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We often get asked if a fashion design degree is necessary in order to have a successful fashion brand?
The key words in that question are necessary and successful.
If you have a fashion design degree, this means that you learned in theory how to design a full collection and got introduced to the technical and design terms and the process of making a fashion product. HOWEVER, if you do not have a fashion design degree you can still take courses or workshops (yes, these exists) that can teach and help you understand the steps you need to take towards designing a line or you can also learn the trade by interning/ working in the industry.
In other words, as oppose to a doctor or an attorney you don’t need a design degree to become a designer, in fact you will be surprised how many designers out there never went to fashion school.
So if a degree is not needed in order to be a fashion designer than the next question would be: Is obtaining a design degree means you’ll have a successful brand?
While a fashion product must be well designed, at the end of the day a business mind and business instincts are equally as important!
The key to having a successful brand (like with any other business) are motivation, passion, strong will and the drive to be successful. As an entrepreneur you will face many challenges in your business along the way and will have ups and downs until things will start to click for you. You will be constantly under pressure and will need to keep your motivation, focus and drive no matter what comes your way, while constantly learning, making adjustments to your business, coming up with solutions, and making decisions.
All of these actions and skills are not ones that you can learn in school or ones that a degree will show you how to do them (Who knew!). The reality is that the only way to master these is by going through them.
In conclusion, it is not obligatory to have a design degree to be able to become a successful fashion brand. To have a SUCCESSFUL fashion brand both the creative vision (left brain) and the business mind (right brand) are needed, however this doesn’t mean that you personally need to master those two (which btw is perfectly normal since most of us master only one of the two), but your business will need access to both. Therefore, when you start your fashion brand and build your support system make sure to have at least one person, a company or an adviser that master the aspects that you don’t. For example if you are a creative person, it’s should focus on the design aspects and hire help to cover the business side, someone who can help you build a business plan, understand your financial strategy, start-up cost, cash flow etc.. in fact if you look at any successful fashion brand out there you will find that behind the designer (who is in most cases the one that’s in the front) there is someone who handles the business side.
Article by Boaz David of HumanB

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