If you’ve been always obsessed with fashion, your wall is basically one big fashion magazine cut-out collage and you dream of seeing your designs on the runway or worn by your favorite celebrity then you’re in the right place. The creative, talented and inspiring Shaymaa Hamdy from Scandal Wear is here to answer your most common questions to help you find out how exactly you can follow your fashion designing dreams
What courses can I take to be a fashion designer? (Styling, designing, mannequin drawings, materials) or do I have to study it in college?
I believe being a successful designer takes more than what is commonly believed, it’s an ongoing learning journey that never stops. First, you need to understand the history of fashion, how the industry developed and grew both creatively and commercially. Then you start developing your design skills fundamentals through learning how to research trends, fabrics, find inspirations, understanding colors, and fabrics, learning about fashion illustration basics, and finally translating all these concepts and ideas into sketches.
You then need to learn about pattern making and take sewing courses so you can understand the different techniques used to turn your design into an actual product. Finally, you need to learn about the business side of fashion. How does the cycle go, how to build a collection that sells, pricing strategies, selling strategies, and how to market your products.
It would be better to study in college if possible but history has proven that a lot of famous designers made it without needing to go to college. You can always read, take basic workshops, watch tutorials, do internships, talk to professionals, and most importantly practice everything you learn.
How do I find my signature style?
Your signature style is not something you develop early on. It takes a lot of trials until you can really learn how to express yourself and develop a unique identity of your own. It’s just really important to think out of the box and to keep experimenting until one day you’ll develop the design elements that both speaks for you and is appealing to your target audience.
Do I need to have a workshop, if so, what does it have to be like?
I would strongly advise against it, in the beginning, it’s an unnecessary expense you shouldn’t bear on yourself at the start. Experimenting with different workshops at the beginning does have its benefits as it teaches you more about the process of manufacturing products, what are the mistakes that happen in the production cycle, and the best way to deal with the people working on your products. After a few (fashion) seasons you can go ahead with starting a small workshop where you will need
- 1 Pattern cutter and 1 Sewing specialist
- A big table for cutting
- 2 0r 3 Sewing machines each with different functions
- 1 Mannequin
- A Fitting area
- Space for Materials (threads, zippers, scissors, fabric.etc) to keep everything organized
How do I get my work to be worn by celebrities and such?
Nowadays marketing and PR are the essentials of any brand, it is very important for your product to not only be seen but to have a buzz created around it. There are different ways you can reach celebrities, of course first try to reach them through common connections. Secondly, try to communicate with them directly, you can go to a PR agency that specializes in this sort of thing, or you can connect to them through their fashion stylist. You have to be quiet persistent because their time is already extremely full, so for them to take the time to see your work will take quite a bit of persistence.