Right after taking the major step of deciding to study Fashion, the next big question is: WHERE? There are many design schools available, each with their pros and cons. You might be considering one with better facilities, or one which produces famous couturiers, you might even be thinking about the total amount you will be spending for your education - right down to your transport fees. So how exactly do we figure out which option's the best?
Here's a guide to find out what you'll need to look out for in a Fashion school:
Step 1: Decide on your Dream Job!
First up, it's important to know which career direction you like to adopt. The earlier you figure out what you want to do, the more time you will have to fine-tune and develop skills in your choice of expertise.
These are a few career paths that you can learn about in Fashion Design school:
- Costume Designer/ Coordinator (for Television, Film or Theatre)
- Fashion Designer/ Assistant designer
- Pattern maker
- Fashion Illustrator
- Fashion Merchandiser/ Buyer
- Fashion Stylist
The fashion industry is enormous and is worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year, worldwide. Some might think that the fashion industry is exclusive and hard to break into. But try to get to know your opportunities better before giving into the temptation of settling with a mundane career.
Step 2: Find out Your Dream Job's Responsibilities
Having an ambition is great, but if you want to turn it into reality, you've got to be realistic. Fashion may be a creative field, but employers tend to prefer and respect job candidates who know their responsibilities. To find out your future job description, simply search for your job in a career search engine and you'll see a list of hiring companies. Click on the more reputable-looking ads and collate what they have in common.
Normally, employers would expect a fashion designer to have:
- Proficiency in software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand and CorelDRAW
- A portfolio
- A keen eye for fashion
Knowing what you will need to learn for career purposes will allow you to understand what you see in module guides from school brochures.
Step 3: Look for a Reputable School
You can spend thousands on a certificate, but if it's not recognized, it will be hard or in some cases, impossible to advance your studies. It can even hinder your chances of getting a job in Fashion. Look out for schools that are accredited by the country's education ministry - it will at least ensure that your certificate is recognized in your country. Look out for their track record, find out how their graduates are faring in the fashion industry.
Step 4: Select your Country of Choice
If you have got extra cash to spend, have a good idea of how you are going to repay your student loan, or if you have got yourself a scholarship, consider studying overseas. Choosing to study locally or overseas depends on what you want out of your educational experience, the price of living in the country, how accessible it is and how much you are willing to travel.
Hardcore fashionistas may insist on schooling in elegant/romantic France which produced top notch designers like Issey Miyake, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. But if you are up for exotic fashion and culture, the Asia Pacific could be an ideal option with at least half the world's population here.
A school is ultimately a place for you to study, develop your portfolio and contacts that will help you in your future career. Choosing a school is like shopping for stuff - you can get branded stuff with lots of quality and recognition that makes you feel good, or you can settle with a school that suits your needs and gets you where you want to be.
Donald Pang is the International Admissions Director of Raffles Education Corporation, a company that operates 36 business & fashion design schools in Asia Pacific across 33 cities in 13 countries (Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia and Hong Kong). If you have further questions about studying abroad in Asia especially in the fields of fashion design, interior design, product design etc, submit an online enquiry at our Raffles International Admissions Office site.