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7 Ways To Make Money as a Fashion Designer

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

7 Ways to Make Money as a Fashion Designer
7 Ways to Make Money as a Fashion Designer

Have You Wondered How To Make Money as a Fashion Designer?

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 over a decade ago. And most recently I founded a fashion design makerspace in Camden, NJ to give back to the community.

But the more I teach design workshops, the more I am asked to help young designers get started making money in the fashion industry so I do plan to make more content to do just that.

And if you didn't know, I did launch a podcast interviewing phenomenal fashion industry pros to help offer more guidance to emerging designers called "The Fashion Business & Career Show." The podcast is on hiatus now but there are 14 episodes full of brilliant industry insights! Go check them out.

It makes me sad how often I meet an adult doing a job that they do not enjoy because they wanted a career in fashion but their parents FORBID them to do so, stating that 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 mad 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 begin designing 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 of income a designer has?

So I compiled this list above of 7 ways to make money as a fashion designer full 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 millions and retire on the beach. But this post isn't simply about money, though. Obviously you 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...there are several ways to be compensated for your talent!

After you have chosen your desired income streams, be sure to read "4 Things to Consider before Starting a Fashion Business."

Also, if you have a kid under 18 local to Camden, NJ; register your future designers for classes in fashion, jewelry or accessory design at my fashion design camp here:

Want more inspiration, industry information and career guidance as an emerging fashion designer? Join my mailing list below to get updates!

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