Becoming a fashion designer is a creative journey to uncovering the student's likes and dislikes. Styles and fads come and go and then come around again. This is true of the fashion design industry also, particularly so! The industry is often influenced by the entertainment industry (television, movies, music, etc.) For example, "That 70's Show" gave hippie fashion a new comeback chic.
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This is true of other movies as well. A great example of this would be "Pirates of the Caribbean" which brought about a huge influx of skull and crossbones designs. The typical pirate symbol, more related to a gothic or punk style, became mainstream after the debut of the movies.
This pop culture influence inspires mass market designers. However, couture fashion designers strive to be the source of inspiration rather than an imitator. The difference between this can be found in the training of the merchandiser versus the designer.
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Many aspiring fashion designers choose to go into fashion merchandising. However, these two fields require a slightly different curriculum. One will focus on sales, marketing, and business whereas the other–fashion design–will focus on creativity and imagination in bringing ideas and concepts to life.
Following middle school, students can choose college preparation courses to direct their educational tracks to their own possible careers. For a student wishing to take the path of a designer of any type, art classes are essential to building the basic knowledge and core concepts that they will use.
High school courses should be selected to assist in building a professional portfolio to show to potential design colleges. By starting their educational planning very early, it is possible for students to make the most of their high school years by focusing on extracurricular activities that will add spice to their college applications.
For example, potential fashion designers can take classes not only in art but also specialized math and computer classes, multimedia classes, and drama activities that will allow them to explore different aspects of the fashion world. Some high schools even offer classes in small business ownership or entrepreneurial skills.