There was a time in the 70s and 80s Britain where being a designer was not considered serious, whenever people had a fashion designer as their occupation they could not buy an insurance because their profession was not recognized or taken seriously, that’s what Willie Walters, Fashion Program Director at Central Saint Martins had to say in an interview with Alexa Chung about the Fashion Industry. Gone are these days. Designers regardless being in fashion or any other field rule the world and set the trends for others to follow.
Looking closely at figures in the fashion industry especially those who have risen in this Trillion of dollars, pounds, Lira, Dinar, Yen, no matter the currency or which part of the world it is operating in, it is behemoth. Belgian fashion designer Glenn Martens studied interior architecture, currently he is the creative director of Y/Project, however, his debut in the fashion world started after he graduated in 2008 from the prestigious Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium and landed his first job at John Paul Gaultier, it was in 2013 that he joined Y/Project. Another prominent name in the Fashion industry with also a degree in architecture is Tom Ford, he studied at Parsons School of Design, which is not any less distinguished than Antwerp. Ford decided to switch to fashion and became a menswear designer for Gucci in 1990 before launching his own fashion brand.
If we are to give a microscopic look on how these two designers evolved to become who they are today, we will find they both studied architecture, they decided early on in their careers to switch to fashion, as they didn’t try something else and when it didn’t work they moved to fashion as a second choice, this tells a lot about their talent and passion for fashion, and how they positioned themselves where they wanted to be. They both went to prestigious schools, which I think it contributed in allowing them to have a taste of excellence, and most importantly, and this is where I think made the most important twist and filled the gap in what they didn’t learn during their school years so that they would excel in what they do, that’s working for the best and the Elites in the fashion industry. Ford worked first for Gucci before launching his own brand and Martens worked for John Paul Gaultier.
We can learn from these two designers a lot actually, if you didn’t study in the field you want to work in, graduating from a good and well known university might work with you, But that is not enough, working or interning for top people in the industry is very important to fill the gaps in the knowledge you didn’t get during your school years, finally, and this comes as a game changer, knowing what you want early on and not wandering around or settling for whatever comes your way is vital. These designers began their first job in fashion not long after they graduated.
Tom Ford – GQ
Glen Martens – Elle