What are the obstacles a fashion designer has to overcome to achieve a high level of success?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Vera Wang, one of the most successful fashion designers of all time, has recently been quite open about the struggles that future fashion designers may face on their way to success. In a recent interview for The West Australian she summarizes the road to success in the following words:

The truth is, everyone's route is different. It doesn't mean one is better than the other; they're just different

These words are significant because she cites that a key factor to consider is the ability to switch your mentality to make last minute choices that reflect the quick-changing times.

Some of the obstacles that, according to Wang, are most salient in future fashion designers include:

  • Money- Wang says that fashion designers MUST follow a flexible business model that changes with the economy.
  • Reputation- According to Wang, designers are not known by their talent but by their word-to-mouth reputation. Building a name for yourself in the fashion industry is equivalent to defending it and protecting it through the process of letting it become known.
  • The "magic" client- Wang cites Michelle Obama and Sharon Stones as two clients whose public endorsement of lesser-known, up and coming designers have made their careers bloom. Producing good enough reputation to earn that "magic" client is a challenge in itself.
  • Luck and timing- Wang entered the fashion industry when "super designers" were just becoming celebrities, such as Bob Mackie. In a competitive industry, the opportunities come far and few, for which new designers must attach themselves to guilds and unions of talented peers that could help spread the word about one's work.
  • Courage- Operating an empire under your name takes energy and the willingness to accept whatever comes your way. Your talent and reputation are in the public eye at all times. There will be competitors and challengers.

Therefore, from the words of one of the leading designers we can definitely conclude that challenges and obstacles are ever-present in competitive industries. It is up to the goal-maker to make the correct changes and choices to make it big. Article to Vera Wang's The West Australian interview is included in the links below.


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