A Master of Design may be key to launching your own fashion business, here’s why

Kickstart your career.

So you want to be a designer? Well, you’ve made it here, so that’s a start.

Fashion is notorious for its cut-throat nature and if you want to make it, you have to work hard. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. There are, however, a few steps you can take to give yourself the best chance at success. Enrolling in a Master of Design may just be one of those steps.

We sat down with Whitehouse student, Paul Garcia Jr, to discuss how his Master of Design has helped him launch his own label, @paulerpancakes.

The streetwear brand is due to drop within the next six months, a move Paul says wouldn’t have been possible without the knowledge that came from his studies:

“My perception of fashion design and business has been completely reinvigorated, flipped, turned around,” he explains.

Here’s why.

It will help you execute your creative vision

Creative concept development plays a major part in this course. A Master of Design can encourage students to further explore their individual style, pushing them to innovate, not just create.

“For me, it’s all about the magic of collaboration, fostering new relationships and building networks in this industry. I’ve learnt a lot about creative direction and photoshoots; organising the shoots and managing a team of people with conviction to realise my creative vision. I believe that a good design mix is the result of research based design coupled with industry knowledge and understanding.”

It will prepare you for the big, bad world of design

Unfortunately, a lot of undergrad courses leave students feeling totally unprepared for the real world. Despite what many uni lecturers will tell you, theory isn’t everything. Whitehouse always aims to emulate working practice in the design industry. According to Paul, it’s really helped him.

“The experience has unlocked a lot of doors and new opportunities and has set me up confidently as a designer in the industry,” he says.

“Every time I meet someone new or connect with someone in the industry, and share what I’m doing, they can relate.

“No one has said to me, ‘oh that’s how you do it at design school, but we do it like this instead’. It’s a good feeling knowing you’re making waves in the same direction as industry.”

At a school like Whitehouse, Masters’ students also get their very own studio space, in order to make the degree more reflective of the industry.

You’ll learn essential business skills

While an undergraduate course shares the key skills needed to make it as a designer, Whitehouse’s Master of Design takes things further. It puts an emphasis on development and research, in order to equip you with the resources to run a business.

“I now feel confident from the concept through to prototyping, manufacturing and managing all the processes in-between,” says Paul.

“Offshore manufacturing was one thing I didn’t know where to start with but I’ve always wanted to do it. Now, I’m sampling and making garments in the same workshops as Alexander Wang and Superdry.

“Most importantly, it’s given me a commercial mindset, which is something I think a lot of start-up designers struggle with. It’s really taught me how to watch the bottom line, make calculative decisions and then market, sell, adjust and repeat.”

You’ll learn the basics of setting up shop

Whitehouse’s Master of Design also offers students a step-by-step guide in getting their business off the ground.

“My studies included digital and social media marketing for brands (how to actually do it, not just the talk), registering a business with an ABN and working out a key brand message, logo, slogan, look and feel,” explains Paul.

For more insight into what’s happening within the Master of Design, the students will be holding an exhibition in Melbourne on September 25.

If you’re already feeling inspired, January intake for the Master of Design at Whitehouse is now open.




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