Goals & Philosophy
Growing up noted for a sharp eye for color, design and patterns, report author has developed an early interest in fashion as an area of personal passion and professional aspiration. Growing up in Jakarta, Indonesia report author's professional vision and artistic philosophy has been informed early on by Jakarta's rich fashion industry but also by city's colorful appeal and scenic views, a formative given inaccessible to many who might plan to pursue a career fed by colors, designs and, not least, idiosyncratic preferences.
Currently, report author is pursuing an Associate of Arts (Fashion Design) at Academy of Art University, San Francisco. The degree is aimed to build and cement report author's fashion concepts. By building on practical knowledge and professional expertise accumulated over past few years at PT. Buana Samudra Lestari, Jakarta, Indonesia (Buana Group) and Akrovita, San Francisco, CA, report author will be able to consolidate her practicalities into more informed career options.
As Design Intern in 2014 at PT. Buana Samudra Lestari, report author has performed duties including, but are not limited to, monitoring current and emerging fashion and consumer trends, establishing design integrity and crafting optimum multi-brand strategy and managing project as per set deadlines and seasonal schedules. This has been advanced at Akrovita, a company whose mission is "to create clothes that make every woman’s life better by encouraging an active lifestyle without ever having to compromise on style, performance, or functionality" ("About Akrovita"). As Production Intern in 2015 at Akrovita, report author has performed a broad range of duties – each building on skills initially developed at PT. Buana Samudra Lestari – including, but are not limited to, managing and styling photo-shots, working on Tech Packs, calculating dimensions and specifications from sales orders and entering into worksheets. Thus, starting out as Design Intern and currently performing broader duties of Production Intern in addition to pursuing a degree in fashion design, report author is in all faith pursuing a career in fashion gradually evolving based on incremental and focused interest in industry particulars. (Further discussion on skill and knowledge development under "Skills & Tools" and "Networking".)
Needless to emphasis is how acquired skills and knowledge have helped report author navigate issues frequent in a fashion house context. More specifically, having an acute eye for details as well as a capacity to figure out motivations and intensions in high degree of accuracy, report author has been able to eschew (or pursue) situations in which mindfulness, courtesy and wit are prized in a industry in which learning and art are weaved into one fabric.
As matters stand, report author plans to advance steadily in fashion design career. As paid Production Intern at Akrovita, report author has an indicator of her starting salary, particularly after degree completion at Academy of Art University. Based on current pay metrics and national statistics, a fashion designer's annual salary ranges between USD 35K and USD 99K ("Fashion Designer Salary"). Given how competitive is clothing and fashion industry in California and in San Francisco in particular (where report author is mainly based), report author is projected to have a ROI for skills, knowledge and, particularly, education within 2-3 years of intensive professional portfolio development and networking efforts. This initial "debut" into fashion industry professional scene should serve as a springboard for further advancement as fashion designer as report's author's network of collaborators and peers broaden and deepen.
Skills & Tools
A Fashion Designer's profile is particularly noted for creativity. Therefore, significant of skill and knowledge development cannot be overemphasized. Unsurprisingly, fashion industry career planning begins early on during education process. Based on a study exploring career options for fashion students, study authors develop a career matrix which is a visual tool using spreadsheets to display functions in a typical fashion organization horizontally and education, experience and salary range vertically (Frazier and Cheek). For current purposes, no specific model is adopted. Instead, proven skills as referred to in report author's résumé are cited here as a guide for future reference as formal learning process advances.
Currently, report author has acquired basic skills required for a Fashion Designer including, for example, developing trend boards, silhouetting, operating sewing machines, fabric sourcing, quick sketching and color story development. There are, indeed, many gaps to fill in. Entry level jobs are particularly demanding and require intensive investment in skill and knowledge portfolio. According to an number of industry experts – including Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief of Elle; Ariel Foxman, editor-in-chief of InStyle; and Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue – basic skills a fashion industry aspirant should develop include personalized (as opposed to generic) cover letters, in-depth knowledge of prospective employer, ability to wear different hats and to act as required, a responsible sense of ownership, relentless networking and entrepreneurial spirit (Adamczyk).
The report author has developed considerable skills in interpersonal communication, reporting and ownership skills. However, more effort needs to be invested in broader skills of networking and entrepreneurship but, of course, in competencies fundamental to fashion.
The fashion industry is a very broad one. Indeed, career options are almost limitless provided one has set clear goals and make concrete steps in specified direction. According to United States Fashion Industry Association, "fashion industry" is a very loose expression and can embrace a very broad range of core members and affiliates including, for example, brands, retailers, apparel wholesalers, service providers, manufacturers and academic institutions ("About the Fashion Industry"). Thus, report author has been well aware of how significant networking is in fashion. Immersing herself in all international fashion news, allowing
her to stay one step ahead of trends and keeping an eye out for new, up-and-coming designers, report author has managed to develop a dependable network of contacts and collaborators by which she will not only be able to enhance her career prospects but to understand her chosen industry inside out. In addition to international major Fashion Weeks and photo shoots in California and elsewhere in U.S., emerging online platforms featuring news and events of fashion industry are making networking easier for planning. Fashion Industry Network, for example, features a broad range of functions and events which should help starters and veterans exchange insights ("Upcoming Events"). For professional support, organizations of particular note – given report author's background and career prospects – include Council of Fashion Designers of America and Fashion Group International. By joining professional associations of fashion designers, report author will be able to enhance knowledge repertoire but also to broaden network of collaborators.
"About Akrovita." Akrovita. Akrovita, n.d. Web. 4 Jul. 2015.
"About the Fashion Industry." United States Fashion Industry Association. United States Fashion Industry Association, n.d. Web. 4 Jul. 2015.
"Fashion Designer Salary." PayScale. PayScale, Inc., n.d. Web. 4 Jul. 2015.
"Upcoming Events." Fashion Industry Network. n.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jul. 2015.
Adamczyk , Alicia. "Top Editors Share How To Make It In The Fashion Industry." Forbes. Forbes.com LLCTM, 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 4 Jul. 2015.
Buana Group. Buana Group. Web. 4 Jul. 2015.
Frazier, J. Barbara, and Wanda K. Cheek. "Fashion Industry Career Matrix: Encouraging Students to Explore Fashion-Related Careers." Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 23.4 (2005): 375-384. Web. Sage Journals. 4 Jul. 2015.