How to Become Lingerie Designer
You decided to become a lingerie designer. It’s your passion, you want to create your own lingerie collections, probably build your own business or work with the big lingerie brands. The goal is set, but now you got to figure out how to approach this ambition of yours and make it work. Setting minor goals along the way will help. In order to become a lingerie designer you should, apparently have sewing and designing skills. Schools and universities specialized in design are best for you. The first and foremost thing:
- Learn how to design (sketch, sew, use fabrics and various design techniques)
When you’re done with your studies you’ve learned the basics, fabrics, sewing techniques and all that. Now you need practice. You probably already have your own vision right now, but if not you should work on it. What is vision? Every lingerie designer has it. It’s your approach to lingerie and design. What’s primary and what’s less important, what techniques you use more often and what kind of lingerie you want to create. Think about it and keep practicing, designing and sketching, choosing fabrics and accessories and finally sewing.
- Find your vision. Practice (sketch, design, sew).
So you are practicing every day. When do you know you are ready to show off some of your work? Well, may be you aren’t, but how does one know? Say, you have some of your works already, which you think are well executed and have something to say about you as a designer. Choose the best ones. Be your harshest critic. Sort out the average or poor works and make new better ones and once you have enough works to present to the labels put them into your portfolio.
- Create a portfolio.
Learn how to make a great portfolio. But now focus on setting another goal on your way of becoming a lingerie designer. You have a vision and want to work. Where and how you want to work is a question to be answered. Do you want to start your own label? Or do you want to become a member of designer team in some existing lingerie label? If the latter is true, your portfolio should be alluring and professional. It should showcase your skills, vision, and execution. Hiring a professional model and a photographer can be quiet costly but, at least, you will have your work presented on a pro level.
To get into an existing company you should first of all, share its vision. Do you like their lingerie and materials they work with? What can you offer them design-wise and is your execution good enough? All these things should be kept in mind. If you, however can’t look at and assess you own work objectively ask a professional to do it. Listen to his/her critique and work to improve.
- Get an internship.
Internship in a lingerie label is a great way to practice your work as a lingerie designer and you might get a job offer from the same label or others. With a good portfolio and couple of recommendations or internship it will be easier for you to build a name and a reputation as a lingerie designer and potential worker for almost any lingerie label.
In case if you want to start your own label you need something more than a portfolio. No doubt you need a budget, but you also need a business plan, and a niche. How your lingerie is different from others? What is your target group? What kind of lingerie you specialize on, shortly speaking? Research the industry, try to find a niche that is both familiar to you and not overwhelmed with product. For instance, lingerie for big-busted women is still a niche that needs more labels and lingerie designers put out more quality product in it.
- Find your specialty (niche).
Starting a label is a heavy project. You need to hire people to help you with technical design, manufacturing, distribution, press and exposure. This amount of work can be overwhelming for you as a lingerie designer because there are many things to keep in mind besides the product. But it can also be quiet fulfilling and rewarding. Once you’ve researched the industry and defined your focus (the kind of lingerie you are going to make) as well as decided on brand’s name and concept:
- Make a business plan.
A business plan will help you stay focused on your brand’s goals, target group, mission and strategy. If you are still working on it don’t hesitate to show off some of your works at trade shows and exhibitions. Also be sure to make contacts with various people in the business and keep in touch with them. As a lingerie designer you might need suppliers, retailers, publishers, and potential workers and they may happen to be on your contact list.
- Keep a contact list (and keep in touch).
Starting and maintaining your own lingerie label is not easy. There are so many other aspects of the business we haven’t covered yet but in order to succeed you need to believe in what you do. Believe in yourself as a designer, put out unique quality product and learn how to market it right or hire marketing professionals.
- Learn marketing or let experts do it for you.
Watch how lingerie giants like Victoria’s Secret do it and learn from them. The brand has their own famous models, they make appearances, their own fashion show and constantly put out new exciting products. It might seem impossible in the beginning but you have to be innovative and persistent as well as know how to brand your own product to get such results.