We've started an intern series over on TikTok sharing industry insights and hopefully filling some gaps in things students might not be learning whilst studying Fashion at university right now, so whether you're a Fashion Student or just want to learn more about the in and outs of the Fashion industry, keep on reading.
5 Things I Wish I Knew as a Fashion Student
Before LannyxStudio I was a designer for a global manufacturing company which has enabled me to experience both ends of the industry and had to learn lots of things along the way.
1. A considerable amount more about Fabric, from understanding compositions (the percentange of each fiber that makes up a fabric) to how and where fabric is made. I’ve covered a lot of this on a previous fabric blog series that covers the basic fabric process, fabric dyeing and an overview of fabric finishing so if you're interested in reading more on each of these and this knowledge is something you're currently missing, find the start of the series here.
2. A better understanding of the different job roles available, there are so many opportunities out-with the catwalk and many types of companies you can work for. With the rise of social media and tech over the last decade the opportunites have grown way beyond what I could have dreamed of at university so if you're studying something like Fashion Design specifically, start to think outside the box, this doesn’t mean that designing garments is the only way you can go.
3D Design, Fashion Content Creation (this could need a mix of skills like Photography, Videography, Design, Styling and Copywrighting skills) Sustainability Lead and Digital Product Design are just a few of the newer jobs that come to mind.
3. The technical aspects of design and making such as Tech Packs and Specification Sheets, these are multi page documents that give detailed information such as size measurements, stitch details, label and artwork placements, fabric specifications, finishing details and are so much more than a nice looking drawing of a garment. These detailed tech packs are something I had to learn quickly on the job in the early days and are crucial for production, especially when working with overseas suppliers when communication could be harder.
4. What a sourcing trip really is: I had no idea how companies were sourcing fabric, components or even garments for that matter. I knew of a few fabric trade shows in Europe but found out quickly that the supply chain is a lot more complex than that, sourcing trips are often about creating good business relationships and travelling to meet these suppliers whether that's Fabric mills (where they weave/print/knit/finish fabrics,) dying facilites, Factories; where garments, trims or other components are manufactured. Most of the Fashion supply chain is broken up and found in different parts of the world and you'll often find fabric is made in one country and shipped to another to be manufactured into an actual garment/product, this doesn't include where the raw materials are grown which could also have been shipped from country to country before becoming usable fabric.
Intertextile, Shanghai, China
5. How to calculate the cost of a making a product, at no point did I ever need to calculate how much it would be to produce the final collection I made never mind what I would have to sell it for in order to make any profit. If you work for a company or start your own, I guarantee this will become a huge focus and something you’ll end up having to make decisions around day in and day out. It feeds into so many parts of the process like fabric & trim sourcing too! Understanding the cost of production (Monetary and Environmentally) is definitely something I wish I'd known more about sooner.
I hope these 5 things have given you lots to think about and opened up areas you want to explore more. If have any questions about working in the industry and things you feel like you might be missing out on, or are still unsure about, drop a question below and I'll try to answer them as best I can. If you want to send private question instead just drop me an email on email@example.com. I can't wait to hear from you.