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Surviving College as a Fashion Design Student: Insights from Rise


Photo: Rise | NYFW


Navigating college as a fashion design student is both exhilarating and demanding. As graduates of the International Academy of Design & Technology, which is now defunct, we at Rise deeply understand the unique challenges designers face. Here’s our guide to thriving in this vibrant yet demanding field.

Time Management is Key

The workload in fashion design programs can be overwhelming. Balancing design projects, theory classes, and personal time requires effective time management. Utilize planners or digital tools like Trello or Asana to organize your tasks and set realistic deadlines. Break down large projects into smaller, manageable steps to avoid last-minute stress.

Build a Strong Network

Networking is an essential part of the fashion industry. Engage with your professors, who can provide valuable insights and career advice. Participate in campus events, fashion shows, and workshops to connect with peers and industry professionals. Join fashion clubs or organizations to expand your circle and gain exposure to new opportunities.

Save Money Without Sacrificing Quality


Fashion design can be an expensive major, but there are ways to cut costs without compromising on quality. Thrift stores and fabric outlets are excellent sources for affordable materials. Collaborating with classmates on bulk purchases can also reduce expenses. Additionally, consider upcycling old garments to create new designs – it’s cost-effective and environmentally friendly. For textbooks, opt for used or digital versions available on Amazon, which can save you a significant amount of money compared to buying new books from the campus bookstore.

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Seek Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial constraints shouldn’t hinder your creativity. Many organizations offer grants and scholarships specifically for fashion design students. Websites like Fastweb and Scholarships.com can help you find and apply for these opportunities. Additionally, numerous fashion houses and industry organizations provide financial support to promising students. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your college’s financial aid office for guidance.

Prioritize Self-Care

The fast-paced nature of fashion design programs can take a toll on your health. Regular breaks, exercise, and a balanced diet are crucial for maintaining your well-being. Practice stress-relief techniques such as meditation or yoga to keep your mind and body in peak condition. Remember, your creativity flourishes best when you’re healthy and well-rested.

Leverage Technology

Stay updated with the latest design software and digital tools. Proficiency in programs like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and CAD can give you a competitive edge. Online tutorials and courses can help you master these tools, enhancing your skillset and portfolio.

Stay Inspired and Motivated

Fashion design is a field driven by passion and innovation. Surround yourself with inspiration – visit art galleries, follow fashion blogs, and immerse yourself in different cultures and styles. Keep a sketchbook to jot down ideas and experiment with new concepts. Staying inspired will fuel your creativity and keep you motivated throughout your studies.

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