Becoming a fashion designer in Nigeria is a career most young people with passion would want to harness. If you are aiming to be like the professionals: Mai Atafo, Frank Oshodi, Dolce and Gabanna in the fashion industry, you should know that fashion designing demands a lot of hard work, creativity, commitment, determination and drive.
Fashion designing has touched lives, making occasions special, helping people get hired for contracts, even making young couples feel smart on their wedding day. It even makes you feel fulfilled. To start a career as a fashion designer in Nigeria, we have listed below the necessary steps to help you become one in the fashion world.
Step 1: Do your research
Fashion designing is a competitive industry which is dynamic. Therefore, you have to carry out your research before venturing into it. The reason most people showcase works that do not please the eyes is because they do not know the taste that people want.
They even go as far as buying ready-made outfits, displaying them on models to schmooze at runways and claim such ready-made outfits as their creations. You would have to learn from the best hands in the industry to be the best. This can be done by enrolling yourself in a fashion school or fashion house. Either ways you will benefit from the wealth of experience from the experts in the business.
Step 2: Paying attention to details
In the fashion business, little details matters. You should be able to see beyond what others see. A good fashion designer doesn’t look at a fabric as a piece of clothing, what he or she sees is a combination of colors that can be used to make exquisite quality designs. Believe me, when people identify with your designs as quality, they will pay you good money to have you make clothes for them, thus leaving you ahead of your competitors.
Step 3: Get the necessary experience
You should shelf pride when working as an intern or apprentice as this will not only provide you with the necessary knowledge or know how to run the business, it will also ensure that you have the experience to run a successful fashion designing career.
Step 4: Carry out feasibility study and draw a business plan
After you have gathered the much needed experience, the next thing that comes to mind is how do I start a fashion designing business? Of course, a fashion business like any other profitable venture requires a business plan. Before you even draw up a plan, you should carry out your feasibility study on how much it will cost you to start the business, the location, and other additional expenses.
You might as well want to meet an already established designer and find out how he or she started and know the factors necessary for running a startup. This on the long run will help you expand your business.
Step 5: Marketing/Advertising your business
No matter the kind of design you make, if no one sees or know about it, it becomes worthless. The essence of marketing your fashion design business in Nigeria is to get the necessary exposure you will need to thrive in the industry and draw customers and patronizers to your designs.
Take advantage of shows like the Lagos Fashion Design Week, Native and Vogue International Fashion Week, Arise Fashion Week, Music Meets Runway, Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria Fashion Week to showcase your expertise and products. You could also leverage the use of the internet and social media as a tool to advertise your brand. If you could team up with fashion bloggers, fashion photographers and influencers, the better.
Step 6: Knowing your market
You need to keep up with the latest trend in the fashion industry. This will enable you become aware of what is in vogue. Fashion news, articles from top designers, catalogue of designs can be of great help. Also you have to know who your target customers are and find the best method to reach them. If I must advise, focus on a particular niche. You could focus on bridals wear, swimwear, lingerie, casuals, kiddies, corporate wears (men’s and women’s suits) and traditional attires.
Step 7: Setting up good customer relationship and base
You would need to treat your customers well, make your clients feel special and be mild with your price. These gestures by you will surely bring them back to you and probably refer others to you. But if you don’t, you might find you self running out of business when you loose clients.
Finally, just be an expert in whatever niche you choose and stand out from the rest. Believe in yourself and with time, you would be a famous fashion designer. The secret to make amazing clothes and design is creativity, hard work, determination and most of all prayer.