Some exhibitors at the maiden edition of the ongoing Lagos “Style by Zenith” Fair say they have recorded high-powered sales pitch at the market, which has attracted over 200 exhibitors.
Excited about the huge sales, the exhibitors commended the organisers of the fair, Zenith Bank and Fashion One, for the well organised business environment.
The exhibitors told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Sunday that they had been able to create enough awareness for their products.
To them, the fair has created a veritable platform to showcase their products without financial commitments.
In addition, Point of Sales machines were also given to each of the exhibitors to ensure seamless business transactions, which will be returned at the end of the fair.
NAN reports that the “Style by Zenith” Fair is designed to showcase products of fashion, media, automobile, food, accessories, music and art industry.
An exhibitor, Aisha Adoga, producer of “Hands Hair”, who came from Benin, lauded the bank’s initiative, which she noted had created some business connections for her within Lagos and beyond.
“I am giving it to the organisers of this fair, it is the first one and I pray they are able to continue in subsequent years because this will revive most businesses in Nigeria,” she said.
Another exhibitor, Mosunmola Oladunni, Managing Director, Sweet Look World Concept, offered 20 per cent discount on her products — wigs, hair extensions and makeup products.
Oladunni said: “We are grateful to Zenith Bank for this because we were not charged a dime for exhibiting our products here.
“They prepared the ground and tents ready for us to display our products and sell, it is a rare opportunity and we cannot thank them enough.”
Oladunni, who noted that the fair was well organised, urged the organisers to focus more on advertising the fair in subsequent editions.
She said adequate publicity in both print and television media would attract more visitors to the fair.
She said: “We really thank Zenith Bank and Fashion One for this but I feel they have not created enough publicity due to the turnout; the turnout would have been more than this.”
Also, Seyi Martins, Activation Supervisor with Dangote Group of Companies, expressed excitement over huge sales made since the commencement of the fair.
Martins expressed optimism to make more sales before the end of the fair and appreciated the organiser for such a fantastic opportunity to sell her products.
She said: “I am happy we are able to achieve good sales, we hope to be here again next year.”
Oyindamola Kuye said the organisers of the fair had gone extra mile to give back to the society and their customers by staging the fair.
For June Levi-Oguike, the Managing Director, A’ku Wellness and Beauty Ng, the fair had impacted her business positively as customers now have absolute confidence in associating with such reputable organisations.
Levi-Oguike said: “We are grateful for this because due to the exhibitors’ relationship with the organisers, our customers have built a huge confidence in us.
“Being an exhibitor in this fair has increased my Instagram followers tremendously; this is due to the credibility of the bank.”
NAN reports that the Fair, which commenced on December 29, will end with a musical concert late on December 30.
The musical concert will feature Mayorkun, Wande Coal and others.
The fair has so far attracted biggest players from the food, fashion, media, automobile, accessories, music and arts industries.
Chidinma Aaron on Sunday defeated 12 other finalists to win the 2018 Miss Nigeria beauty pageant crown.
The contestants were Ntan Nton, Egede Lagele, Thomas Mseve, Ameh Munirah, Otunba Ifunaya, and Shitta Remilekun. Others are Tizhe Usa Miriam, Okudili Odinaka Doris, Agida Stephanie, Ugwu Ijeoma, Aaron Chidinma Leilani, and Dunu Chisom Olivia.
The final five were Dunu Chisom, Ntan Sharon Nton, Ameh Munirah, Agida Stephanie and Aaron Chidinma Leilani. Dunu Chioma became the first runner-up, while Ameh became the second runner-up.
Chidinma Aaron who winner of the pageant will take home N3 million, a luxury apartment and an automobile. She takes over the crown from Mildred Ehiguese who won the 2017 edition.
A foundation garment is an undergarment that is usually designed by the size of wearers, to get an attractive and fashionable figure. To get a young looking body figure, foundation garment must be needed.
Now a day’s foundation garments are also called shapewear foundation garments. It is often called “body shapers” or “contour garments”. Foundation garments include body briefs, bodysuits, bras, panty, control panty hose, control panties, corsets, garter belts, and girdles.
One of the first things a well-dressed girl learns is the value of proper foundation garments. Foundation garments are so important that a wise girl chooses a really well-made and properly fitted girdle or panties and bra in preference to a more expensive dress (like tops, kameez, blouse), shirt, T-shirt, coat etc. Every modern and active woman wants to get comfortable foundation garments that support and magnify her figure. For the fashion movements, fashion show, fashion photograph, fashion modeling special styles of foundation garments have been required.
