As my AA degree in Apparel Designing is winding down at FIT, the often asked question of ‘what next’ is turning into an unavoidable boom box bass noise and no longer the sweet musings of a starry eyed newbie in the halls of creative wonderland of FIT. Working full time in a totally unrelated field does not make it any easier to answer that question. And lacking the proverbial sought after internships or connections in the fashion world forces me to wonder, what was I thinking when I felt I could make a mark in fashion with a degree! 7 years should have made me a pro in any field but here I’m at the threshold of completing a degree program and feel like I know zilch! Some professors and students actually have said that an AA degree is just the first step into the fashion industry, however, considering I’m in the evening weekend program that is designed for professionals to find the door into the industry I think most graduates feel the way I do, i.e. now what?
So in my ongoing pursuit of ‘what next’, I’ve been having different ideas of breaking into the fashion scene, most are day dreams. But in the process I have accumulated some information scattered around the Internet that could be useful to many fledgling designers who want to start their own apparel business especially in NYC.
As an added tip, any FIT student still deciding on what professor to take for the Apparel Product Data Management (WedPDM) course, try to study under Professor Leonard Bess. He has done a great job with this dull and technically difficult course. If you want to get a glimpse of what fashion business feels like, then take this course with him and be prepared to either hate him or be forever grateful. He has redesigned this course as CSSIL (Case Study Simulation and Immersive Learning) and WebPDM skills becomes very easy to acquire.
I shall post these information in 3 parts:
Part I: What to know about and how to start small apparel/fashion business?
Part II: Understanding the role & importance of pattern makers and sewers and how to work with them
Part III: Who shall manufacture your designs and basics about manufacturing
Part I: What to know about and how to start apparel/fashion/clothing business?