Freelancing in Fashion- A Viable Career Option?

Whether you’re a designer, stylist or photographer, young creatives in the UK are starting to opt more and more for freelancing in the fashion industry. The ability to choose your own clients brings with it an immense amount of freedom and space for artistic integrity, but also financial insecurity and uncertainty.

Integral to success as a freelancer is not only creativity, but perseverance informed by a genuine passion, keeping you going when you may experience a lull in productivity.

As there is no definitive path in pursuing self-employment, opportunity can be the most surprising yet rewarding career enhancer, encouraging you to continue from one project to another. However, these chances will not always present themselves to you. Therefore, when considering a self engineered career, it is advantageous to create your own opportunities. Channels that you may not expect to be significant will become so, such as social media, where your online presence can be important in making connections with potential clients and creatives like yourself.

On the other hand, working in an office ensures you’ll be at the epicentre of a company’s culture that can be greatly satisfying, as well as the added security that working particular hours brings, timetables within your life means very little added anxiety. The limitations are simultaneously restrictive and enabling, giving a young person confidence within the bounds of establishment.

Established companies often have contacts that are invaluable to someone starting out in this industry. Whilst they may not have allow you complete freedom, this isn’t a necessarily negative aspect of the working lifestyle. Graduating is at once exciting and nerve wracking, revolutionising the way our lives play out day to day. Spending some time within an established or start up company can equip you with skills to move you forward in the working world.

Innovation within fashion is part of what makes it such an exciting place to work and whether you enter it by forging your own path or joining a visionary community already in existence, what you do after graduating most significantly reflects personal choice and imagination.

NEGATIVES

1. Financial insecurity can lead to strain and anxiety, and sometimes this economic factor is very prevalent. Especially if you live in London. 

2. There are often very busy periods, next to very slow times. Reaching a steady flow of clients takes a long time to achieve, and this instability may outweigh the freedom. 

3. Company culture, can be a great and lovely thing to be part of. Missing out on the birthday celebrations in the office is tinged with a little sadness. 

4. Building contacts is often important for young creatives, to forge a place in the fashion industry. This is totally possible without having been part of a large company, but it does help significantly at the beginning of a career. 

5. Many people may not understand the difference between 'freelance' and 'unemployed'. Believe me, there's a big difference, but it can be tiring to explain this several times a week.

POSITIVES

1. Working in your own space (this translates loosely to as many snacks or cups of tea as you like)

2. No adhering to a formal dress code. Whilst most creative companies have a pretty relaxed approach towards dressing, I think working from home is the only time you'll be able to wear actual pyjamas.

3. Creative freedom. You'll be able to choose which projects to take on, and have lots of time to pursue more personal ideas.

4. It is rewarding to be personally and directly responsible for all of your own achievements. When you achieve something because you've put lots of extra work in, it's special for that to be entirely down to you and not because an editor or boss has given you the opportunity.

5. Artistic integrity is difficult to find, but easier to seek without the input of colleagues, where complete control ensures your personal vision is completed.