First things first, I cannot believe this is happening to me! The last few months have been nothing less than amazing, a rollercoaster ride and begging God daily – we cannot stop this ride now, please.
Lets get to a better introduction, my name is Tosin (toes-in), I am youngish years old, and a budding International fashion designer and label owner. I guess the fact I have a business makes me a business woman too? Nothing sounds sexier than that; Entrepreneur, nice.
I don’t have the same background as most fashion designers because I spent a long time using the left side of my brain doing non creative stuff like completing A’ levels in Physics, Maths and Computing Studies, followed by a degree in Information Engineering and Technology Management then 10 years working with blue chip companies gaining experience in IT, Management Information and Marketing as well as accumulating several certificates to help me perform my job better. So you see what I mean when I say ‘I’m not your usual fashion designer’? So how did I end up where I am today?
Well, earlier this year I lost my job in the city, I was very ill and for the first time since I was 17 years old, I had time to think of what I would really LOVE to do next. When you’ve had a job since you were legally allowed to, and suddenly lose your job (which I later found out was very central to me), there is an initial feeling of shock and despair (well there was for me), add denial too. I wanted to go find a new role immediately but I couldn’t. Whilst I got myself better, I had a light bulb moment of styling my own work wear, usually these thoughts come and disappear as soon as they arrive because my busy life wouldn’t have allowed it; I was always rushing from one thing to the other. In my previous job, commuting to London meant very long days, so having time to think outside of my job, role as a wife and Sunday school teacher was a luxury!
Back to my light bulb moment, well I had more time on my hands so I began to enquire about tailors I could work with to design my outfits. Soon enough I wondered to myself why I couldn’t make these clothes and sell them. I had a niche idea (which I will tell you more about later) and was certain there would be many people who would want to buy these outfits. That was it, I started drawing and loved my drawings even as amateurish as they looked. I prayed about it and trusted God to make things work alright.
I slept on the idea for a few more months but was lucky to speak to a fashion designer friend of a friend – that was fantastic! She suggested I attend a short course at one of London’s art colleges and contact my local college re: Sewing or garment construction. This was the best advice ever and if you’re like me, coming into the Fashion Industry with little knowledge of it and would like to pursue a fashion designing career, I would really advocate this route. Sewing courses can be really cheap or even free at your local college so unless you want to major as a seamstress, the most important knowledge worth paying for is how the industry works; releasing collections, understanding the customer, trend research, the fashion calendar and important people who make the industry tick just to mention a few.
If you are young or not in a hurry to run your business as I was, then go ahead and get a degree from a University; find one that is very respected worldwide and whose students have gone on to successful careers. In London, I can suggest London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of arts; they are both renowned colleges worldwide. Do your research, competition will be high for entry places – good luck!