Fashion Designer
Photo Credit: Pexels

As more South Africans work hard to build up our creative industries, renowned local fashion designer Diaan Daniels is sharing his most helpful tips for aspiring talents in fashion!


South Africa (10 April 2024) — For aspiring creative talents, the road to success can seem long, daunting and uncertain. Especially in fields like the fashion industry where competition is rife, and ‘opportunities are slim. But, as so many South African creatives have proved time and time again, although the road to making a name for yourself might be fledged with obstacles, it is not impossible to conquer. In light of this, renowned SA Fashion Designer Diaan Daniels is sharing his most helpful tips for establishing yourself in fashion!

“It’s 99% hard work, 1% glamour and there’s no room for egos. There are also no shortcuts,” Diaan, who has over 25 years of experience and a a successful footing in the industry premises. 

“Ultimately, it’s about passion and dedication. You can certainly teach yourself, and a good mentor can be invaluable…Remember, fashion never stands still, so even if you have a diploma, it’s important to continuously learn new techniques and skills.”

Regardless of their education, Diaan shares that that there are a few traits that all designers have in common. Natural creative intuition, excellent problem solving, discipline and patience and the ability to never give up, are all part of the determined designer’s DNA.

The fashion designer adds that business savvy skills are also hugely important.

“If there are elements you’re not good at, for example, finances or marketing, you should hire experts who can support you. The goal is to professionally present your business on all fronts. Relationships are also extremely important—not only with clients but also with other service providers like photographers and makeup artists, the wider industry, and even the media. Building a network is essential for success.”

Photo Credit: Ludvig Photography

Diaan’s Top Tips for Aspiring Designers

Be authentically yourself

You can–and should—be inspired by others, but from the outset, you must stamp your unique mark on the industry.

Make the most of learning opportunities

When the opportunity arises to learn from more established designers, seize it. It can help you master certain design elements, but also learn other creative and business skills, thus reaching your goals faster.

Be aware of new trends but stay true to your own style

Know what’s happening in the fashion industry but remember that not all your clients can or want to follow the latest trends. Therefore, keep an eye on new trends and international fashions, but adapt them according to your own style and what your clients want.

Specialize in what you love

The chances of success are better if you do something you love. So, don’t design wedding dresses if you have a passion for men’s clothing. However, be realistic about demand in the market.

Be aware of what the industry demands for your designs, but also remember that people are willing to pay for service, quality and reliability. People invest in people.

Showcase your skills

Display all aspects of your work so people can see what you’re capable of. Timeless and classic designs are always in demand, but don’t be afraid to take risks and explore other options.

Don’t be afraid of failure

A core aspect of any creative industry is ‘learning and trying’. So, don’t be afraid to make mistakes or occasionally fail – it’s often the best learning experience.

Good quality can be affordable

It is possible to deliver original designs of good quality at affordable prices. But it requires tons of research, patience, and as mentioned before, ‘learning and trying’.

As for his final piece of advice to any young fashion designer, Diaan says:

“Protect your name—you only have one.”

Sources: Supplied 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Do you have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.


Facebook Comments

About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *