Tuesday, July 16, 2024


Those who want to be a designer: This article is for you.



WARNING: Below is not to scare you or change your mind but to give you a different perspective.

Good for you.

Have you lost your mind…?

Have you lost all good sense…?

Fine if you are so serious about it, and insist on being in this competition let’s talk about what you need to be prepared for and need to know and weigh before you go any further;

1- Are you sure you are good/talented at this?

Either through schools or sometimes independently people decide or feel the urge to design. Something I fully support. However, there is a line between doing it as a hobby, doing it in someone else’s company, and doing it independently.

If you are the only one who thinks you are an amazing designer, I must say make sure you are not delusional. I am not saying you are but remember those people who go to Next Idol shows and we are all in shock at how they think they are good singers…. Please don’t be like them. Get other people’s opinions. You can’t be your judge.

Ohhhh! So, your family and friends think you are amazing. Great, one step forward we are then? Are you %100 sure your friends and family do not have biases toward you? What have you heard from them and what have they done to make you believe that you are good at this? Go get some opinions of professionals, please.


So, everyone thinks that you have no future in this. There is no support, but you have heard that you are good and you can’t stop. Yet everyone around you is set against it. Again, go get some opinions of professionals, please.

Opinion of others either PR, other designers, editors, or stylists; some will say go some will say no go… This is where you have to weigh the opinions or at least have someone brutally honest with you to weigh the opinions.

Let’s say you have checked all these boxes. And you are %80 sure you are talented/good enough to be in this competition.

And also, if you are sure you can present something different than others.

2- Are you ready to sacrifice?

Whoever said you can have it all was not living in the 21st century I can assure you. You will need to work hard depending on where you want to be. If you want to be a big fish in a small pond you will have to sacrifice less. If you want to grow into a big fish in the ocean, oh love you are in for the sacrificing competition.

Fashion is demanding. Currently including the bridals and couture the brands do up to 7 collections a year. Remember each collection requires a year to be open to the public, however, you need to be on time and point with your collections each year while renewing yourself. Also, remember while you are preparing the new collection there will be orders from the previous one that needs to be prepared for your store and other stores on time.

Unless you have a very rich and supportive family or some sort of fame you will be working alone or with someone who loves you enough to sacrifice with you. Below is what you need to be if you want to grow into the big fish in the ocean however this doesn’t mean at least half of these are also on the list if you just want to be a big fish in the small pond.

You will need to learn:

-To be the accountant

-Inventory Clerk

-Customs expert

-Customer representative

-Packing professional


-Buyer (you need supplies and source them)

-Social Media Expert

-PR (depending on your budget)

-Brand face


-Quality controller

-Marketing expert

-Business adviser

-Occasionally cleaner

-Last but not least the Designer

By the time you have all these under control, you have to realize, you have chosen to do these things over other things. Until you are in a good enough position to have other members in your team.

Unless you love what, you are doing it is a long run of sacrificing your personal life for your passion. Are you ready for that? And remember once you are in the cycle it just gets harder to get out as you invest the most important thing yourself in it.

So, you are ready to sacrifice, good for you.

3- Do you have thick skin and open ears at the same time?

This is sort of like the hazing tradition of becoming a member of the designer club.

-You will be made fun of. Accept it and move on. Getting into it is not going to help you but feed the hazers. If you can’t handle it you should think about it.

-You will get criticized a lot. You need to learn how to distinguish between what needs to be taken as a piece of advice, and what needs to be ignored. If you just ignore them you will lose, if you take all of them seriously you will lose. Learn fast.

-Compression, and judgment; The better you get at what you are doing the more people will think you are imitating. Make sure to check you are not imitating. Learn how to differentiate imitation and being inspired. If you are imitating take it seriously and correct yourself or question your title, if you are inspired and you are %100 learn how to stand your ground.

-Insult; Now your worth. Do not sell yourself cheap just because someone says you are expensive. You need to know when and how high you can do with your pricing which means you have to know your market the quality of your work and where your brand stands, Remember Things do not happen overnight, that doesn’t mean other people can decide how much your work is worth. Learn how to calculate right and stand by it.

-Imitation; Once your name is out there you will be imitated. Accept this and your imitator will make more money than you do. Unfortunately, in this sector, while it is said that there are copyrights, know that there are none. Learn to take it as a compliment and make peace with it.

