Design for free?
Is designing for free mandatory to be more visible?
You are an aspiring Fashion Designer or you are beginning to build your fashion job. As soon as your blog or website or Instagram account get some visibility, you are often offered free collaborations on several projects, all glamorous and truly appealing. At the same moment, you are craving to build your fashion identity... What should you do?
Well, making the good decision is a little tricky! My personal opinion is that, most of the time, you have to deny this kind of very attractive offer.
When should I accept to fashion design for free?
The answer is definitely NEVER. I mean "for free" is not only about the money you won't earn, but it's also about free adverts you don't get or final visibility you don't have either. If you are considering to design for no money, make sure you design for a secure result (advert, collaboration with a blog, collaboration with another artist or brand, post in a magazine or a newspaper etc.).
The answer to the question above is: Never unless you are sure you will get something else that money for the same value.
Better designing for free than not designing at all?
The answer is NO.
Designing for free will always under evaluate your design work.
Designing for free will take your time for nothing instead of training, or designing for your next collection, or working to launch your business.
Designing for free will destroy your self-confidence, you will feel underrated because others design for success and you are designing for nothing.
But free actions are good for reputations, No?
This doesn't work for this kind of collaborations. If you want to be recognised for your good heart, have your own collaboration with local charities on a long-term basis, a collaboration you initiate and manage by yourself. I strongly recommend this kind of collaboration as it's a win-win operation.
But don't be fooled, the kind of free collaboration you are offered on social media is only serving the interest of the one who organises this event, for no money, and almost never helps aspiring or new Fashion Designers. Just like it occurs to young filmmakers, or young artists. (I know about several young artists who finally had some business growth only after they denied this kind of "job" offers).