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Freelancing Vs. Working for a Brand in Fashion Industry for 2024

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Fashion design is a thriving industry with millions of career opportunities and billions of dollars of annual turnover. But when it comes to career opportunities in particular, many aspiring and newbie fashion designers are confronted with one common dilemma – operate as a freelancer or work for a brand. Many of them, especially the new ones, choose the latter option, as they consider it an economically safer option. But instead of making a hasty decision, let’s evaluate freelancing and working for a brand in fashion.

Working for a Brand – As an Employee or Consultant

As mentioned earlier, many fashion designers prefer working for an established brand. They may do this as an employee or an independent consultant. Both have their unique pros and cons. Let’s look at both to help you get a clear picture.

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  • Working for a Brand as an Employee: This one represents a conventional full-time job, where you are bound by an employment agreement or contract. It has some benefits for sure. For instance, you get paid every month and have a certain level of job security. We won’t say the working hours remain fixed, as they’d depend on the work pressures, timelines and the projects the company has on hand. But yes, economically, it is a safe game.
    However, on the other hand, employment may refer to limitations concerning creativity. Often, employees may feel confined to a particular mindset and approach while creating new designs or outfits. While some get accustomed to the environment, some keep floundering until they decide to resign and start working with another brand, perhaps, only to discover the same story.
  • Working for a Brand as a Consultant: Now, let’s review working for a brand as a consultant. This can be a different ball game altogether. Of course, we won’t delve into the technicalities of a consultant contract. But overall, based on the contractual conditions, working as an independent consultant may require you to do a few things.
    For instance, it may require you to dedicate a particular number of hours every day to the brand, follow the company’s brand guidelines while designing something, assist or help the internal team of designers, leverage your creative, technical and strategic expertise to help the team resolve issues, represent the brand in client meetings, etc.
    The company will pay you a mutually agreed consultant fee. However, you should note that you will not be employed with the brand. Instead, you will be addressed as a vendor or an external consultant.
  • Easy Habits that Will Make You Fall Back in Love with Your Wardrobe!
  • Working as a Freelancer for Multiple Brands: Freelancing in fashion isn’t new. There have been many fashion designers in the past who started with employment but later formed their brands to make it big. Freelancing offers a range of advantages and disadvantages on the fashion front. Let’s look at some.
    Working as a freelancer offers you the freedom to work from anywhere and anytime. You don’t remain bound by an employment contract, in which you are required to follow a 9-6 schedule and report to a boss. You are your boss here, as you decide your work hours and choose projects. Besides, you can take up as many projects as you want and earn much more than you would have while employed. Leaves and offs – you don’t have to get them approved by anyone!
    But on the flip side of the coin, working as a freelancer may involve a range of challenges as well. Many freelancers, especially new ones, confront financial challenges. They complain of not getting paid on time. In many cases, an abrupt choice of clients (without performing a background check) or the lack of follow-up for payments could be the reason for such situations.
    In some cases, freelancers struggle to find work. Most of them do not venture beyond the online space and keep searching for work across digital platforms. They do not step out in the sun and explore the market offline. As a result, they waste time doing nothing, whereas the world keeps progressing.
    Successful freelancers also face various challenges. As a busy freelancer, you may work with multiple brands and juggle various projects at a time. Clashes between meetings and calls can become routine situations. In addition, administrative aspects like taxes, invoices, payments, travelling, etc., will have to be managed by you. Although it isn’t a disadvantage, it can add to your workload.
    Not to forget, as a freelancer, you wouldn’t be entitled to free company-sponsored health insurance, provident fund or gratuity. You will be on your own everywhere!


As a fashion design college, we don’t endorse a particular stream, as choosing it is a matter of personal preference. However, during our fashion design course, our faculty members guide our students comprehensively, acquaint them with opportunities and make them aware of the ground realities of the industry. We hope the above helps you make an informed choice. Call us at +91 99304 95720 to learn more about fashion design courses, internships, placements and industry exposure. You would also like blog: Fashion Designing Colleges Mumbai Complete Guide

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