-You will fall, lose, and fail again and again and again. If you are incapable of standing up again you will not survive.


This is a crucial and sort of summary of all of the above. You need to learn to listen to other people’s opinions. You can’t just say oh I will do it my way. While you have some control over that unfortunately it is cut through the sector. Nobody is going to pity you. You choose this.

It is the destiny you choose and a very difficult one if I may stay so.

The reality is if you are a minority – you are going to have more difficulty rising. From my own experience if you are a woman you will have to fight twice hard and if you are a minority among women you will have to fight three times harder, if you are a minority woman with any sort of disability you will have to fight four times harder. So, understand your reality.

You need to be able to update yourself, renew yourself within no time, and LEARN to keep learning. Try to experience different things as your creativity needs feeding to expand.

Whether you like it or not your history, and where you come from are part of your perception, you need to learn not to deny it but to incorporate and feed from it.

A dear friend and someone I accept as a mentor Tanju Babacan once told me that if you have this approved talent, no matter what you can do this, just find a way to adapt.

There is no such thing as sustainable fashion. Most of it is lies. Learn your facts. You will be competing with pretend sustainable fashion, and you will be competing with “fast fashion. You can spend hours making something be days and try to sell it for what it is worth but you might see it at 1/5 price on a cheap items site or at a store chain, Be ready.

Also, fashion is not what you see on the runways or those parties. It is a high-pressure demanding environment; parties are for your guests or press not really for you. There are literal tears, blood, pain, anxiety, stress, and insomnia in this business.


Here is unfortunately the most important thing. Even if you have all of the above you will still need money.

You will need money for PR – this is an essential part of fashion if you want to be a brand.

Fashion Business Advisor/ Coach- Get a fashion business advisor because while you think you know everything you do not know anything.

You will need money for a Sales rep- if you are going to become an international brand there needs to be someone with contacts who will be able to chase the buyers constantly. You will not make money from wholesales but they will help you get your name out there.

Branding- suitable logo, proper packing, correct brand ID. Is very important and no you can’t do it without professional help.

Production- Nobody is going to pay you till you finish doing what you do, so you need to be able to support yourself till your business becomes self-sustaining.

Your time is not money- you need to have enough money to support yourself and your business.

Social Media- You need to take this seriously; you have to learn how to control it and never forget it takes money and investment.

Advertisement- free bees are important, I choose not to do this, however, I will not defend my choice but say this nobody should get free stuff just because they are somebody. However, you need to learn to collaborate and again invest in it.

Fairs- it is not that easy to get into fairs but they are essential especially if you are planning to become a household name, that is where it all starts.

After that comes, the studio, shop, help, etc. Remember that this is a business that will suck every penny you have till you succeed, even after that there is no guarantee for success.

6- Final Notes;

Now that I have shared with you some facts or things to consider I will strongly advise that these should not be discouraging. If you have already been depressed by now then you need some more time otherwise you need to understand what I have written.

I am a big dreamer and I know how to see the glass half full and stay as positive as possible but I also think if you do this blindly there is a high chance of not succeeding. There is no failure in this business the only option is you are either successful in reaching all your goals or you are successful in trying. So, don’t be scared of dreaming but don’t be delusional.

A lot of people from outside think that I am a success story (which is a whole other story) and I think some of them think this happened overnight. I have been in this business for almost 13 years now. I am currently having the worst year of my life but there is always a follow-up plan. I have been knocked down 2-3 times however there is always a way to get back up. You need to have that thick skin, do your crying, talk it out, and get up. When you need to take a moment, take it. When you come to that level band the rules and do not be scared of doing so…Here is the tricky part though you have to know which layer you are at on this ladder and don’t overreach while taking a stand.

Most importantly and I think this is important BE HUMBLE, KNOW YOUR WORTH, TAKE COMPLIMENTS BUT ALWAYS BE HUMBLE. Remember just because you are on top today doesn’t mean you will be tomorrow.

So, this is my two cents on how to become an international designer.

This is a very simplified and just a bunch of outlines it is important to acknowledge how the wheel works, behind the flashy dresses and big lights.

Now if you have decided to jump on the train and start this adventure, I want to wish you lots of luck, creativity, patience, inspiration, and most importantly opportunities.

With all the love and colors out there see you soon.


XoXo (hugs and kisses)

Merve Bayindir

Instagram: mervebayindirofficial

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