The Art of the Fashion ‘Hustle’

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I recently had the opportunity to meet with one of my former students who had just graduated from FIT. As we caught up, she asked me a series of questions about working in the industry. One of them was (and I’m paraphrasing somewhat), “How do you ‘hustle’?” We both chuckled, but I knew what she was talking about. I recall watching a talk hosted by FIT with designer and self-proclaimed hustler, Dapper Dan, and costume designer for the Netflix series, “The Get Down”, Jeriana San Juan who also referred to herself as a hustler. Both recounted stories of their unusual paths into the world of fashion and how they leveraged their resourcefulness to create a lane for themselves that would help advance their careers.

Today’s fashion job search (any job search really) can sometimes feel like a hostile environment if you don’t learn to embrace it, be flexible and become a bit of a hustler. More importantly, you have to get creative with searching for a new gig, as creative as you would be in your work because these days, opportunities lie in some unexpected places.

So how does a newbie get their hustle on in this new-fangled job market? Here are some tips that I find have worked (and still work) for me. Continue reading “The Art of the Fashion ‘Hustle’”

Illustrator or Photoshop: Which Should I Learn for Fashion Design?

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“Should I learn Illustrator or Photoshop if I’m a fashion designer?” I get this question regularly, at least once per month, sometimes more. And it’s an important question to consider when you’re pressed for time, money and resources. Many students need to get their skills up-to-date in a hurry and need to understand which software makes the most sense for their day-to-day tasks. They also don’t want to spend money learning a program that they don’t need.

The answer for most fashion designers is pretty straightforward: learn Illustrator. Except, there is a “but”. It also depends on your job description or title and your level of seniority. Here’s how a typical conversation might go.

Continue reading “Illustrator or Photoshop: Which Should I Learn for Fashion Design?”

My Top Five Methods to Reduce File Sizes in Adobe Illustrator

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“My files are massive! Why are they like this?” 

“Our files are so hard to manage. What is making them so big!”

“Is there no way to make my file smaller?”

I get these questions all the time, often from fashion designers in areas like intimate apparel where they use intricate designs and embellishments like scanned laces, pattern brushes and pattern swatches. Brushes and pattern swatches are two of the most memory-heavy functions or tools you can use in Adobe Illustrator (especially if they’re very intricate). Add in a few detailed raster images, and your file can easily go from a very manageable 1 or 2MB document to a 10 or 20+MB nightmare!

Sometimes, it really just ‘is what it is’. But most of the time, these issues can be managed, and larger files can be reduced. It starts with smart, efficient drawing techniques and a few helpful Illustrator tools and options.

Continue reading “My Top Five Methods to Reduce File Sizes in Adobe Illustrator”

How to Use Symbols to Save Trims in Adobe Illustrator

Symbols can be tremendously helpful to save trims and create trim libraries. They also make it very easy to update an item that is repeated multiple times within a document.

So, what is a Symbol? A symbol is an art object that can be reused in a document. The other symbols reused on the page are called instances, and they’re all linked to the original artwork. They can be created using vector or raster artwork, and symbols can save time and reduce file size. Continue reading “How to Use Symbols to Save Trims in Adobe Illustrator”

28 Days of Black Fashion History: Naomi Sims

Before Naomi, there was Naomi . . . Sims, one of the first Black supermodels to grace the cover of a major US magazine. She would also serve as the blueprint for model turned entrepreneur, starting her own beauty empire after retiring from modeling. Born Naomi Ruth Sims on March 30, 1948 in Oxford, Mississippi, she was the youngest of 3 daughters. Her parents divorced … Continue reading 28 Days of Black Fashion History: Naomi Sims