Having worked in the clothing and Textile business for more than 46 years, in my opinion this book is very comprehensive. Not only does it cover very successfully a complete guide to starting and being a Freelance Designer. It also covers areas such as keeping basic accounts, in relation to costing your work and record keeping, legal areas in dealing with your customers, work sheets, and general guidance on business approach., and acumen , etc. This could equally apply to other people coming into the clothing business, whether they are involved in management for production, product development, quality control, etc.
It is a well thought through book , with positive advice and can be used as ongoing reference guide. When I was studying in the 60's for my City & Guilds in Womens Light Clothing, such a publication would have been an excellent addition to the literature available at the time.
I've worked full time in the fashion industry for over 10 years and recently made the switch to freelance design last year. I searched high and low for a book geared towards freelance fashion designers only to find those written for graphic designers. And while designers of all classifications find themselves in similar situations, these graphic design books were missing the spot. Luckily I was saved when Paula wrote this handbook specifically for freelance fashion designers. Upon arrival, I read it cover to cover.
The book is divided into two main sections: 1. "Setting up as a Freelance Designer" (in Red) & 2. "Preparing Work for Production" (in Blue).
The first section covered all of the questions that had been mounting since I started my business last year. Insurance needed when working from home, copyright issues, suggested professional fashion design organizations to join in the UK for further help, contract help, traveling with/for a client, working for a difficult client, VAT registration, etc, etc, etc. Much of what was included in this section I had already researched when I started my business but a lot of the information could have prevented several issues I've faced over the last 12 months. Paula also addresses both freelancers who are working as sole traders and those who have formed a limited company, but I was left wanting more advise for those with limited companies. This was the only part I felt was slightly lacking.
The second section is geared more towards individuals who are new to the fashion industry. Researching trends, presenting your work to a client, using CAD software, producing garment specifications, sizing, grading, etc, etc, etc. I did not have any real use for this section because my schooling and career have taught me what I need to know about these matters but the information could be very useful to a recent graduate.
Both sections have loads of useful excel templates for bookkeeping, managing/calculating time, and grading formulas. All of which can be downloaded from the author's website free of charge.
This is a wonderful guide for any freelance fashion designer who is just starting their business or who has been at it for some time and could use a few more pointers. I will be referencing this book for many years to come. Highly recommended!!!
This book gives a wealth of information, covering every imaginable subject relevant to the practice of freelance clothing design. A really useful resource for those new to freelancing and the more experienced.