All About Fashion Designing Courses and Careers in India
Are you intrigued by the world of fashion and keep an eye on the latest trends? Do you love creativity and aspire to follow the footsteps of the likes of Martin Margiela, Dries Van Notten, AlexanderMc Queen, Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre, Manish Arora? If yes, Fashion Designing is the tailor-made career choice for you.
This article addresses common queries and frequently asked questions to help you zero in on this option as your career choice.
What is Fashion Designing?
It is a body centric discipline of design that is informed by various socio-cultural factors and the economy among others. It is a broad field that involves visualizing and creating a design of clothing and lifestyle accessories and supervising its manufacturing process until the product reaches the market. Fashion education provides a necessary combination of creative, technical, intellectual and communication skills needed to be successful in this career.
The origin of fashion in India can be traced to antiquity. Literary texts and archaeological excavations indicate the ‘fashion’ sense of people belonging to the ancient era such as Indus Valley Civilization and Aryan Age. Since then, the fashion industry has come a long way. Over the years, the meaning of fashion design evolved from mere aesthetics to a lifestyle.
The bright prospects, the scope for unlimited creativity, the top-notch exposure and networking have made it a sought-after career option among the youth. The changing tastes and preferences of customers due to globalization, expansion of manufacturing facilities and the advent of emerging technologies have fuelled the growth of the fashion industry in India. Trends such as sustainable fashion, the use of 3-D printed clothes etc. have given a new dimension to the fashion industry.
How to get into the fashion design career? For this career, it is better to start early to have an edge over your peers. A Bachelor’s in Arts (B.A.) in fashion designing is a four-year foundational degree and a gateway to the career as a fashion designer. This degree is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue it as a full-time profession.
Students can also opt for a post-graduate degree after completing graduation in any stream. This specialization helps students gain an in-depth understanding of theoretical concepts of the discipline along with hands-on learning experience through symposiums, practical lessons, internships and events. This course is recommended for aspirants who wish to gain further knowledge in this field or those who had opted for a graduate course in a discipline other than fashion designing.
Basic eligibility to enrol for the course
The basic qualification for pursuing an undergraduate course or Bachelor’s in Arts (B.A.) in the fashion design course in India is 10+2 in any stream from a recognized board.
Should a student wish to opt for a post-graduate course or Master’s in Arts (M.A.) in Fashion Design,, the minimum eligibility is graduation in any discipline. Students who have appeared for the final graduation examination and are awaiting their results are deemed to be eligible.
Several design institutes have also laid down a minimum aggregate percentage or an entrance test to shortlist candidates for admission into these courses. A design entrance test evaluates students primarily on three parameters- visual proficiency, creative thinking and logical reasoning.
Where should I study fashion designing?
Choosing the right institute is a critical step to shape the course of your career. Though several private design institutes have come up in the past few years, only some of them provide the requisite infrastructure and exposure for building a foundation for a successful career.
While choosing a design institute, one must seek information on the following:
- Does the institute have a competent faculty to mentor students and encourage them to explore and experiment?
- Is the curriculum in line with the industry requirements and the right mix of theory and practical classes?
- Does the college have requisite infrastructure such as a construction lab, required number and types of sewing machines, dummies, integrated studios, digital resources library, etc -?
- Does the institute provide internships and relevant industry exposure through industry visits, master classes, live and collaborative projects, field visits etc
- Does the college have a functional placement cell? Does it conduct training on creation and updation of your portfolio, how to ace an interview etc? One must also review the placements that have been facilitated till date through the placement cell.
Students must give equal weightage to all parameters given above and refrain from judging institutes just based on the placement criterion alone. Given the stiff competition, it is recommended that students apply in at least 5-6 institutes they have shortlisted based on the above parameters.
How to apply for this course?
Once the students have shortlisted the design institutes, they should seek information on the admission process. They should fill the forms early to get the course of their choice. In the case the student requires an on-campus accommodation, he/she should fill in the hostel application form along with an admission form as most of them admit students on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Most design institutes have an online admission process wherein students are required to fill in the e-application form, along with scanned copies of relevant documents and online payment of fees. Students can also opt for an offline admission process wherein they can visit the institute, fill the form and pay fees at the admission centre. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has made the online admission process a preferred choice for applicants.
