Designer Dreams Can Become a Nightmare

May 7, 2010 • Fashion


Do you have what it takes to be a fashion designer? You might have the talent but are you ready to live struggling for many years to come?

More details are coming about the Alexander McQueen label following the designer's death. It was found that after nearly ten years in the business and an obvious cult following, the McQueen label was still straining to turn a profit. After all this time and celebrities wearing his designs on the red carpet, the label was still struggling to make money. What does this mean for up-and-coming designers with stars in their eyes, blinded by the almost certainty of success and notoriety?

Though many designers seem to live the glamorous life between the fashion shows, after parties and celebrities clamoring for their designs, they could be secretly struggling to turn a profit in such an economic state. Many believe that holding that extravagant runway show in the most expensive hotel in a major city is necessary to succeed in the business. Building a lucrative company actually takes time, patience, talent and money, and even then, there is no guarantee that you'll make it. And though it is not unusual for an American label to make $20-30 million within five years, there is still the uncertainty of actually "making it" and becoming the likes of Karl Lagerfeld. 

Sure, there are those that say to make a profit, just bring the prices higher on your clothing. But when it comes down to it, who can afford to keep buying $500 dresses? The young and hip, struggling to make ends meet or the older class, those with families to support, also struggling to make ends meet? And with all these dresses flooding the market, who's to have any brand loyalty to a newer designer?

With shows like The City and Gossip Girl, one can see that they attempt to paint the business as nothing but glamour 24/7. Teen Vogue just launched a book on how to obtain a career in fashion. Will the newest crop of up-and-coming, fashion-forward designers be able to see the light of the real business?

-Taneisha Jordan


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