Finally an article on one of the most booming sectors of the Indian and world industry; something that was hitherto associated with “Style”and “Design”, is now packed with business jargons like “Technology” and “Industry”. Indeed, we are talking about FASHION! Fashion- a world of its own that’s a part of everyone’s world, and in some way or other touches all of us, for it encompasses not just clothes, but also shoes, jewellery, accessories, home decor, etc.
Currently estimated to be at Rs 270 crore, the fashion business in the country is expected to scale to Rs 750 crore, thanks to the increased demand for designer wear and huge investments by big international players. In Indian context, while it was a domain of a handful of people (primarily in Delhi and Mumbai) who got established in the industry by virtue of their creativity and ‘inspiration’ from foreign markets, the scenario has been changing over the last few years with a whole crop of budding fashion designers who along with creativity have relevant education, in-depth knowledge and exposure to and of the industry, and are coming from various part of the country bringing regional cultures along with them . Needless to say Indian fashion industry is progressing at a breakneck speed.
With fashion becoming a big Business, and India emerging as one of the major players in the global market, the need for qualified professionals in this field is on an all time high. There is a need to groom designers by making available appropriate and most updated education, sponsoring exchange programmes, providing business incubation to upcoming designers and rewarding efforts through appropriate design awards. In fact so extensive is the field of Fashion Education today in our country that we may have to run a series of articles in an attempt to furnish adequate information. Let us see the education options in one of the most popular career choices that will create job openings for more than 50,000 people in the country.
Requisites of Fashion Designing: As a fashion designer, one should have the following skills:
Ø Creative: good at Sketching, putting one’s thoughts on paper and finally on fabric.
Ø Flair for Designing: ability to think and implement new cuts, flows, and designs.
Ø Observation: should have an eye for detail and give the best in each outfit.
Ø Knack of understanding fashion, dressing and styling in totality.
Ø Willingness to learn and adapt from various sources like Nature, religion, etc; ability to mix-and-match, incorporate and blend.
Ø Understanding of fabrics, textures, colours, styles & trends, and their viability as per weather, occasion, utility, etc.
Ø Flexible to use internet, Computer software, tools, etc for designing.
Ø Abreast with latest trends in domestic and International markets.
Ø Knowledge of various forms of craftsmanship, in different regions in the country and across the world.
Ø Be imaginative, innovative and experimental in rolling out new fabrics, designs, trends and make fashion forecasts.
Ø Business acumen: having a sense of the Production costs, market requirements, furnishing saleable stuff.
Most of these skills are being honed by the reputed Fashion Institutes across the country, which provide both the infrastructure and the platform for the upcoming fashion professionals.
In the field of fashion:
- Careers can be made in Design, Production, Merchandising and Marketing.
- Candidate can work Full-time/ Part-time depending upon their association with this field as passion/profession/ both.
- Candidate can get a lucrative job under a brand/designer or start his own enterprise in any of the above mentioned areas, and can thus be a Freelancer/Employee/Entrepreneur.
- Gender equality, in fact ample opportunities for females.
Having said all this, let us look at what are the various career choices in Fashion Industry (we are primarily referring to the Apparel industry here) today:
- Fabric designing, printing, weaving.
- Clothes Designing and Styling (Fashion Designing)
- Pattern maker and designer
- Modelling (Print/Advertisements/Ramp shows) for various Designers
- Retail Fashion Management
- Design Management
- Fashion Shows/Events Organisers and Co-ordinators
- Grooming experts (Beauty/Draping/Styling)
- Multimedia, Graphics and Computer aided Designing
- Fashion Critics/ Writers/ Bloggers
- Visual Merchandising
- Manufacturing/ Export Enterprise
- Quality Controller
Let us look at some of the reputed Fashion Designing Institutes in Inia, the various courses they offer at Graduate and Post-Graduate levels, eligibility/selection criteria and the Placements of candidates passing out from them:
1. National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi:
Set up in 1986, under the wings of the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. Of India, NIFT is a leading institute in the field of design and Fashion Technology. The Institute has 15 centres across the country and provides a common platform for fashion education, research and training through academic activities like: ‘Crafts Survey & Documentation’, ‘Educational Visits’, ‘Industry Internships’, etc. Imbibing the changing paradigms of industry and commerce, its content as well as the methodology is constantly reviewed by academic and industry experts.
NIFT offers four-year bachelor and two-year master programmes in the areas of Design, Management and Technology:
Ø Design: B. Des. (Fashion Design, Leather Design, Accessory Design, Knitwear Design, Textile Design, Fashion Communication)
Ø Technology: B. FTech. (Apparel Production)
Ø M. Des.(Master of Design)
Ø M. F.M. (Master of Fashion Management)
Ø M. FTech. (Master of Fashion technology)
Placements: The profile of companies attending placements ranges across diverse segments of industry like large retailers, brand marketers, manufacturers, consultancy organizations, textile mills, home furnishing companies, design BPO's, technology solution providers, and large apparel manufacturing companies along with international brands visiting the campus absorb the Institute's talented graduates to meet their specialized needs. The salary range for Bachelors’ students was around 1.4 to 5 lakhs Rs. Pa, while for Masters’: 1.8 to 6 lakh Rs pa for the year 2011. Some of the big names: GAP, Marks & Spencer, shopper’s Stop, MTV, Giny & Jony, etc.
2. National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad:
The NID is an internationally acclaimed institution in the field of design education and research. NID is recognised by the Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) under Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, as a scientific and industrial design research organisation. The Institute has a PG campus in Gandhinagar and a specialised R&D campus in Bengaluru.
The Institute offers advanced training in five faculty streams, Industrial Design, Communication Design, Textile, Apparel & Lifestyle Design, IT Integrated (Experiential) Design and Interdisciplinary Design Studies. The Professional Education at NID has both UG and PG Programmes— Graduate Diploma Programme in Design (GDPD) of four years duration for students after 10+2 or equivalent like AISSCE/ IB/ ISC,and the Post-Graduate Diploma Programme in Design (PGDPD) of 2 ½ years duration for graduates from various domains specific to each discipline.
The GRADUATE DIPLOMA PROGRAMME IN DESIGN commences with a two semester rigorous Foundation Programme followed by 3 years of specialised studies in any of the disciplines offered in GDPD. Areas of specialisation are: Industrial Design, Communication Design and Textile, Apparel & Lifestyle Design. Also available are Post Graduate Diploma Programmes in Design in various specialisations.
3. Raffles International College:
Raffles International College, Bangkok was established in 2003. Raffles has 39 campuses in 36 cities across 15 countries, including Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata as their Indian facilities. Raffles Design is the largest design course provider in Asia Pacific. Raffles Design Institute, a premier creative and design education college offers design and creative arts related programs such as Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Multimedia Design, and Product Design.
Studying with Raffles Design International in India is a good way to gain exposure to international creative and business environments. Also students can transfer or further their study at any of their schools or universities which has articulation agreement with them. Their entire school network follows the same academic calendar ensuring no study time is lost when transferring and all prior subjects successfully completed would be recognized.
The following courses are available as ‘Bachelor of Design’ degree at Raffles Design's first international design college in Mumbai, India:
Ø Fashion Design
Ø Interior Design
Ø Product Design
Ø Graphic Design
Ø Multimedia Design
Ø Fashion Marketing