In today’s world, designing is not just limited to designing of apparels (as we had said in the previous article). Fashion designing is a bouquet that has many flowers, one of which is Footwear or Shoes, as we generally call them. In the world of fashion designing, accessories are as important as your outfit, footwear has acquired large significance, symbolizing one’s fashion statement, personal taste as well as sense of comfort.
Footwear designing, like other creative designing courses has also emerged as a growing field of this sphere. And since designing and making of shoes are quite complex, footwear industry needs efficient craftsmen trained with apt technical know-how. Earlier there was both little awareness and craze for Footwear. But this changing trend boding well for the industry as well as people at large. With more and more importance being given to accessories, the Indian footwear designing industry is undergoing a boom and is poised to grow at a whopping annual rate of 25-32% in the next couple of years.
Let us first see some facts about the Footwear Industry in our country:
Well they say numbers speak more than words, sure they do, and what is good to know is that the figures are only showing an increasing trend.
Indian leather industry is the core strength of the Indian footwear industry. It is the engine of growth for the entire Indian leather industry and India is the second largest global producer of footwear after China.
Reputed global brands like Florsheim, Nunn Bush, Stacy Adams, Gabor, Clarks, Nike, Reebok, Ecco, Deichmann, Elefanten, St Michaels, Hasley, Salamander and Colehaan are manufactured under license in India. Besides, many global retail chains seeking quality products at competitive prices are actively sourcing footwear from India.
The Leather sector is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for the country, and with an annual turnover of over US$ 7 billion, the export of leather and leather products increased manifold over the past decades and touched US$ 3.40 billion in 2009-10, recording a CAGR of about 5.43%. India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments in the world and India accounts for a share of close to 3% in the global leather import trade of US$ 137 billion (2008).
There are several kinds of Footwear Design & Technology courses are available in India. Students can choose from these courses according to their needs and qualifications.
Footwear Designing as a Career:
The footwear industry is set to boom with bright career opportunities in technical, designing and management areas. Footwear designers are professionals who can design footwear in various shapes and designs, using different materials such as leather, jute, rubber, plastic, canvas and cloth. Footwear designing involves creating new patterns and designs keeping in mind the changing needs and tastes of clients and customers. There are different jobs where one can engage oneself in this industry. This include
- Footwear Designer
- Senior Footwear Designer
- Footwear Buyer
- Trend Analyst
- Product Development Manager
Footwear Design Education in India:
With the industry at such a high, it is but obvious that the demand for skilled professionals is bound to go up at a good pace over the years to come. Someone has rightly said: “A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he does it in a devout manner”. Footwear Designing Courses were once regarded as additional or short-term courses that helped students struggling to find immediate employment—they were looked upon as typical vocational courses. However, now, these courses have emerged as a mainstream option, attracting many students from the Arts, Commerce and Science stream. As a result, Footwear Designing Courses in India are now being offered across many of the leading vocational institutes in India.
Types of Footwear Design Courses in India
Footwear Designing Courses in India are offered across various formats, including:
• Undergraduate Courses
• Post-graduate Footwear Designing Courses
• Diploma/Certificate Footwear Designing Courses
The minimum qualification for these Footwear Designing Courses is (10+2). There are no limitations in terms of the student being from a particular stream. Admission to most of the prestigious Footwear Designing Institutes in India is through all-India Entrance Exams. Students who are very serious about creating a niche in the footwear industry often opt for Footwear Technology Courses in India. Footwear Technology Courses in India are offered in the form of B.Tech Footwear Designing or M.Tech Footwear Designing/Technology. These courses are offered only to Science & Engineering students.
1. Footwear Design and Development Institute:
FDDI , with its HQs in Noida (UP), was set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India in the year 1986 with an objective to provide human resource and technical services to the industry. It is a premier design and management institution whose programmes meet the international standards. The institute conducts wide range of professional programmes in the area of Retail Management, Footwear Design, Technology, Management, Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandizing, Marketing, Creative Designing & CAD/CAM and Leather Goods & Accessories Design etc.
In FDDI, the teaching methodology is based on demonstration, practice and theory. FDDI keeps itself abreast of the latest development in the field of Design, Fashion, Technology, Retail and allied branches to update its course curriculum.
CENTRE FOR FOOTWEAR TECHNOLOGY & MANAGEMENT (CFTM)
The CFTM offers courses PG and UG programmes in the area of Footwear Technology, Design & Management. This centre also serves the industry across the globe in the area of manufacturing, quality & productivity standards, Fashion forecasting, design development etc. which helps the industry to achieve international standards.
There are many career opportunities within Footwear Designing & Technology, Merchandising, Retail and international trading industry both in India and overseas. The students get initial placement like Management trainee, Designers, Stylists, Product developers, Quality controllers and Footwear technologists, Merchandiser, Marketing executive, Production supervisors, Business development executives, planning executive etc.
- M.Sc. (Footwear Technology)
- M.Sc. (Creative Design & CAD/CAM)
- M.Sc. (Productivity & Quality Management)
- B.Sc. (Footwear Technology)
CENTRE FOR LEATHER GOODS AND ACCESSORIES DESIGN (CLGAD)
The CLGAD at FDDI has all the latest state-of-the-art equipments and machineries along with the latest CAD enabled studios and classrooms.
With global players looking for new sourcing options, India stands to gain a bigger share of the global market. Leading brands from the US and Europe is planning to source leather and leather products from India. With the scientific advancement and modernization of techniques the leather products industry now requires trained Designers, Managers, Merchandisers and supervisory staff with an ability to optimize and upgrade the quality of product to meet international standards.
- M.Sc. (Leather Goods & Accessories Design)
- B.Sc. (Leather Goods & Accessories Design)
Campus Placements: Industry Heavyweights like Bata, Tommy Hilfiger, Franco Leone, HiDesign, Marks & Spencer, Adidas, woodland, Action, Reebok, Nike, frequent the campus and ensure a 100% placement of the pass outs.
2. Central Footwear Training Institute, Agra:
Central Footwear Training Institute, Agra is a pioneer institute of its kind, functioning as a Govt. of India Society under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Govt.of India. It is primarily involved in Human Resource Development for Footwear and Allied Industry through its various long term, short term and specialized training programmes.
The key Objectives of the Institute are:
a) To train personnel in footwear technology as per the requirements of the trade and industry, and upgrade their skills.
b) To train footwear designers.
c) To undertake courses in Management of Footwear Industry
d) To introduce modern technology in footwear design
e) To assist and promote technology upgradation in footwear industry
f) To establish linkage with educational, research and developmental Institutions in India and abroad, and to collaborate with them in training, research and development
The various specialized department for each stage of the footwear making process are as:
- CNC & PU
- Dieless Cutting
The Institute offers: 2 year Diploma, 1 year Certificate courses and Short-term and need-based courses in the field of Footwear Technology.
The Institute also takes part in other Programmes and Activities like: Workshops & Seminars, Exhibitions & Fairs, Industrial Campaigns, Interaction with Industry Experts, Entrepreneurship Development Programmes, etc.
Some of other reputed Footwear Designing & Technology Institutes in India are:
• AVI School of Fashion & Shoe Technology—Chandigarh
• College of Leather Technology—Calcutta
• Institute of Government Leather Working School—Mumbai
• Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI)—Chennai
• Harcourt Butler Technological Institute—Kanpur
• National Institute of Fashion Technology—New Delhi & Gandhinagar
• Central Footwear Training Centre (CFTC)—Chennai
• National Small Industries Corporation Limited—Chennai