Showing posts with label Fashion Designing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion Designing. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Career Guidance series (1/1): Fashion Design

The content of 'Career Guidance' blog series, are based on my detailed interaction with experienced working professionals, from their respective domains.

The objective of this blog series is to offer insights to students about various profession, so that they can make informed career decisions.

Fashion Design

A BIG THANKS to Chitransh, for sharing your experience & valuable insights about Fashion Design profession.

Image result for fashion designing

Pre-requisite attributes for students, who are aspiring to become fashion designing professionals are creativity, innovative thinking & sketching skills.

Graduates in fashion design, can seek employment as a 'Designer' (apparel industry) or be on their own as 'Freelance Designer' (designer label).

A designer to be professionally successful has to apply the following principles in their work:
  • Apply creativity without compromising on the products sales volumes & profit. 
  • Have a good understanding of consumer behavior (their likes, dislikes, interests, predicting their buying behavior etc). 
  • Keeping oneself regularly updated with fashion trends
  • New ideas - to be able to innovate or seek inspiration to create new products suiting local market
  • Need to be deeply observant to pick up clues from social media, fashion blogs, movies, television, society at large to be able to understand whats in vogue, the changing trends & to be able to predict what is going to be in demand in next fashion season/year.
  • One needs to be highly energetic, passionate, hard working & should have the ability to handle pressures of demanding project timelines & deliverables. 
The apparel industry, caters to four seasons: spring, summer, autumn & winter.

The career path in apparel designing industry falls into three broad categories:
  1. Designing 
  2. Product Development (Apparel production team)
  3. Buying
  4. Sourcing
Designing: The designer, develops a 'concept', taking into account 'trend research' & 'sales analysis'.

Product Development: The apparel production team, converts the 'concept' into a marketable product.

Buyer: The buyer, plays a crucial role as they decide on the final salable concept (design/product).

The 'apparel production team' comprises of sourcing (procurement of raw materials), product development (manages various stakeholders) & technical team (body fit & pattern making of the garments).

On a comparative scale, the 'Designing team's' nature of job, demands higher creativity compared to 'Product Development team'. On the other hand, the 'Product Development team's' nature of job, demands higher analytical skills, managerial skills & business acumen, in comparison to 'Designing team'.

The buyer profile demands the following skill-set: 
  1. Very good understanding of fashion/design/trends. 
  2. Very good at number crunching (mathematical ability, data analysis, trend analysis). 
  3. Good decision making ability for product allocation (i.e. what quantity & what kind of products to be allocated across geographic locations (tier 1, tier 2, etc...). [These decision making are based on demographic data, consumer profile, trend assessment on consumer behavior etc.]
Apart from working directly in apparel designing domain, there are several interesting employment opportunities in associated domains, for example:
  1. Sales domain - multi-brand & single brand outlets (visual merchandising), 
  2. e-commerce (UI/UX designer/Graphic designer), 
  3. Fashion/style magazines,
  4. Fashion communication (mass media, e-commerce/websites/mobile apps).
Many global brands have their manufacturing hubs in developing countries & these contract manufacturing units provide opportunities for employment as line manager, production manager, quality assurance manager etc.

Fashion Design graduates, can also opt for a specialised MBA degree in retail & get into the commercial/business side of the fashion retail industry.

Fashion design graduates, who are inclined for further specialization, can pursue Masters program in their choosen area (textile, fashion, accessory etc).

In summary, fashion design industry provides many career opportunities, after all it is not just about design rather this industry offers various job opportunities all along the continuum, from conceptualization to sales.

There are fashion design, graduate & masters degree offered by prestigious Govt. institutes like NID (National Institute of Design) & NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology).

The entrance examinations for NIFT (and in general for all design institutes) checks for general aptitude, mental ability & creativity (e.g. on the spot a topic is provided & the aspiring students need to convert it into a slogan/banner/visual aid etc). Candidates, who successful pass the first round appear for situation test (e.g. raw materials are provided & the aspiring students are challenged to convert them into a product).

NIFT offers the following programs:
  • B.Des (Bachelor of Design): (4 years program)
  1. Accessory Design
  2. Fashion Communication
  3. Fashion Design
  4. Knitwear Design
  5. Leather Design
  6. Textile Design
(Graduates of B.Des, typically join apparel industry as Designer)
  • B. FTech (Bachelor of Fashion Technology): (4 years program)
Apparel Production

(Graduates of B. FTech, typically join apparel industry as Product Development/Apparel production team).

The 2 years Masters program in offering from NIFT are:
  1. Master in Design
  2. Master of Fashion Management
  3. Master of Fashion Technology
NID (National Institute of Design) offers Bachelors & Masters degree in Textile Design:
  1. B.Des (Bachelor of Design) - Textile Design (4 years program)
  2. M.Des (Masters of Design) - Textile Design (2 years program)
There are a host of govt & private institutes offering Diploma, Bachelors & Masters degree in Fashion Design: (an indicative list)
  • NID
  • NIFT
  • NIFD
  • JD Institute of Fashion Technology
  • Symbiosis Institute of Design
  • Pearl Academy
  • GD Goenka School of Design
  • Wigan & Leigh
  • Raffles Design International
  • Northeast Institute of Fashion Technology
  • Army Institute of Fashion Design
  • BIFT
  • Arch Academy
  • IAM - Apparel Management
  • GIFT
The career prospects are very bright as apparel industry is fast growing & going by the trend of globalisation, global exposure, evolving consumer, the growth trajectory is headed northward.