Fashion designing as a profession, has existed for a long time. But it was completely based on one's experience and creative skills. It has not been long since fashion designing emerged as a discipline of knowledge which produces expert professionals in the subject who can seek a work in this field.
Fashion industry: the emerging giant
Textile industry is the second largest industry in India. Since the dress one wears is the trademark of his/her identity, most Indians are concerned about their dressing style. Outer factors like Bollywood fashion, climate, emerging trends etc also influence textile industry. People in India are aware of fashion, at least middle class people are. Because of this wide reach of fashion industry, it is estimated that about 5 lakh more employment opportunities will be created in the field of fashion technology in recent future. This makes fashion industry the dream destination of many young women and men who aspire for a glamorous and well-paid job.
Sub-fields of fashion designing
The young prefer setting their own trends rather than imitating an existing trend. There are three major sub-fields of fashion designing:
Garment Designing: Garment designing is that field of fashion designing which deals with garments. It includes designing dress, stitching garments according to design, and marketing the manufactured cloths.
Accessory and Jewellery Designing: This deals with designing ornaments, accessories and jewellery. Metal working, stone working, cloth accessories etc come under this field.
Leather Designing: Leather designing deals with leather products such as handbags, purses, belts, leather shoes, gadget covers and even leather ornaments and accessories.
Qualities of a fashion designer
Every field of work demands certain qualities, which the potential workers must possess. This varies according to the nature of each job. Fashion industry also demands certain qualities from those who wish to be fashion designers. Some of such necessities are mentioned below.
Fashion designing is defined as creating new fashion icons as opposed to the trends at present. For this, a creative mind is the most important factor. A fashion designer must be able to create new images that can possibly set a trend in the field of fashion.
2. Drawing and painting skills
Drawing and painting skills is a necessity, in every sub-field of fashion designing. Whatever be your creative skills, it is necessary that your creativity is effectively communicated to the actual persons who work for the object manually. A designer with good drawing skills won't find it difficult to communicate his/her ideas to others.
3. Innovative thinking
This is closely related with creativity, but there is difference. Adding new features to already existing trends is creativity. But setting a whole new trend is innovative thinking. This is not a must for the job, and many designers lack it. But an ability to think out of the box will come handy in a profession like fashion designing.
5. Basic stitching awareness
This counts only if you choose to work in textile designing, a sub-field of fashion designing. Stitching is an art with rules, and only if you know the basic rules, you can put your ideas into practice. Other fields of fashion designing like jewellery designing, leather designing etc do not call for this particular requirement.
Nature of the work
Fashion designing is concerned with creating new garments, accessories etc for men, women and children. New designs are created by designers. They draw either a plan-like outline or complete coloured image of the design in a paper. Then it is passed on two skilled workers like tailors, jewellery makers etc to create the real dress or ornament from the designs. There are some rare designers who themselves work out their ideas to objects. Most time, a designer spends time thinking of new ideas.
Fashion designing as a profession is comparatively easier. It can be more of a hobby than a real profession. However, if taken seriously, it can be a real and engaging profession for you.
What abilities should one develop?
A designer must be able to lay out his/her heart's idea in a paper. A limited awareness of drawing should be there, but there are many things a fashion designer should develop on his/her own.
1. Awareness about colour, shade and tone: This is necessary and can be developed if the designer keeps a 3D image of the dress always in mind.
2. Awareness of current trends: A designer must be aware of the recent trends and likes of consumers. This can be developed by reading fashion and lifestyle magazines, watching fashion programmes etc.
3. Awareness about developing social relations: Fashion designing is a field where social relations may come in handy. Friendship with film personalities, skilled photographers, models etc can be used to promote your work. Unless, your effort may go unnoticed.
Different careers in the field
1. Designer: A designer imagines the layout of the dress/ornament he/she is going to make.
2. Sketching assistant: A sketching assistant sketches the idea of designer into paper. He/she also selects the best garment that suits the design.
3. Junior Assistant: Junior assistant assembles the first pattern (the first dress) with the cloth. It is on the basis of this model that a fabric assistant makes the rest of dresses.
4. Fabric assistant (only in garment designing): Fabric assistant cuts the cloth according to the sketch. He/she also stitches (or supervises stitching) the dress.
5. Marketing agents: Promotes the dress and coordinates marketing of the dress. He/she should know about the trends, sales data etc.
6. Production Manager: He/she schedules the work, supervises the training of workers and ensures the quality of the material produces.
7. Fashion Coordinators: He/she works as a link between the customer and the production manages. He meets customers, and if the customer suggests a particular design, the coordinator advises customer on the subject.
8. Event Managers: Event managers coordinate fashion shows, ramp walks, photo shoots etc
9. Merchandising Executives: People in this field promote an industry by advertising
Scope in the field of fashion designing
As said above, about 5 lakh employment opportunities are estimated to be created in the field recently. A fashion designing graduate can seek work in export companies, textile mills, textile marketing chains, boutique, leather manufacturing companies, jewelleries, fashion show event managing organisations etc. Apart from that, if you are not interested in working under others, you can start your own venture. Also best skilled persons can even find a career in film field. There are also designers who work as exclusive advisers to celebrities. These fields bring fame, money and glamour to the job.
In foreign countries, fashion designing is one of the most paid, most glamorous and most earning professions. But to pursue a career out of India, one will have to know about the dressing sense, trends and culture of that country as well.
Remuneration is in fact depended upon the hard work as well as the ability of the person. However a fresh graduate usually earns around 20000 Indian Rupees. Persons with good skill get more. Similarly experienced persons can demand more. Since fashion designing is not yet so popular in India, there is a shortage of enough professionals. Hence remuneration will grow.
If you are starting your own brand, it is possible that you may get a huge profit from your venture. Also the ones who work in film field get a lot of fame and unbelievable remuneration.
Fashion designing courses in India
Both degree courses and professional courses are available in the field of fashion designing. Degree courses include 4-year B.FA course and 3-year B.Sc course in fashion technology. The eligibility is XII in any stream. Admissions are either through entrance or on the basis of XII marks. Degree courses also offer specialisation in:
The professional course is B.Tech in fashion designing. Eligibility for this course is also XII. There are many fashion colleges in India where these courses are available.
Pursuing your career in fashion designing is a good option for anyone who has a love for fashion and the mind to work hard.
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