Application and importance of foundation garments:
Foundation garments are designed for every type of figure.
The foundation garments should be soft in texture, comfortable to wear, and should allow freedom of body action.
For using this foundation garment women’s get slimmer and shapelier body appears.
For the young girl foundation garments especially designed for the growing figure.
There are different types of foundation garments. Main foundation garments are bra, panty, girdle, lingerie, and body shaper. All of these foundation garments are helps to fit your body posture and make self confident.
Any outer garment is dependent for its fit and general appearance upon the foundation garments with which it is worn.
Foundation garment generates an impression of vigor, raise the confidence level and express the attractiveness.
For clothing to fit, and fit well, women have to start with the right base.
If the women’s body has become badly out of alignment then a heavier foundation garment must be needed.
The perfect foundation garment helps to improve body posture, tighten the abdominal muscles and builds the balance and that make self- assurance.
If women’s body lost her muscles sag and muscle tone then firmer foundation garment support may be needed.
Fashion and foundations are closely related with each other, so fashionable and smooth foundation garment as well as a good for figure.
Wearing the right foundation garments for women body gives her confidence to go ahead with their daily fearlessly and give a perfect fit on dress.
Remember that foundation garment cannot give you miracle, but it can fulfill your dream. However, it can help to make good posture, mold and control the flesh, and give a smooth and attractive body shape.
To become a professional and successful designer, some initial creators must be needed like fashion knowledge that ranges all across the industry, fashion trends, sketching, painting, fashion illustration, knowledge about fabrics, colors and others materials, and create prototypes for fashion or trade shows.
In the clothing industry, fashion designers have found different areas to show their creativity that include women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear, footwear, accessories, textiles, interiors, events, packing and toys. Today all the peoples are fashion conscious. Everyone wants to get latest or fashionable dress for their daily life, that’s why career opportunities are increased vastly in our fashion industry.
Do you complete your graduation from the fashion designing area? Do you have an eye for style? Do you know about the current fashion? Do you have the passion into a profitable and rewarding career? Then hurry up and select your perfect career from the fashion industry, may be that is the right path for you!
Careers in the Fashion Industry
Different career opportunities in the fashion industry are given below:
Entry-level fashion designers still have higher salary rates as compared to other professions. If fashion designers have high educational background, relevant experiences, design skill, and specialized training’s, they will have better chances of finding more profitable job opportunities!
In the national or international fashion industry, there are three main working areas or fields of fashion design. Large numbers of entry level job opportunities are available here; you can find out your perfect profession that one to suit your humor and talents.
Here I will mention the professions of fashion area:
A. Fashion Designing and Production Professionals
B. Fashion Marketing / Merchandising Professionals
C. Fashion Media & Promotions Professionals
A. Fashion Designing and Production Professionals:
In this fashion fields, all the professionals are involved with design development, establish the designs and also introduce the final product in the fashion marketplace. They have principles, techniques, and tools to create sketches and models of original garments, shoes, handbags and other fashion accessories.
1. Art and graphic designer: Art and graphic design is a most creative fields in fashion design. Art and graphic designer is a visual correspondent, who assembles into a visually pleasing and organized arrangement all of the motifs or images, typography, or motion graphics required to solve or complement a marketing challenge. They might work on a campaign, look book design and making, photo edit, as well as a magazine editorial shoot all within their career. The items designed are primarily for published, printed or electronic media.
2. Fashion designer:
Fashion designers create a new design and for developing this design they give instruction by their team or juniors. They work in variety of industries like manufacturing, clothing companies, design firms or boutiques.
Different types of fashion designer:
Costume designer (Men’s wear, women’s wear and children’s wear)
3. Assistant fashion designer:
The assistant within a small, designer level company requires abilities such as communicating in a professional manner and good organizational skills. It is an entry-level position that can be valuable in terms of gaining solid experience in the industry.
Assistant fashion designers assist fashion designers and chief fashion designers with everything from designing clothes to preparing for fashion shows.
They also assist with production work such as sewing, cutting, pattern making, making prototypes, coloring, and sketching. Assistant fashion designers may coordinate meetings, assist at meetings with clients or retailers, attend fashion shows and trade shows, and assist with managing other workers as needed.
