The EDGE network of emerging designers share business tips and advice on their journey as an up and coming brand in the fashion industry. This is part of the EDGE experience based [to complement academic] educational best practice series.
These direct quotes are from the EDGE Radar designer interview series.
I truly believe in finding your own voice first. Find who you are as a designer and show your vision to the world. And never give up, never stop trying. – Mena Lombard
I’d say if you have a story to tell and a great product to offer, keep on going until you get picked up by a store. Nowadays, it takes longer to get noticed so staying power is the key. Most importantly do it for the passion and not for the money because the worst case is that you will get stuck doing what you love! – Mimi Wong
One thing I’ve discovered is that you can’t please everyone and that sometimes you just have to say “No”—all personal feelings aside. Building a brand is definitely a business and I’m learning that in order to grow and be successful we have to do what’s best for the brand and to honor the hard work that’s been put into creating it. – Michael Ngo
Another lesson I’ve learned is that it’s so important to create strong relationship and to develop a strong network of professionals you can turn to for advice or support and know that they truly have the best interest for you and your brand. Building those relationships are like partnerships that will help strengthen your business, brand and network of collaborators. – Michael Ngo
I think the training in both the design and the business is insufficient. I found that the design and business practice in nowadays fashion industry is so much different from the study in school. I think it will be a better way to learn from real experience, that’s why I am now absorbing new knowledge and experience in both design and the business of fashion before I am confident to set up my own fashion business. – NGA WUN [Kitty] Mok
Business and design go hand in hand, now, and without understanding how each part is important you can easily find yourself losing your power in major decision making moments. You don’t understand what’s happening or your business could never become a reality because you can’t translate it into a profitable investment when meeting with buyers and investors. – Brendan M. Combs
I think that young designers are so anxious to work that they sometimes will take any job that comes along. Choose projects that you can get something from whether experience, connections, good reviews, etc. That’s how you build a career. – Alex Jaeger, awarded costumer designer
For more EDGE-ucation best practices and business tips, click on the EDGE-ucation Category.
Feature Image: Jason Young Photography