Lara, a Freelance Fashion Designer, tells us all about the late hours, the pay and what Fashion jobs might look like in a couple of years. 

What are your favourite and your least parts of your day-to-day of being a Freelance Fashion Designer ?

I love the Creativity and the satisfaction of clients. I dislike the frustrations of encountering the unknown with a brand new design/style or have to take on.

How is the pay in your job/industry?

Start-out R6 000 / R7 000, but the sky is the limit if you don’t tie yourself down to a corporate job. Working for yourself or working for an independent designer is always a challenging option, but it’s more lucrative financially.

How are the hours as a Freelance Fashion Designer ?  

You have to be switched on all the time. When creating custom garments for clients, you must keep their schedule in mind for fittings. Intricate work on short notice could go into late nights. Corporate work is 9-5 and presentation prep after-hours. You must always stay on top of the industry. I keep up by following Media publications 24/7.

What type of personality would love being Freelance Fashion Designer? And what type of person would hate doing what you do? 

You don’t necessarily have to be outgoing. You have to be confident and you have to have good discipline.

How is your day-to-day work different to what you expected?  

Good fashion schools would give you industry specific corporate preparation. IE: FEDISA. Working for yourself, sometimes client requests are slightly bizarre and must be handled and respected.

What a) skills b) qualifications c) experience do you need to be a Freelance Fashion Designer ? 

You must be creative. That’s all. You can teach yourself and learn from following and reading about and researching any aspect. You could be great at sketching or sewing, but if you’re not creative, you’re going to have a hard time making a name for yourself.

Are there any changes you foresee in your industry that might influence the way teens should approach a career in your field?

Possibly the influence of commercially available 3D printers. That means computer literacy would be more necessary.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you were a teen, career-wise?

You must make your decision and be 100% committed. Don’t go into the industry for the glits and glam. Its hard work and physically and mentally taxing. You have to go all in and love every aspect of creating a garment, not just looking pretty and fabulous.