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How to be a Creative Director for a small brand

Mathew Dixon, Director, Hudson Walker International

Running your own brand tests every facet of an individual’s skills and talents. A solid degree is the perfect foundation, and the Istituto Marangoni is well respected. Working in a design house will quickly give real life experience of the pressures of a studio environment and what is needed to produce and sell a collection.

One of the biggest challenges of running your own label is the variety of roles you have to fill for a collection to materialise. Despite being creative director, responsible for the design and image of a collection, you are also likely to have to oversee PR, production, sales and all quality issues. This can be relentless until the brand evolves and a team grows around you.

Becoming creative director of an established label generally requires a longer career path: typically, candidates will spend 10 to 15 years in the industry before reaching this level. But in recent years companies have shown they value the intense experience gained by candidates running their own successful labels by appointing them into senior positions earlier in their careers.

Salaries vary from £80,000 for a small label to £300,000 for a successful global brand.

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