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Career in Fashion

Overview

According to a study commissioned by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and conducted by management consultants KPMG, designer wear in India has been identified as a key growth sector. The study forecasts good tidings for the Indian fashion design industry and says it is expected to grow to Rs 1,000 crore from the current Rs 180 crore within the next five to 10 years mainly because Indian companies are rushing to invest big sums in the industry. Over the next 10 years it is also estimated that the key players in the industry will witness a compounded annual growth rate of up to 40 per cent.

Scope

The Indian fashion market has become more pronounced and energized with global players. The fashion industry’s prospects are extremely encouraging and provide attractive openings at various levels not only to professionals but also to talented and skilled graduates.

The flexibility in the fashion industry has opened up careers for professionals from many fields. Career in fashion does not mean merely dealing in clothes but designing of accessories such as jewellery, leather goods and other things. There are careers to be made in the beauty business and modeling, closely related to the fashion industry. Qualified fashion and accessory designers are in demand. Web and visual communication design are other popular career options in this sector.

For those interested in photography, there are opportunities to become a fashion photographer. In fashion shows, one can be a choreographer. With so many opportunities, the industry can take a lot of talented people. Think of a career in fashion designing provided you have the interest and are willing to work hard.

Career options

Fashion Design: Fashion Designing is one of the most sought after creative careers today. This is a wide term used for stitching and designing clothes. One must have an artistic flair, a sense of colours and creativity. Fashion designers should be artistic, creative and must have imagination. Flair for creating with fabrics and know-how of textiles is important. They must be fashion conscious and aware of market requirements. An understanding of the market and customer lifestyle is required, so that designs are suitable for people they are made for.

Designers must be good communicators and should be able to work with the design staff. Selling a design requires an ability to persuade and influence. Self-employed/freelance designers need business acumen. Top designers must be highly original and inventive. Designers must be observant and must have a good memory.

Accessory Design: Accessories consist of leather goods, footwear, gift wear, table wear, precious and costume jewellery. These things are an essential part of fashion, as they enhance the dress one is wearing. Creativity and an aesthetic sense along with knowledge of precious, semi precious and artificial gems and materials is essential

Beauty and Modelling: The winning of international titles by Indian girls has given a boost to the beauty business. A model has to be chiseled and groomed by a team of professionals. There could be a designer, choreographer, hairstylist, dentist, dietician and a host of others involved in creating a modern model. The way to proceed is by getting a good portfolio made and registering with reputed agencies.

One can join a modelling school as well. Modelling can never be a full-time work. The advertising and fashion industry are the two platforms for a model. There is photographic modelling as well as ramp modelling. A ramp model may also do photographic modelling but ramp modelling may not necessarily work out successfully for a photographic model as catwalk skills and attributes are more demanding.

Fashion photography: Another area that has emerged from the fashion revolution is that of fashion photography. Fashion photographers play a vital role in enhancing the work of a designer. Exporters and advertising agencies are looking for qualified photographers who can add to the visual appeal of their products. Fashion photography is a special branch of photography that involves style shoots, props and models. It has emerged as a career only recently. Along with advertising photography it has now become a line in itself.

Apparel Marketing and Merchandising: Perhaps the most important aspect of fashion is marketing and merchandising, since it converts the fashion business into an economically viable and profitable proposition. Merchandising is a specialised management function within the fashion industry. A merchandiser is primarily a coordinator. The job can be broken down into several functions. Merchandisers study buying trends and the buyer's needs. They collect specifications from the buyers and coordinate with fashion designers to develop a product that is market specific.

Visual Merchandising: This is a comparatively new career field. The concept of window dressing has proved to be extremely popular with haute couture shopping outlets, high fashion boutiques, emporia etc. Exhibitions, fairs, shopping stores are places where window and floor displays are very popular. Visual merchandisers get paid for the contract and the amount varies according to their image in the industry.

Visual merchandisers are also engaged as managers for shop floor/ window decorations. Window display has emerged as an impressive marketing strategy. Visual merchandisers are trained for creating impressive window displays.

Fashion Retailing: It is a combination of a creative mind, management skills, market research and awareness of the latest trends. It suits individuals who are people-oriented and interested in a fast-paced challenging career. India’s fashion industry is still in its infancy but there is growing awareness among retailers and marketers. Retailers undertake a wide variety of activities. They raise capital from financial institutions; purchase goods and services, develop accounting and management of information systems to control operations, manage warehouses and distribution systems, design and develop new products, predict and act upon fashion trends, and undertake activities such as advertising, promotion, sales force management and market research.

Fashion Coordinators: They coordinate with the buyer and the production manager. The fashion coordinator makes sure production schedules are kept, meets buyers goes through specification for fabrics, colours, designs, and keeps an eye on the quality. When buyers give their own designs, the coordinator helps decide the fabric colours and accessories that should be used to suit the designs. They explain the design to the production pattern makers and get sample pieces made. The sample is draped on a dummy to see if some changes in details or style are required. It is the coordinator who suggests how the cloth should be cut so as to minimize wastage.

Sectors

  • Export houses dealing with garment/textile/handloom/jewellery exports
  • Haute Couture
  • Government/Semi government-handloom/textile/jewellery manufacturers
  • Fashion show organisers/Fashion publishers
  • TV/Film fashion programme producers/comperes/costume designers, etc.
  • With Film production units
  • Teaching design
Institutes for training

Some of the major institutions that impart professional training to aspirants wishing to enter the fashion industry are National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Pearl Academy of Fashion, J D Institute of Fashion Technology , T he International Institute of Fashion Technology, Wigan Fashion School, Wigan & Leigh College ( India) Ltd, Apeejay Institute of Design, National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD). Polytechnics all over the country also offer diplomas.


Related Links
 
Visual merchandising: The art of display
Photography: Capturing the world on lens
The fashion industry: Perfect place for creative people
Fashion designing: Dressing the world
 
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