• Terina Nicole

How To Make Money As A Fashion Designer



It's a NEW year, NEW decade and for me here at Terina Nicole Design Studio, a NEW format! For eons I've been a mentor to emerging designers helping them gain clarity, create business plans, get into fashion design colleges, launch their businesses, etc. to the extent that I was bombarded with so many seeking guidance that I wrote a book to help: Envision: The Young Accessory Designer's Guide to Collection Development. And most recently I founded a fashion design makerspace in Camden, NJ to give back to the community.


But the more I teach eco-design workshops, the more I am asked to help young designers get started in the industry so starting now, I will dedicate a ton of content to do just that. And when I say content, it will go beyond blog posts.


Later this month I am launching a podcast interviewing phenomenal fashion industry pros to help offer more guidance to emerging designers.


You don't understand how often I meet an adult doing a job that they may not enjoy because they wanted a career in fashion but their parents FORBID them stating it isn't going to be a reliable source of income. Even last week at the dentist, the dental hygienist said these exact words! She was so sad that she didn't follow her dreams. I found it so odd because unlike being a dental hygienist which only offers one source of income: a paycheck from a dental office; a fashion designer can earn so many streams of income at once.


Even if you have a full-time job designing for a brand, your world won't shatter if you get laid-off (been there!) because in just a matter of days you can design clothes or accessories under our own label and set up a website or a booth in a local craft fair to make sure the rent gets paid! Not to pass judgement on those who think they took the "safer" route but how much safer is 1 stream of income compared to the several streams a designer has?


So I compiled this short list of common income streams for any entry level fashion designer and by the way, this covers accessory designers and jewelry designers too--not just apparel. Of course once you become "BIG TIME" you can then get into licensing, where the MEGA bucks are or sell your company for gazillions and retire on the beach. But this post isn't simply about money, though. Obviously get into fashion design, or any field for the matter, because it brings your heart joy but feel secure knowing there is NO reason why you'll be a starving artist if you choose this line of work!

Want more inspiration, industry information and career guidance as an emerging fashion designer? Join my mailing list to be the first to know when my Fashion Industry podcast & online community launches!

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terina@terinanicole.com |(201) 477-8340 | NJ, United States