In light of the many impending design school graduations, young designers still have a quite a bit to learn. We caught up with a bunch of industry insiders and designers, who spoke out with their advice to those just breaking into fashion. So, listen up, recent graduates and young designers alike, here are some practical, useful and even some inspirational tips from those who are paving the way …
Errolson Hugh of ACRONYM: First win, then fight. Figure out what it is you do that no one else can, then support and defend that with everything you've got. If you're a young independent designer, you won't be competing on a level playing field. You may have a hard time even arriving at the playing field. Choose your battles carefully (win first). Focus. Get help. Protect your own. Outwork everyone. Repeat. And don't forget to enjoy it!
Alexander Wang: Take one course in accounting. Please do it. You will thank me.
Jodie Synder of Dannijo: Always stay on track to who your brand is and know that there are going to be many opportunities. Not every opportunity is the right opportunity for you. It's good to know when and how to say no. Focus on your goals, and as your brand gets bigger there will be a lot more opportunity—you just have to know which is good for your brand.
Karolyn Pho: Be true to yourself. This is so lame but I was drinking tea this morning and the tag on the tea said “know that you are the truth” and I was like wow, this is the perfect day to have this little tea bag. And I think what I want to say to young designers is you’re the truth. You are your voice and you are your concept. Stay strong to that. Don’t waver. At the end of the day it’s you, and it’s your name and it’s your brand.
Todd Snyder: A quote from my dad inspired me to follow the career path I did: "Go out and work for someone you look up to", as my father said, “If you want to be the best you have to work for the best.” I made a point to work for Mickey Drexler and Ralph Lauren…The best in the business.
Jenna Lyons: Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But do be afraid to not learn from them. In the end, it goes back to just wanting to change things and do a little better. It’s a constant process of always asking, "How can we be better? How can we be better? How can we be better?"
Bumsuk Choi of General Idea: Patience is the most important thing in this industry. If you believe in what you are doing right now, you have to keep trying and trying.