Career in FASHION


Fashion as a career offers huge outlets for creativity as new systems and products get molded by designers to suit indigenous requirements, such as local tastes and preferences in accordance with climactic conditions, prevalent trends etc.

Your creativity allows you to lend a unique individual flavor to something very ordinary or common place.

That’s exactly the reason why designing can be exciting and very stimulating as a career option. Designing can not only make us feel better, it can improve our over all life as well.

It’s a career option that can convert an inborn or acquired skill into a great job. For this, a person must have the flair for designing. Fashion designers today are the biggest trend setters. That explains why a fashion scenario can be defined by a constant metamorphosis. In order to achieve this, designers are exposed to existing trends and styles and are also given grounding in the history of fashion and art.

They are also regularly in touch with ongoing fashion events and developments taking place all over the world. At the same time, it is also required for fashion designers to learn and understand some basic principles of business and marketing so that the designed items could reach a wider segment of buyers.

The areas these designers work on vary from textile to rockets. In other words, there is a huge diversification possible in designing these days, right from jewellery design, product design communication design, integrated IT design, ceramic design, footwear design or other forms of accessory design as well.

Designers may be responsible for a no of tasks, such as conducting research for various fashion trends, staying updated on latest styles, creating sketches and prototypes, finalizing on the raw materials, attending / organizing fashion shows, deciding for marketing strategies or even supervising/monitoring an entire production process.

India with its rich cultural heritage, offers a huge scope for designers. That’s the reason why the Indian tag has started arousing the curiosity of people all over the world,

Indian designs are inspired by both tradition and modernity at the same time.

On the other hand, designing as a career option is witnessing a meteoric rise from the point of view of salaries it’s offering to potential designers. It’s getting increasingly lucrative by every passing day as designers can expect anywhere from 15000 to 40000 in the very beginning itself.

Designing today is a highly upmarket and glamorous career, it can also offer a lot of challenges and job satisfaction at the same time. If the candidates have the right attitude and the motivation, it can be a highly fulfilling career. People entering this field, should be willing to work in a team and should be able to give their best under pressure.

No surprise, with all these possibilities, fashion designing has emerged as one of the most sought after professions of the modern times.

As a designer one can find employment with product manufacturers, garment export houses, fashion show organizers, lifestyle design houses or one could become an entrepreneur. one could specialize in women’s wear, men’s wear accessories ,graphic design ,animations etc .Fields like fashion merchandising, fashion journalism , visual merchandising are branch from mainstream designing.

After class XII, students can opt for a career in fashion/design by pursuing their professional degree from one of the many institutes offering courses in design, art and fashion. Some of these institutes are: NIFT, NID, PEARL, NIIFT MOHALI AND COLLEGE OF ART DELHI etc. Each of these institutes admits students who qualify in entrance tests.

Why Fashion Design

In India, the fashion industry has just begun to come of age. As it is till in its fledgling stage, it offers plenty of opportunities for enthusiastic, talented and hard-working youngsters.

Prospects for fashion design graduates are pretty good thanks to the huge and still growing demand for "designer wear" and the equally large volume of exports. What with the sheer variety and availability of materials - from traditional silks and ikats to jamawars and handlooms in vibrant weaves and dyes - India is a fashion designer's dream.

Until a few years ago, there was not a single Indian name in the global fashion scene. However, with the establishment of NIFT and some other fashion schools, a band of gifted youngsters is already making its mark on the fashion firmament. Today names like Ritu Kumar, Ritu Beri, Rohit Bal, Sunit Verma, JJ Vallaya and Tarun Tahiliani have virtually become household names - what with the media showcasing their talent across double -page spreads in glossy magazines and sundry fashion related programs on TV.

A question often asked by young people is whether they really need to be trained as a designer. Most young people who are able to sketch well and have an interest in fashion believe their talent and interest already qualify them for the fashion industry. But fashion design is not just about sketching pretty clothes. Barring a few exceptions where talent borders on genius, it is certainly recommended that you pursue a course in fashion design. And you can do so straight after school. There are a variety of courses available to suit different needs and budgets.

While the academic requirements are not very high, you need considerable aptitudes and talent to be labeled 'designer material'. You must be highly creative to combine colours, shades and textures, and express your ideas through sketches. If you can visualize designs and enjoy working with fabrics and accessories you are looking at the right career. Along with fashion consciousness and creativity, you also need excellent communication skills to articulate your ideas and understand the client's requirements. Knowledge of the market and a good eye for detail are the other must-haves.

Beware though, fashion is as much about technique as about style. You need to be clued in on manufacturing technology, time and motion studies, plant efficiency, labour motivation - all are extremely relevant to this industry. Before you become a name to reckon with, be prepared to put in tons of hard work and running around. However, fashion design is just one of the many careers that a student of fashion design prepares for. There a number of others such as marketing and merchandising, fashion coordination, fashion journalism etc.

The fancy salaries and the hype that you read about in the magazines are only for those who are really talented to begin with or those passing out of the premier institutes. For the rest, finding a decent toehold can be pretty tough. Also considering the fact that just about everyone is rushing into fashion designing, it may be wise to opt for some of the other courses like Merchandising, Accessory Designing, Garment Manufacturing Technology etc., all of which have a component of fashion design in them.

That having been said, the money is pretty good. As a fresher you will start out with a monthly package of Rs.8,000 - Rs.15,000. A couple of years down the line, as your designing skills mature, your salary would be in the range of Rs.30,000 - Rs.50,000. Of course, if you become a marquee designer and are lucky enough to go international, you could for a single creation, quite literally ask for the moon!

