How Do Fashion Creatives Stay Innovative?
The fashion industry is a highly competitive field where you are only as good as your last collection, project, or product. In order to stay innovative and ahead of the curve one must think differently, have an open mind, and keep up with the latest trends. To do this I break it down into three key competencies.
Three Key Competencies
- Stay flexible and keep an open mind
- Collaboration with others
- Network to stay current on the latest trends
We couldn’t cover every possible angle for how to get your creative juices flowing in the fashion industry in just one post! This article is part of a 5 part Fashionable Creativity Series. If you want to learn how to keep coming up with creative new ideas and not get stuck then check out the other articles in this series at the bottom of this page. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook group called PickGlass Fashionable Careers. See you there!
How To Stay Flexible
The most innovative minds in the fashion industry are able to think about unforeseen possibilities. For example: When is a coat not just a coat? When it is also able to be used by refugees as a shelter in the case of a project produced by Royal College of Art students in 2016.
Staying flexible with your ideas will help you create new possibilities. Many forward thinkers ask themselves not “How can I do this?”, but rather “What if?” How questions narrow your thoughts to a singular possibility. What if questions are more open.
Collaboration Is Key
Working with others on projects and ideas has many benefits. First, you learn other people’s perspectives. They may have suggestions or questions that will help you improve upon your original concept.
Each individual comes with their own skill set they can contribute to the project. By leveraging everyone’s strengths you are improving the chances that the project will be an even bigger success. Learn to listen and consider each persons’ ideas. Try not to stay so narrow-minded and insistent to do it your way. By collaborating with others you can stay innovative with new ideas.
Stay Current On Trends
Staying ahead of the curve is actually a very difficult thing to do. There is always someone whose already thought of your idea. However, not everyone acts on their instincts and only one will be first to market. This is why many large corporations are getting on board with the idea of having an innovation team. This is the case with Google, Nike, Under Armour, and PVH. Being part of one of these teams will help you stay innovative with your own ideas.
In order to stay ahead of the curve, you need to network! Read as many trade publications as you can get your hands on. Attend as many trade events as possible. Connect with incubators, colleges, and start-ups.
How Can I Improve My Creative Thinking?
Your brain was designed to find answers. So ask better questions. One simple way to start improving your creative thinking is by asking more open-ended questions. Before you sign off your next project ask yourself the following questions?
“How can this be improved upon?”
“What else would the customer want from this product?”
“Who do I know that could help me improve this product?
“What is another way to do this/ build this/ look at this?”
“If I could change one thing what would it be?”
How Improvisation Can Lead To Innovation
One other trick to improving creative thought is by using the “Yes, And” technique (read What Fashion Professionals Can Learn From Improvisation) as explained in the book by Kelly Leonard. The author explains how in an improvisation group they cannot ever shut down someone’s ideas no matter how off the wall it is. Instead, they must always reply with “Yes, and…” to continue the conversation. Improve techniques can actually provide incredible leadership training to companies, leaders, and teams. These techniques aim at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.
Now that you know how to think more creatively, put it to use! Take the above steps to become a leader in innovative thought in your industry.
- Meet with one colleague this week to bounce ideas off of.
- Sign up to attend at least one meet up or trade group event this month.
- Extend your network. Ask for one introduction to someone outside your network who you think would be a good collaboration partner
Fashionable Creativity Series
As a creative person, we could all use some help from time to time to reenergize and get those creative juices flowing. If you, or someone you know, is interested in staying at the top of your game, then please read this entire series. Learn how to stand out and stay motivated and inspired!
- Why Fashion Professionals Should Have A Personal Brand
- How The Most Creative Fashion Professionals Stay Innovative
- 10 Ways To Jumpstart Your Creativity
- What Fashion Professionals Can Learn From Improvisation