4. Assistant designer for a high street retailer:
Large department stores mostly employ to make a design teams for doing their work on their own ranges. Each designer in the team is allocated a design assistant, who is trained to think about the detail regarding a particular label. The designer needs to know about new trends and requires information from fashion magazines, shop windows, merchandise inside shops, forecasting publications, the Internet, the changing consumer and street style.
General duties of the assistant fashion designer could be:
Gathering market research.
Initial sketching of ideas.
Liaising with the colourist to create a colour palette.
Using trend information.
Sourcing fabrics from different suppliers.
Sourcing trims such as zips and sequins.
Sketching working drawings.
Amending any design problems.
5. Assistant buyer:
The assistant buyer is a person who decides which styles are finally sold in the store. They discuss quality and prices through negotiation with the supplier. Some common job duties of the assistant buyer, for a high street fashion retailer, would consist of such tasks as meeting and greeting clients, chasing production, processing orders, maintaining office stock, collating and sending samples to the press, general errands, telephone and email inquiries.
6. Design and product developer:
Design and Product developer mainly do the job with the Design and Production departments of a fashion/retail company. They usually submit the report into the Product Development Manager.
The Product Developer mainly follow the complete development of product from initial drawings to final sample, liaising with factories and also travel to offshore factories to follow progress and check production, sourcing trims and fabrics, ordering raw materials and communicating with vendors. Product Developers for the fashion industry must know material specifications and analyze cost.
7. CAD Designer:
Computer-aided designers in the fashion industry use computer software to create design & sketches and also used to create clothes, accessories, shoes, intimate apparel, and more. They use the software to create prototypes for clients and employers. Computer-aided designers work for retail companies, fashion designers, textile companies, apparel manufacturers, and design studios.
8. Pattern maker:
Pattern cutting is a technical skill that requires detailed knowledge of garment construction in order to translate a design into a credible prototype garment. Most pattern cutters or maker work closely with designers to interpret a design from a sketch or working drawing.
In some cases the pattern maker and designer form a close working relationship, where both parties intuitively understand one another and the pattern cutter can work directly from a design sketch to produce a toile/muslin.
The pattern cutter works alongside the sample cutter and machinist and is required to communicate with garment technologists and designers before a sealed sample can be approved.
9. Pattern grader:
Pattern grader is a person who follows a prescribed system of applying mathematical gradients and ratios to pattern pieces to size them up or down. It is important to have an understanding of body shapes in order to understand the principles of grading, since not all sides of the pattern are graded.
10. Sample maker:
Sample maker or cutter work in the sample room as part of a technical design team, working closely with the pattern cutter. The sample cutter is responsible for laying out the sample length of fabric before cutting it out with shears. This requires a steady hand and close attention to detail and accuracy to maintain a straight grain and selvedge. The sample cutter is also responsible for arranging the most economical lay plan for each style; some fabrics can only be cut one way. As part of this process the sample cutter will make a record of the lay plan and provides a preliminary costing based on the quantity of fabric used.
11. Garment technologist:
The garment technologist is the critical link between the designer, the pre-production sample and the finished garment. They work in association with designers, pattern cutters, factories and production staff to agree and maintain quality standards and fitting requirements, monitoring the production process and checking for any faults on the garment or fabric as part of a rigorous process of quality control.
12. Fashion illustrator:
Fashion illustrators work with designers, art directors and for retailers to create visual images or banners of clothing, shoes, handbags, hats, and other accessories. They create magazines, advertisements by using computer-aided design (CAD) software. They do everything like sketch, paint, pastels and pencils to oils and computers to convey the designers or directors ideas clearly. Some fashion illustrators work with animation, color, and sound to accompany visuals, while others actually develop the designs and patterns that they illustrate.
13. Technical designer:
The Technical Designer is a liaison between Design and Production. They are essentially the engineers of fashion manufacturing industry. Technical designer will work with the fashion designer in order to ensure all of the notions and details are correct like thread color, stitch gauges, buttons, and zipper details.
14. Textile Agent:
The textile agent sells the collection on behalf of the textile mill; they will have agents in a variety of countries.
