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The Makings Of A Fashion Designer

Feb 7, 2008
Seemingly endless fame and fortune equate the biggest names in the fashion world. They are being looked up to and consulted for fashion tips by people whom even they look up to! Heard of prime ministers and country presidents without their own personal stylists? Hardly ever, for sure.

Fashion designers, particularly couturiers, have a way of seeing the best fitting outfits to almost anyone. They have the eye to determine what looks hot and what looks not. Experience teaches the better part of fashion designing, but admittedly "it's innate; a gift," a famed Hollywood designer once said.

While it takes more than gained knowledge, most of the world's greatest fashion designers have attended some kind of school. Some designers are known to take fashion courses at fashion schools outside their countries which they believe can provide them the best training. Fashion hops globally, after all.

Probably the most well known fashion training centers worldwide is London. Most notable is its Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, where its alumni include Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Hussein Chalayan and Stella McCartney. Some others in London are London College of Fashion, The University of Westminster and The Royal College of Arts. Its famous alumni are Christopher Bailey, Stuart Vevers and Vivienne Westwood.

In America, Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) and Parsons, The New School for Design both in New York City are highly commended. Similarly, Drexel University and Moore College in Philadelphia and The Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts are popular fashion design schools. In the Los Angeles area, The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and A.I.U. in Los Angeles once had Uriel Saenz and Ashley Paige as students. A more specialized school, particularly in the posh French Haute Couture method, is the Academy of Couture Art in West Hollywood.

Recently, a U.S. News annual survey revealed that The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has shifted up as the top U.S. school for fashion art programs. After several changes since its inception, The Art Institute has transferred to an iconic location along Michigan Avenue, which maintains its spot as the biggest and most famous museum-school in the United States. Cynthia Rowley, Halston and Gemma Kahng used to study in these institutions to further their craft.

In the Indian subcontinent, the National Institute of Fashion Technology is known to be the best fashion design school, which offers fashion technology curricula, from which a three-year course in fashion design for apparel can be acquired. The Pearl Academy of Fashion, with a center in UAE tucked under its belt, is also noted for its approach toward fashion studies.

Fashion school insiders relate that professional instructors educate on the technical and artistic aspects of the fashion subjects. A few related courses even include one year of working for the fashion business, as immersion and exposure to the industry. Fashion houses are also visited abroad as part of the program.

Most of the time, people who want to become top designers will work with other designers and gain hands-on experience.

According to statistics, most fashion designers earn an average of $13,000 to $93,000, depending on how in-demand their products are. Apparel, notions and price goods industries employ the largest numbers of fashion designers.

So if you want to end up in the fashion business, bear in mind that it's not just about luck, but about hard work and a whole lot of dedication.
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