The fees of the fashion designing courses can vary between INR 3 lakhs to INR 10 lakhs, depending upon the institute chosen and the facilities offered by it. It can be paid online through a credit or debit card either in lump sum or in instalments (depending upon the options made available by the college). Most design institutes have partnered with leading financial institutions to provide a hassle-free loan facility to students. There is also a provision of means-cum-merit scholarship for those students who qualify the entrance test.
What does this course teach you
The Fashion Design course is a passport to an exciting and rewarding journey of fashion. Besides familiarizing the aspirants with its legacy, evolution and the current landscape, it builds the foundation of aesthetic principles. All Fashion Designing Courses, be it any specialization, enable students to gain conceptual clarity as well as muster the step-by-step process of designing the garment-from sketching, pattern making, production and even marketing. Various projects are set out to encourage experimentation, critical thinking and independence. By the end of the course, students will have developed their own individual aesthetic and design identity and will be able to communicate it. Hence, the course improves the functionality as well as the efficiency of aspiring novices in this field. Moreover, it also helps aspirants to acquire a range of new-generation skills such as communication skills, business acumen, sensitivity to colours, shades and tones, persuasiveness, eye for detail and much more. Fashion design graduates will be fully equipped to succeed as a creative designer with proficiency in various areas from research and design, to production and communication in fashion.
Career opportunities after the course
Fashion Coursesoffer a plethora of career choices. The fashion design graduates and post-graduates work in fashion houses, garment and textile export houses, textile and fabric manufacturing units, retail chains, fashion showrooms, television and film industry, boutiques, academic institutions, media and much more.
Some of the top indicative career options are described as follows-
- Fashion Designer– This is the most common field that encompasses the conceptualization of design to marketing the finished product. Fashion designers attend several fashion events, symposiums and other industry events to be abreast of the latest trends in the industry.
- Fashion Illustration- This field involves the conception and expression of fashion design or art through digital media. Illustrators use various drawing and illustrating techniques to express designs in detail, including colours and fabric textures.
- Pattern Making- The role of a pattern maker involves measuring, cutting and designing patterns, assessing the pattern dimension and style, sending the initial draft for manufacture check and incorporating designers’ feedback into patternmaking.
- Fashion Styling- Fashion styling involves creating a look for celebrities for attending events such as award ceremonies, photoshoots, press conferences and much more. A fashion stylist is a key person behind the presentation of leading actors and other famous personalities
What else can you do with a fashion design degree?
There is an umpteen number of career choices with a fashion design degree. Besides specializing in any of the conventional fields such as fashion illustration or fashion styling, a fashion design course allows you to choose an allied field as a career option as well. Some of these are mentioned below-
Fashion Business Management- This is a broad field that involves managing and overseeing the business of fashion. One may choose to work as a fashion director giving a strategic direction to the fashion business, a fashion marketer who is involved in devising marketing strategies for a successful business or fashion manager which involves supervising the day-to-day operations of the business.
Visual Merchandising- This involves the creation and visualization of retail space to enhance its appeal and aesthetics for boosting sales.
Fashion Journalism- Fashion journalism involves ideating and writing about fashion stories and trends. Fashion journalists work in traditional media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, websites and new-age media platforms such as blogs, vlogs, podcasts and much more.
Fashion Publicist- Fashion publicists work with celebrities or fashion companies to create a brand identity and manage its reputation through various interventions such as industry events, media exposure and much more.Social Media Influencer- Social media has dramatically disrupted the marketing and advertising landscape. Social media influencers promote fashion outfit or fashion brands through social media and expand their reach through followers. The popularity of platforms such as Youtube, Instagram has given a fillip to this career.
Fashion Educators- Fashion educators teach students in design institutes and mentor them for a successful career in the fashion industry.
The list of career choices after a fashion design degree is extensive and one is free to specialize in any niche depending upon your interest.
The growing fashion and brand consciousness among people, proliferation of advanced technologies, industry-academia collaborations have given a fillip to the fashion industry in India. A Forbes report estimates the Indian fashion retail market to be worth US$ 115 billion by 2026. The current COVID-19 has impacted almost all sectors of the economy including the fashion industry. However, as the world gears to a new world post-COVID-19, the huge pent-up demand is expected to revive the fashion industry.
The vibrant and dynamic fashion landscape in India will give you a chance to learn something new each day. So, don’t wait to take a plunge to an exciting, challenging and alluring world of fashion.