Once upon a time, in that bygone era before corporate culture and merchandisers call themselves designers, there were real designers. Yves Saint Laurant, Giovanni Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Sir Hardy Amies, Coco Chanel, Balenciaga- just to name a very very few- are designers whose vision, creativity, and originality spun generation of various interpretations and knock offs that sometimes outlast the designers themselves.
Their eyes saw something that no one else could have foreseen, and their visions evolved into fashion movements that we study today. From a modernist take on cut and sew lines, to the creation of mini skirt and dress pants, and of course the implementation of separate pieces; these designers’ talent shone above the rest and got them discovered, signed, promoted, and became the legends that we know today.
A fashion designer of today- be it for bags, apparel, jewelry, or shoes – is his or her talent enough to go some places? Though talent varies and vision differs, a fashion designer of today needs more than just that to make it. It is no longer a world that appreciates simple raw talent when it can be duplicated and cheapen within 1 production period and be sold down the street for $15.99. The value of a designer, therefore, is not measured by talent anymore but whether he or she comes with the whole package. That “package” to put it in layman’s term is known as “marketing.”
Is the designer marketable in terms of can he or she projects the same image of the brand he or she is working for. If yes, can his or her products match the brand image? If yes, can the products design by the designer perform and sell on the market? If yes, then we’ll start the designer as an unpaid intern.
Designers of today need to understand not just the principles of creating something pretty, but also speak the language of marketing. From the 4P’s to SWOT, the designs are less about visions and originality but price point, cost of goods, target consumers and their spending expenditure, seasonal trend and blah blah blah blah blah.
Creativity has a price tag now and vision is statistical.