Is it better to go to school for design when wanting to start a fashion line or can someone get by with talent alone?
The short answer is, it depends. Design school can help to refine your talent. Moreover, what it can do, depending on the school, is teach you the fundamentals on running a fashion company. On the other hand, several of the great designers we know today, including Ralph Lauren, managed to make it on talent as well as a strong sense of business, which is needed to make it. This is the reason that so many brands owned by designers who are unable to sketch or sew are able to thrive, in spite of the shortcomings of their skill set. One brand that comes to mind is, Jessica Simpson. She has no background in fashion design or any particular design talent, but what she does have is, good business acumen, hence, the reason that her brand is profitable. As a result, what I would recommend is learning the basics of running a business. This can be done through taking a course, finding a mentor or working with a consultant who specializes in developing fashion brands.
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