Career Prospects In Fashion World

The fashion industry worldwide is one of the most glamorous, having its reach from Los Angeles to Milan to Paris and even Mumbai. India, which has always been a centre for the textile and garment trade, is also growing into a centre of innovation in garment and accessory design.

The economic potential is so huge that designers and apparel houses worldwide are trying to streamline their operations to reach the maximum consumers with the latest products at the best possible prices. In order to reach the right audience, apparel houses have created different brands for different segments. Even India has major players like Peter England, Pantaloons, Raymond and a host of others. In the last decade, fashion in India has slowly come of age. Training institutes that teach the basics of design are proving to be a hothouse of talent.

Fashion design as a career involves areas like creative design and drawing, pattern making, sewing and embroidery, garment manufacturing technology, apparel construction methods, textile science, fabric dyeing and printing, and computer aided design.

Now the fashion industry has become so specialized that it encompasses a vast field of studies in design concept, fashion design production management, quality control, planning, fabric design, printing, fashion merchandising, textile science, colour mixing, marketing and so on. Fashion design career is the most important area of work in the fashion industry. It has various fields of specialization like garments, footwear, jewellery and even shoes. In fact, there is scope for a lot of careers within the fashion industry itself. Apart from being a fashion designer, one can opt for the various career paths as given below.

A fashion consultant must be aware of the trends and transitions in the fashion market along with knowledge about fashion designing. He is expected to offer ideas regularly on how to further develop a product to be readily absorbed in a market. He should be a sharp observer sensitive to changing trends.

Fashion coordinators arrange and supervise the marketing of fashion clothing for manufacturing houses, textile houses, textile firms and retail stores. It is a highly competitive job involving a variety of functions. They advise on latest fashion trends, organize fashion shows, and assist in advertising, i.e, promoting sales and maintaining liaisons with fabric dealers to ensure that the fabrics and colours are the correct shade, quality and design.

There is vast scope for fashion merchandising in the local and export market. It involves working for retail and wholesale organizations in buying, merchandising, sales, store operations, management, distribution, merchandise planning and sales support. One needs to have a good background in textiles and possess effective communication skills. Most merchandisers are required to travel extensively throughout the country and abroad. There are no fixed timings and merchandisers often work late into the evenings.

An illustrator draws free hand sketches of designer's ideas. He not only needs outstanding sketching skills but at the same time requires excellent communication skills. The ability to interact and discuss with clients and customers is integral.

A sketching assistant makes the technical sketches of the garments and makes drawings for presentation. It is from these specification sketches, that one decides how a garment has to be fabricated. The sketching assistant sometimes has to select the fabric as well.

He has to cut samples according to specifications of the designer. A cutting assistant cuts samples, makes and alters patterns to see that the design visualized can be converted to a real dress.

A colourist is involved in block printing or machine printing. He must keep a record of colour samples and fabric pieces and has to work in a high paced environment, to meet deadlines. He has to be very organized and must carefully follow precise instructions.

A fashion stylist has to coordinate the entire wardrobe for a fashion show or programme to promote the sales of the products. It involves coordinating the dress, accessories, make-up, hairstyle and even the colour of the nail polish of the model according to the theme and the overall look of the show. At times a stylist is even involved in fabric selection. He/she has to be well versed in the trends and happenings in the industry and must also possess a keen sense of current fashion trends.

A textile designer does the design and styling of textiles for apparel-related industries. A person should possess technical skills required to serve the textile industry in both surface and structural design. People, who specialize in this subject, work as textile or embroidery designers, as well as print and embroidery stylists.

Pattern making introduces people to industry procedures like the development of the basic block and operation of the sewing machine. Pattern makers have to draft various components of garments and develop professional blocks to create patterns for specific design problems. It involves producing a finished garment from a working sketch and thus a course in pattern making and apparel construction is the ideal preparation for eventual ownership or management of an apparel manufacturing facility.

Accessory design involves designing accessories for the complete fashion image. It would encompass the design and possibly manufacture of jewellery, handbags, shoes, belts, hair ornaments etc.

This is a concept that is increasingly gaining in popularity, with haute couture outlets opening up all over the country. High fashion boutiques need to change their displays at least once every fortnight with the emergence of new styles and designs. Besides these boutiques, there are also other garment and apparel stores that contract window dressers during the festive season. Exhibitions and fairs also call for the expertise of these personnel who can earn large sums dressing up stalls and counters. Window dressers are usually appointed on a contract basis

As a quality controller one needs to have a thorough knowledge of pattern making and apparel construction, finishing treatments, and textiles among other things. His function in a production unit would be to establish and oversee standards of quality for design, fabrics and manufacturing.

A fashion journalist is usually part of the main editorial board of a fashion magazine. It is mostly through them that the general public gets to know the latest fashion trends. Fashion journalists should have excellent taste in fashion and must keep themselves abreast with the latest fashion news, consumer reactions to new collections, fashion shows, current and future trends in colour, design, fabric etc.

Fashion photographers need to have a keen eye for aesthetic detail, a thorough knowledge of cameras and the technicalities involved in taking pictures, and of light, distance, and perspective, to be successful. They should be inventive and able to visualize and communicate their ideas, and at the same time must be sensitive to the moods of the models and be able to interact freely with them. They can freelance and find employment with fashion houses, designers, fashion journals and newspapers