing of labels but keep the design work in-house.
Alternatively, you could offer your own designs and start your own brand.
Start Your Own Clothing Label
This might take some investment, so you may need to look for someone to support your startup. However, you will be able to make all your own fashion designs and have full control over any graphics, logos, and packaging. This would be the ultimate job combining fashion and design work and covering all aspects.
If you don’t want to make your own label and custom clothing is not your thing, you should opt for a more traditional route and aim to become a fashion designer. You could get great job satisfaction from watching how your dresses can make someone feel good about themselves. Plus, you will be working in fashion and designing at the same time. You would need some education, and a degree in art design or fashion design itself would all help you to start a career in the industry.
For a graphic designer, an advertising or marketing agency is an obvious choice. The downside is that you cannot pick your clients. The only way to ensure that the agency even has clients in the fashion world would be to put in some serious research. If you had favorite fashion designers, you could try and find out which agencies produce their advertising and then see internships or possible vacancies there, but it is probably a long shot.
Working for a Big Company
One way to work with graphic design and fashion would be to aim for a corporation or well-known brand name. A company that employs several people as opposed to a small independent designer will have more opportunities. These companies will have their own dedicated marketing departments that liaise with outside agencies. They also employ their own graphic artists to produce work in-house.