15. Textile Fabric Colorist:
Textile and Fashion fabric colorists are responsible for mixing, developing, and creating colors and color palettes for clothing, clothing lines, and textiles. Mainly the designer or other client will have a specific color in mind, and it is up to the textile colorist to mix it to precise specifications. In others cases, the fabric colorist might have complete creative freedom to create colors for a client based on the way he /she might interpret them.
They approve final color palettes, and they also check and receive swatches and fabrics from overseas dyers. They maintain color libraries, manage labs, and develop new techniques for mixing and developing color. They meet with vendors, agents, and mills, and they also develop color standards.
16. Warehouse manager:
Warehouse managers are responsible for safe and efficient receipt, storage and value-adding servicing and distribution and maintenance operations of a wide variety of products. They also ensure productivity targets are achieved and that all warehouse processes are running smoothly and promptly.
17. Product manager:
Job responsibilities of a product manager often vary from company to company. They are responsible to manage from concept developed, to design, sample production, testing, forecast, cost, mass production, promotion, support, and finally product end of life. Product Development Managers usually handle a specific product or product line and also include with marketing, profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities. It is a senior position within a manufacturer’s company.
B. Fashion Marketing / Merchandising Professionals:
Fashion marketing and merchandising professionals are responsible for identifying and creating latest fashion trends, to get knowledge about consumer psychology, to sell the products created by fashion designers. They promote fashion products with advertising and visual marketing campaigns. The fashion merchandising field includes jobs in both retail and wholesale sales.
1. Market researcher:
Market researcher is a person who studies about fashion market like people demand, what types of clothing, shoes, and accessories people want, and what price level are perfect etc. After researching or collecting data they convey their findings to retailers, manufacturers, and designers.
2. Fashion merchandiser:
In the fashion industry, fashion merchandising is another popular job field. Fashion merchandisers are doing their work with creativity and imaginative talents. It is the combination of marketing and advertising. They are tasked to analyze changing market trends, oversee production costs, supervise sales, and create income projections. A fashion merchandiser is also responsible for conceptualizing a fashion line appropriate for the current season.
3. Fashion buyers and purchasing agent:
Fashion buyers and purchasing agent select and collect the attractive fashion items like clothing, shoes, and accessories from the apparel manufacturers and wholesalers to sell in retail shop and departmental store. A fashion buyer will negotiate on price, including discount terms for prompt payment, and terms of delivery.
4. Fashion forecaster or Fashion predictor:
Fashion forecasting companies have the unique ability to predict latest fashion trends, which styles will be in year after year. They use research techniques and analytical skills to predict fashion industry knowledge like colors, forms, patterns, shapes, and even fabrics. Also called fashion color forecasters or fashion trend forecasters, fashion forecasters or fashion predictor have extensive experience in the fashion industry.
5. Fashion journalist:
Fashion journalist is the professional who write about fashion clothing, latest fashion and accessories for newspapers, magazines, and websites (articles are written on a freelance basis). They might attend different fashion shows, study designer and celebrity fashions to pinpoint trends. They also might be required to get information by conducting interviews with famous fashion designers and also make a report researching the fashion industry.
6. Fashion marketing and management:
These kinds of professionals are responsible to promote fashion products with advertising and visual marketing campaigns. They also responsible to manage the overall factory production, communication with buyer or seller, to maintain shipping, take right decision in any situation.
7. Fashion stylist or style specialist:
Fashion stylists generally work in photo shoots, commercials, movie sets, print advertisements and music videos to style celebrities and models. They help to show the wearer’s personality and style through the clothes and accessories that they are wearing. They also help the person’s to express their self-confidence.
8. Fashion coordinator and fashion director:
Only qualified, experienced and skilled fashion coordinator professionals will have the opportunity to get in the trade. These professionals are tasked to oversee the whole fashion design department.
Fashion director professions are the top level fashion design job position. Maximum renewed fashion industries require the expertise of skilled fashion director professionals. They are responsible for variety of tasks that are closely involved in fashion coordination, management, and promotional activities.
9. Requirement consultant:
Recruitment consultants are responsible for attracting candidates for jobs and matching them to temporary or permanent positions with client companies. They use different advertising media by placing vacancies such as newspapers, social media, websites and magazines to attract candidates and build relationships with candidates and employers.
