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"When I'm designing a new collection, I pretend I'm dressing myself. I imagine a new character that I'm going to inhabit, then I ask: 'Who is this girl? What's her lifestyle? And what's in her closet?' One season she was a parochial school girl with a street edge—everything was plaid and leopard. My spring collection is all about dressing a voluptuous woman who loves her body. No matter what, I'm usually a mix of pretty and punk, beautiful and edgy. It's a battle to keep designing clothes that are so far out, but that energy is what keeps my work fun." —Betsey Johnson, fashion designer

Get Designing
Make-it-happen advice from designers who turned their dreams into reality.

"Adobe Illustrator makes turning hand-drawn patterns into 3-D digital renderings almost effortless, and YouTube has great tutorials on how to use the program." —Sinje Lesemann, accessories designer

"To show the craftsmanship of your work on your Web site or look book, great photographs are essential." —Arin Maya Lawrence, accessories designer

"The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, by Mary Gehlhar, belongs on every aspiring entrepreneur's bookshelf." —Christine Alcalay, clothing designer