HOW TO UPGRADE FROM BEING A TAILOR TO BECOMING A FASHION DESIGNER!!! (A MUST READ)
Clothing is a basic need just like food. Even a hungry man has some clothing on his back. Yet our clothing industry does not enjoy boom like other industries that tend to basic human needs.
True, we have tailoring shops scattered across town, but it would take more than tailoring to turn a sewing business into a booming business. We hear about Deola Sagoe, Zizi Cardow, Folake Folarin Coker, Ohimai Atafo, Ade Bakare, etc. They made fame and fortune from making cloths. One would be tempted to ask how they rose above being tailors and made it to the league of fashion designers.
This is what every “passionate” up-coming dressmaker must know;
1.YOU NEED TO “CLOSE SHOP”
One bane of cloth making in our society today is most tailors dedicate all their time attending to walk – in customers. Customers who specify which design they want the tailor to make for them. Most tailors even offer customers fashion catalogues that contain the designs of others.
This is the biggest killer of creativity in a dressmaker. It is like a singer who dedicates his/her singing career performing the songs of others and never creating their own songs.
The front line designers did not make it to the top by replicating the perfect designs of others(perfectly), but instead they created their own perfect designs. Designers work tirelessly in their workshop for weeks or months, and when the time comes, they display the array of designs they created, either in fashion shows or in shops.
2. You Must be Creative
Making clothes have gone beyond sewing stitches and patterns. Dressmaking is an art and it requires both skill and talent. Intellect is put into color combination, choice of pattern and fabric, metal and other accompanying accessories, etc. A good style need not be cumbersome. Some even consider simplicity key in style and styling.
There is an abundant array of fabrics and laces, Nigerian wax has been brought alive by modern day designers. A good dressmaker explores different cultures and tell their stories through his/her designs.
3.NEVER STOP LEARNING!!!
Ever wondered why so many fashionistas have failed to evolve or improve after being involved in the game for decades?
One of the biggest mistakes that most persons make is feeling/thinking that they know it all already. A person’s career gets stagnated or starts leaning downwards the moment he/she stops learning from others or from their own mistakes. To be a great designer, you must be open to learning from every source possible, at all times and most importantly; getting to learn from the best minds/hands around. So many persons would easily afford to be buying a mobile phone for as much as #150k but would nag and bargain for days to be paying a #100k for fashion school fees: This is one mentality and attitude that must be done away with as we approach the new year!
Quiting a job to get into fashion school some years ago will always remain one of the best decisions i’ve ever had to make; it was pretty hard, but it was worth it afterall.
Downloading and watching DIY tutorial videos and reading fashion books will go a long way to helping you become better at what you do.
4. THERE IS A HUGE MARKET OUTSIDE THE RED CARPET!!!
A newcomer may be tempted to believe that a dressmaker can only make money if they make dresses for celebrities and the high & mighty in the society. That is entirely false. Everyone wears clothes and so the demand for fine clothes goes far beyond what is worn by the socialites. Moreover, celebrities and socialites are few in number and make up a very small percentage of the population. The greater number of the population still have huge demand for beautiful designs.
A designer can choose to focus on office cloths, baby cloths,Sports wears, casual wears,movie and theatre costumes etc.
A great deal of the clothes Nigerians wear are imported, dressmakers can leverage on this and carve a niche for themselves. A dressmaker that decides to establish him/herself in babies clothes can set out production by sourcing good materials and fabrics, creating the designs and supplying to boutiques, shops and distributors.
5.LEARN TO WORK SMART!!!
So many of us believe that spending all the time that we have in our workspace, and, on the sewing machine shows just how hard we work, or how passionate we are about fashion. We totally forget and ignore the need to be doing some research work, Sketching our ideas, properly promoting and showcasing our works via social media, following latest fashion trends, attending fashion shows, seminars or exhibitions, meeting and connecting with persons who share the same passion for fashion; through social media and in person.
It breaks my heart when i hear young aspiring fashion designers say stuff like “I am not the internet or social media person” ; in 2018!?!?
“Hardwork” most definitely pays; but what truly determines how much it pays has to be just how much of “Smartwork” that goes with it.
6.WORK AS A TEAM!!!
“No talent is an Island of its own”.
No matter how skilled a craft person is, he/she must need the input of other skilled people. Doing it all would leave a dressmaker disorganized and burned-out.
Some dressmakers may employ the services of talented fashion illustrators or sketch artists who sketch new designs and the dressmaker sews it and bring the design to life. Some stretch themselves and others sew. Some employ the services of skilled embroiders who imprint superb designs on dresses.
this article was written by Bola Bliss. Bola Bliss is a Fashion designer/Illustrator/Stylist/Trainer/Mentor at Bliss By Bola [Instagram:@blissbybola ].
thank you Bola Bliss for permitting me to share this with my audience, hope to be inspired by more of your fashion writeups.