10. Retail buyer:
A retail buyer is an important professional in the retail fashion industry. They are responsible for planning and selecting specific products to sell in retail outlets. Retail buyer’s select and purchase products from wholesalers and manufacturers for re-sale to their customers. Negotiating and forming relationships with wholesalers and manufacturers, to predict what items will sell next season, to review the sales performance of the current items, customer demand, including price, quality and availability, market trends, store policy and financial budget plan are the main jobs for a retail buyers.
11. Retail merchandiser:
The retail merchandiser sells the products in small quantities and coordinates as an intermediary between the wholesaler and consumers. They draw a sensible plan about careful purchasing, monitoring and predicting stock level and arrange different sales promotional activities for product.
12. Visual merchandiser:
Visual merchandising is a correct merchandise layout plan; eye catching product display is in the correct place at the correct time, it reflect the correct quality at the correct price only for attracting consumer attention and sell.
Visual merchandisers work as part of a team that may be led by a visual merchandising manager, working with senior, head office retail managers or a marketing team.
13. Fashion sales/brand representative:
The main job responsibilities of a fashion sales representative are to sell the products manufactured by their fashion company.
14. Boutique owner:
Boutique owner is a person who launches a boutique or fashion house. To fill up his/ her dream they can do everything. He is responsible for taking care of the business of the boutique, follow up the general operations of the boutique on a daily basis, motivating and sustaining a professional harmony among the staff members and employees, plan merchandising ideas.
15. Fashion house manager:
Fashion house manager supervise teams of designers, manage other staff members, maintain business operations, and work with clients. Fashion house managers generally work long hours, travel extensively, and attend fashion shows frequently.
Buyers rarely deal directly with manufacturers, preferring to buy their merchandise through a reliable and trusted agent or through a third party known as a supplier. The supplier career is very similar to the product development career.
17. Retail salesperson:
In the fashion industry retail salespersons are help to sell clothes, shoes, coats, boots, accessories, lingerie, cosmetics, and sleepwear. Good communication skill must be required to get this job.
C. Fashion Media & Promotions Professionals:
These creative professionals are not directly involved with designing but they help to promote fashion product for customer attention. Fashion writers and editors are employed by newspapers, magazines, web sites, and other media outlets to keep consumers up-to-date on style trends. Fashion photographs, illustrators, and stylists are often employed by catalogs and magazines.
1. Fashion photographer:
In the fashion industry, fashion photography is a specialized job field. Fashion photographer helps to take pictures of models, mannequins, fashion show, professional portfolio and sets. They photograph for designers, fashion magazines, fashion product promotion (advertisements), and more.
2. Ramp model:
Model helps to promote fashion items for getting the customer attention by the way of photo shot, runway fashion show.
3. Costume designers:
Costume designers are the fashion professionals who are tasked to develop wardrobes, footwear, accessories and other fashion apparels that will be used in theatre, film, and television. They work closely with the directors, producers, as well as with the costume design team to ensure that the costumes that will be generated are precisely based on what the story, drama, or script requires.
4. Fashion editor:
Fashion editors oversee the creating process of content, developing and presenting content for fashion-specific magazines, photo shoots, websites, newspaper sections, or television shows. Editors may specialize in apparel, accessories, beauty and make-up, and so on.
5. Fashion public relations specialist:
Every fashion companies want to sell goods and services to the public, that’s why they need to generate interest in their product. The interest is generated by the public relations or P.R. company. The P.R. company will develop individual press coverage for each client and produce publicity and promotional campaigns that reflect the current requirements of the client and also anticipate the future needs of the markets at home and abroad. They are used different media to broadcast and generate interest in the product or service like small advert in a local newspaper, a commercial on national television, fashion shows, press conferences, viewing new products and through parties.
6. Fashion writer:
Fashion writers make editorial writing for media like fashion magazines, newspapers, fashion / design websites or blogs, and of course for television. Maximum fashion writers work within editorial departments of fashion design firms. But different fashion writers are specialized in different area of fashion. Some fashion writer submitting career direction articles in his/her blog on freelance basis. Some popular fashion editors tend to partner with photographers, make stories for media. They select different topics like designers career path, editors, models and celebrities interview, current fashion news and others who make up fashion’s inner circle.
7. Press assistant:
The press assistant may help to create the press sample which is used for promotional purposes at trade shows and in media mail-outs.
Some key duties of press assistants are:
Create interest in the product and inform.
Provide an overview of that seasons range by highlighting key silhouettes, the colour palette, fabrics and key pieces.
