Do you have a passion for art and bridal design? Perhaps becoming a wedding gown designer is the job for you! You’ve got to start somewhere, and we have a professional track outlined that may just help you achieve it. See what actions you can take to become successful in this field, and learn about the career paths well-known designers followed to get where they are today!
Just like many successful career paths start with studying at a university, the same goes for design. Though this is not a requirement, it will help you better jumpstart your profession and learn the basic fashion techniques and skills. It is great to have a baseline of knowledge in fashion design before narrowing to bridal design. Two reputable fashion schools include Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City and Parsons the New School for Design in Manhattan. You should take classes in bridal design specifically if offered, as well as classes in sewing and stitching. While in school, start designing gowns. You can never get started too early!
Fun fact: The notable bridal designers Reem Acra and Amsale both attended the Fashion Institute of Technology. Reem Acra studied design and then went on to study at the FIT equivalent in Paris.
While studying at a university, you should be looking to get an internship, ideally with an already-established wedding gown designer. Learn the tricks of the trade with a real-life experience — not just from sitting in a classroom! If you are unable to land an internship with a bridal designer, any field with relation to fashion, art, or design would be beneficial to you. With this experience, you will be able to gain insight and knowledge about the daily tasks of a designer and what you like and dislike about the field. You will also be able to network with people from various backgrounds and expertise. Who knows, maybe the guy on the elevator you introduced yourself to is your next boss! I would also keep an outline of tasks you completed at your internship, complete with any designs you created, for your reference. Building up a portfolio throughout your studies and apprenticeships is crucial for future interviews and careers. Showcase your work and be proud of it!
Once you graduate, you should not expect to have your own bridal line that is ready to hit the runway. Be patient; creating a wedding gown line can take years and years of work. You want your first set of pieces to “wow” a crowd. This can also be costly; we recommend you get a position in the fashion field so that at least you are immersed in and surrounded by your passion. Consider becoming a bridal consultant, a gown buyer, or perhaps a bridal runway assistant. We learn from observation, and what better way to check out the new gown trends than to be constantly around them! We are not insinuating that these professions are placeholders, but they do make sense and align well with the career path of an aspiring bridal designer. However, while working, you should begin designing gowns.
Fun fact: According to Monique Lhuillier’s biography, the famous gown designer designed and created the gowns for her very own bridal party!
- Make yourself aware of current news in the fashion world regarding new lines, up-and-coming designers, and runway shows.
- Do not give up! Designing can be tough, especially with garments such as gowns that have so many intricacies and varying fabrics!
Now, get sketching!