We’re currently living in a very fast-paced environment lately where everything’s evolving like never before, and like the forecast for fashion says, the industry has been aiming at adapting to it coming up with new ways of covering customer’s demands and needs as quickly as possible. For the creative process of a designer, adapting to that workload pressure is overwhelming, making them more prone to making mistakes and having to re-polish their work along the way. But I have a strong belief that being in a fast-changing industry is an opportunity to become more risky and resilient if things go wrong.
One of the first lessons I learned when I wanted to be part of the fashion industry was the importance of seeing the world through the eyes of a designer. Although there is a lot of business behind the fashion industry, the base of it relies on the importance of design and the whole creative process that is behind it. I took Grace Coddington’s words by heart when she said: “Always keep your eyes open, keep watching, because whatever you see can inspire you”, and since then, I have applied that constant thought into my lifestyle and I must say that because of it, my way of seeing the most familiar and simple things daily has improved and changed enormously. This time I came up with six ways on how to think more like a designer (even if you’ve never studied design, like me) and be able to improve your creative process.
- Don’t take details for granted
When it comes to the fashion industry, one of the most important things to develop is an eye for detail. There are people that are born with the gift of instant creativity, but I think that having that attribute to your personality is like a muscle, if you don’t exercise it regularly, it’s never going to grow. Also, noticing every detail at first glance might be hard at first, but as you exercise it and begin by seeing everything from head to toe, the exercise becomes fun and turns into a habit. As I’ve heard so many times, “the devil is in the detail”, so we don’t know what we have in front of our eyes until we really look at it with another perspective.
- Observe, don’t judge
One of the most talked about misconceptions in fashion is that people that belong to the industry are constantly judging everyone by their looks. And this might be true up to a certain point, but I like way more how the word “observant” sounds. The truth is, every way of thinking, living and even dressing is valid, so when you decide to sit down and do some crowd watching, make sure you’re doing it for yourself and because you’re curious, not for the joy of criticism (that we all might indulge in sometimes).
- Be emphatic and stay informed
This point I believe is one of the most crucial ones, especially when it comes to design. You can’t expect to come up with appealing ideas if you have no clue of what is going on around you and let yourself feel what it is. I was very appalled on Milan Fashion Week when I saw that some public figures and even some people that worked inside the industry had very little general knowledge and had no idea of the events that were happening in the world. The most successful designers are the ones who get a grip on what’s going on in the world constantly and then reflect it in their designs; your lifestyle should work that way.
- Be vulnerable
Part of the reason why designers accelerate their creative process is because of their ability to be vulnerable and also to be able to trace back everything to what is more familiar to them. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is actually a design strategy for you to open more opportunities into a deeper way of thinking. You never know, but the best ideas might already be deep inside of you.
- Accept criticism
We constantly face criticism in our lives since we are young, and some people find it really hard to take and even harder to dish out. There will be times when you think you’ve got the best idea in the world and then somebody will criticize it, and it’s almost impossible not to feel bad but the important part is that you accept it and learn to grow from it without feeling discouraged. Dealing with criticism can actually become a positive experience because the minute you accept it, the only way to look is up.
- Let your ideas in your mind flow, and then edit
Besides being in the most fast-changing environment, we are also living in the most competitive time in history. I have learned that although a designer in its creative nature finds it easy to express what he’s feeling, in the end, his creation will not reach anyone if it doesn’t have an audience. Seeing the world with designer’s eyes is a task where you have to be able to recognize patterns in society, to the point where you think about what they need before they even realize it. I am a hundred percent sure that most of the most successful designers are already thinking about (or maybe even working on their Spring/Summer 2019 collections.