Last weekend (7th to 9th July), Kuching played host to the inaugural Borneo Fashion Week as Sarawak looks to develop its fashion industry, and to promote Borneo fashion to the international market.
Most importantly, it aimed to be a platform for young local designers to showcase their talents, and network with industry professionals from within and outside the state.
Your passion and artistic flair in fashion design, however, are not the only attributes required to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
You will also need some business knowledge such as marketing, production management and public relations to be able to reach and maintain your customer base.
Malaysia’s fashion industry, in particular, is highly competitive and fragmented, with many domestic brands having to compete with international labels through physical stores and the Internet to attract consumers who are facing higher cost of living.
Additionally, becoming a fashion designer is not the only career path you can take, as opportunities that do not require a designing background are also vital within the industry’s ecosystem including merchandiser, retail buyer, garment technologist, stylist, fashion journalist and more.
Nevertheless, if you believe you have the creativity, adaptability and endurance needed to succeed in the fashion industry, there are a few things you need to know when working towards a fashion career.
First off, you can opt to specialise in a particular type of apparel – footwear, leather goods or accessories that can be ready-made or bespoke. This allows you to stay focused while you develop distinctive and quality products for your customers.
Second, although you may be able to enter the industry without formal education, it would be more advantageous if you had built your foundation from your studies in fashion-related courses in a technical institution or university. This is especially helpful when you have gained some experience from your internship or apprenticeship.
Third, if you decide to take the entrepreneurial route, make sure that you do a thorough research and business planning to understand your market. Many start-up fashion businesses have failed due to, among various other factors, low visibility, lack of industry knowledge, lack of brand distinction and lack of resources.
Fourth, always keep yourself up to speed with the latest styles and trends. You can do so by checking out fashion magazines and websites, and attending trade and fashion shows at least within Malaysia.
Above all, never become too complacent or confident in the fashion industry. Given its dynamic and competitive nature, you would need, for example, to explore new technology and textile that could improve your product quality, or enhance your marketing strategies to boost your visibility in the industry.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2th5vlr