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Beyond the Runway: 30 Reasons Why I Love Being a Fashion Designer

Updated: Feb 25


models showing back view of dresses with zippered
Inspiration Board

Today I am focusing on the love of creating & having gratitude for the opportunities and all the positive things being a fashion designer has brought me. It's not so much that I love "fashion" itself, but rather the creation process. As I grew up, I was surrounded by sewing and craft and saw firsthand how intangible ideas come to life. As a result, I fell in love with creating; the first inspiration of an idea, the selection of materials, experimenting with techniques, considering the details, sewing it all together, finalizing the fit, and then seeing the completed work. I am very fortunate to work in a career that I love and am passionate about, and now after many years in the industry, turning those experiences into a way to support & share my knowledge with others



Of course, with any career, there are challenges, stressful moments, parts of the job that you may not like, and things you may have to do that aren't your strong suit- but if you turn those situations into teachable moments and growth opportunities, the positives far outweigh the negatives.


fashion Illustrations of swimwear designs
My early swimwear sketches

If the world of fashion tickles your fancy, it's worth noting that countless avenues within the industry can accommodate your passion and skill set. I found my calling as a fashion designer, so I wanted to share with you 30 things I enjoy in that role and offer some resources that will allow you to delve deeper into the fashion design process.

sketches of triathlon design ideas
Triathlon concept board sketches


So what is to love about being a designer?

30 Things I love about the design process & links to learn more:


Fashion Sketching dress concept
Fashion Sketching dress concept

  1. A clean slate of starting something new; a new style, a new season, a new challenge, entirely open to fresh possibilities

  2. Researching- digging into an idea, a topic, the history, the future, the themes

  3. Building Creative Direction: collection of inspirations, images, colors, photos, swatches- it's like a treasure hunt!

  4. Pouring over a pile of tear sheets and data to start compiling a cohesive story: Brand Story Telling

  5. Learning about new fibers, new material combinations, and advances in fabrics.

  6. Thinking about the consumer: who and what this product will be for and why they need it- what is its purpose?

  7. Brainstorming sessions with others; I find this so fun!

  8. Sitting down for quick sketching sessions of concepts: putting on some good music, a cup of tea and a pile of pens and pencils

  9. Refining styles, considering all the construction details; thinking about way to consciously use fabric for least amount of waste

  10. Creating & building sketches in AI

  11. Pulling all the elements together to create illustrator boards

  12. Shopping for prints with print studios, hearing stories about what's going on in their world- what's inspiring them, where they have traveled & trends they are seeing (check out the video below for lots of prints selected for Engine Swim Australia Collection)

  13. The testing lab of materials- I love the nerdy side of design!

  14. Working on wear testing with consumers- listening to feedback, learning from the results, and improving the product based on actual consumer feedback

  15. Building color palettes for both solids and print stories. Here is where I spent a lot of time playing in Ilustrator

  16. Checking colors, lab dips, yarns, print strike-offs, coordinating all the components, and watching them come to life. Read: Fabric Lab Dips and Strike Offs: Everything You Need to Know

  17. Working with a product development team; discussing the concept, vision, and goals for the products

  18. Working with the business teams, merchandisers, marketing, sales, and production managers

  19. Working with technical design team & pattern makers, discussing construction ideas and new methods, doing fittings, fine-tuning each style

  20. Seeing samples come in from the maker for the first time

  21. Attending trade shows- the energetic buzz, the booth presentations, the networking, and the evening shows

  22. Working with marketing on photoshoots, catalogs and media assets

  23. Presenting at sales meetings where everyone is excited to see the new collection: working with marketing on fashion shows, fitting models, music, and themes....seeing your work on the runway to uplifting music!

  24. Working with buyers; to hear what's working for them and their customers.

  25. Learning about sales- what works, what is not, learning how to build upon this knowledge for future collections, and using that to become a better designer.

  26. Constantly learning, growing, and evolving as a designer

  27. Ongoing new challenges, such as achieving sustainability goals and how I can make a difference in the product going out into the world

  28. And finally, seeing your product in the store or in person!

  29. OH and I cant forget traveling!!! Inspiration shopping, market shopping, buyer meetings, sales meetings, trade shows, factory visits...endless opportunities to travel if you work as a fashion designer! Check out prints for Engine Swim Collection!


Black and White mood board for swimwear collection
Black and White mood board for swimwear collection

Did I miss something on this list that you love? Let us know!

What is your favorite part of the design?


Not a designer but working in the industry? What are you most passionate about in your work?

Are you interested in fashion design and want to learn more?


Check out some specific skills in this article here:


Do you want to work in the fashion industry but not necessarily on the creative side? Here are some other roles to consider



Are you looking for a place to study design? Already in design and looking to level up your career with additional learning? As designers, we have to keep learning to stay on top of this fast-paced industry- Check out our upcoming launch of The Conscious Fashion Design Academy: for more information, visit here


Thanks for reading today!  Have other suggestions or questions?  Reach out to let us know design@insidefashiondesign.net


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15. Feb.
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Britta, I really enjoyed this blog! It was great to see all the aspects of your work that are rewarding. -Elaine

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Hello!

Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 

 

I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 

 

If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

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