Provide digital and printed images of them product.
The press assistant organizes promotional parties – the venue, lighting, sound, the printing of invitations and the organization of refreshments.
8. Digital media and advertising coordinator:
They are responsible to promote their product or service in different digital media. They make creative advertisement for customer attraction.
9. Marketing/Social media assistant:
Social media assistant create a content that promotes audience interaction, increases viewers presence on company sites, product details, and encourages customer to purchase product. They manage company social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other relevant platforms.
10. Online merchandise coordinator or E-commerce manager:
E-commerce manager have a team, they supervise retail or fashion company’s online sales and presence. They are responsible for conveying a consistent brand image, product images, product details, reviews that attracts customers by encouraging sales on the Web. They are always active to communicate customers and keep update the product information.
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Fashion illustration is the transmission of fashion through a diagram.
It is the visual aid through which the design is explained in the fashion magazines and fashion illustrators. Various illustrations that explain fashion have been in existence since the time clothes have been in existence.
Illustrations have played importance since the evolution of fashion and in the various institutions serving in educating fashion illustration play the lead role and through illustrations the practitioners do practice fashion designs. It is a piece of art through which fashion is explained and communicated.
Fashion illustration is an art
Types of fashion illustrations
There are various types of fashion illustrations that explain numerous fashion designs. With fashion illustrations we not only mean a diagram explaining clothing, but it could be any example like
clothing fashion illustration,
and many more such forms of illustration that explain numerous new evolving fashion designs. Since illustration is used to convey designs, the designers who prepare illustrations should keep in mind that they should use colors and details that highlight the edges of the clothes to make it more attractive. There has to be a good balance between the colors and the sketching to achieve the masterpiece.
Importance of fashion illustrations
sketches illustrating different style
The various illustrations defining fashion are not only used as an art piece to educate the budding designers, instead they also contribute to be the front page of leading fashion magazines. Thus, it could be known about what importance does a fashion illustration play in conveying the new trend in the market. The different illustration or even one single illustration could be made my using the numerous materials like pencil, pen, ink, charcoal, water color, Polaroid film, etc.
All these materials are used to make the illustration sharper and next to real to make sure that it conveys the style in its best sense. Some fashion illustrations are also drawn combined with celebrity portrait so that their face value could be increased in the mind of the people.
Fashion illustration is something that requires expert hands without which the illustration could not be presented in its best form.
For an illustration to speak in words, it is very important to draw in such a way in which it each and every angle of the illustration should look real, including the hairs, facial expressions and body shape. All these factors play a very important role in making the illustration look real, presentable, and more attractive.
Fashion illustration is a piece of art, and like any other piece of art it should be unique, should be capable of conveying, should have the capacity to communicate, and most importantly should look real. An art piece should have the power to speak a thousand words, which is also the vital requirement of a fashion illustration as well. Only an artist could prepare a masterpiece, hence an artist who is working on fashion illustration should have deep knowledge about how an art piece is prepared. And about how should the various pencils be used to focus on different areas of the drawing enabling the illustration to successfully convey for what it is meant to be.
(5) Think about your personal design style as your trademark. You want people to recognize your work and the best reward is when other designers try to copy you. It’s annoying but it will make you proud.
(6) If you don’t have any personal projects or work at hand, create one and pretend like you are doing a job for someone, it will help build yourself. Don’t settle for the first idea that comes to your head, have a creative mind, even if you make mistakes.
(7) Teach people what you know, this is a very vital step. The more you teach the more you know.sharing your knowledge is a great way to learn as well.
It doesn’t matter how good you are today, what matters is how fast you grow and the steps you take everyday to improve your skills
The first set of questions one must ask themselves when starting a business or launching a product is the cliche and obvious one:
What is your product?
Who is it for?
How do I get it out?
These questions when answered in all honesty and clarity is the blueprint to knowing what you want to produce and for whom.
Fashion startups have a tendency of multi-tasking, this saves finance, but the idea of really building a brand is to know when to seek help. One man cannot do it alone. In a situation where you can’t afford to hire, then contract.
As a designer one must create a niche and the best way to do so is to identify you signature. A way of cutting, layering or perhaps, colour. Most top designers all have a signature, a mood that comes to mind when a designer’s name is mentioned. You need to find a way to marry your signature to the trend at any particular time.