A popular saying has it that the way you are dressed is how you are addressed. Being an Industry known for its glitz and glamour the world over, the fashion industry has become increasingly attractive to Africans and Nigerians in particular. There is so much buzz going on in this respect, so much that one would want to become a fashion designer. These range from the latest and most recent designs, fabrics, style, and a lot of other related happenings within the fashion industry. To add to this, there has recently been an upsurge of new entrants into the industry, with several others aspiring to become fashion designers.
Within the African continent, the fashion design industry has experienced continuous growth and development. This has resulted in fashion shows held across the length and breath of Africa. With models donning the exquisite designs of fashion designers cat-walking on runways across the continent. All these are happening from Lagos to Johannesburg, Cape Town to Abuja, and Nairobi to Kampala. The potential for fashion designing in Nigeria is massive! This is even more true because Nigerians love fashion. It is in the light of this that special focus is given on how to become a fashion designer in Nigeria.
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1. There Must Be a Driving Interest
Although the potential for realizing a very impressive income flow is high, money however, should not form the driving force for wanting to become a fashion designer. If this is the case, then you are most likely never going to make meaningful progress. A saying has it that “follow your passion, and success will chase you pants down.” This is a true reality. The drive to be a fashion designer should be fueled by genuine interest. If you excel in this field, which is a feature common to people with a burning interest and desire for fashion, money will naturally follow.
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2. Have a Knowledge on What is Trending
This is a key area to focus on in your quest to becoming a fashion designer in Nigeria. Knowing how to use the sewing machine is not enough. If you focus on the clothing worn by Nigerians on a typical day, especially an occasion, you will have a good grasp of what is trending. This way, you will be able to focus on creating and trying out new designs. This however comes with being creative which will be discussed in our next point.
3. Creativity Is Golden!
How? You might ask, to keep up with fashion in Nigeria, creativity is necessary. This attribute sets you apart from the pack when it comes to producing innovative designs that wow! Before even enrolling in a fashion school, if you usually find yourself sketching designs or offering free advice on some fashion tips, then you most likely have the success ingredient which is creativity. This will keep you relevant in the fashion industry for a long time to come.
4. Enroll in a Fashion School
With creativity comes guidance. Guidance in this sense means first enrolling in a fashion school that teaches you the basics and the techniques of producing stunning fashion designs. Let’s be blunt here; creativity alone does not guarantee success, as you need to follow a laid down structure of knowledge acquisition that will be able to streamline the learning process, making your skill more potent. It is highly advised that while learning, skills possessed should not be allowed to come in the way of the teaching process. If this is allowed, it will most likely hamper the seamless transfer of knowledge.
There are several fashion schools in Nigeria, with many located in Lagos and Abuja. Although the enrollment fees can sometimes be substantial, but this is nothing compared to the valuable knowledge that will be passed on to the student.
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5. After Learning, What Next?
After having learnt the ropes, confusion might set in on what next to do. Buying some of the basic requirements will not be out of place. Your first clients are likely to be your “significant others” which include your family and friends. Creating stunning designs for them directly showcases you to the world, as they are most likely to tell their friends and relatives. This network, before long attracts the big clients which will most likely give you the much needed big break.
Although it is every fashion designer’s wish and dream to become a big name in the industry, this only comes after much work has been put through patience diligence and the right network.