If you can read colors, feel textures, notice blends and believe that you can create the look – fashion designing is a good option.
Fashion designers are trendsetters, but even they have to take an entrance exam and need to study. If you think shoes, belts and hats are style statements and speak louder and more eloquently than the design itself, complement the cut and contribute meaningfully towards an ensemble, another option could be accessory / Jewellery design.
Another option could also be fashion merchandising – lending your talent to the production process that is an essential part of the fashion industry. Merchandising is a specialized management function within the fashion industry. Fashion Merchandisers are responsible for selection of materials, liasoning with the production team and meeting market requirements. The job demands knowledge of fashion trends, textures, materials and colors on one hand and understanding of market demand and the production processes on the other.
Opportunities for jobs exist in the following sectors:
- 1.) Export houses dealing with garment/textile/handloom exports
- 2.) Retail and wholesale garment businesses in men’s/women’s/children clothing in sportswear/casual wear, etc.
- 3.) Haute Couture
- 4.) Government/Semi government-handloom/textile manufacturers
- 5.) Fashion show organizers/Fashion publishers
- 6.) TV/Film fashion program producers/compeers/costume designers, etc.
- 7.) With Film production units
- 8.) Teaching design
(B) The Job
- 1.) Exploration and research
- 2.) Sketching the original idea on paper
- 3.) Shaping the pattern pieces which make the garment
- 4.) The pieces are then drawn in actual size on paper and cut out on a rough material, stitched together and fitted on a model.
- 5.) Modifications in the pattern pieces or other features of the mock garment are made and thus the design is completed
- 6.) Garments are then made in the final fabric
- 7.) Junior designers: Junior designers generally do the first pattern cutting. They assemble the first samples with fabrics they have selected from the market.
- 1.) A merchandiser is primarily a coordinator.
- 2.) Merchandisers study buying trends and the buyer’s needs
- 3.) They collect specifications from the buyers and coordinate with fashion designers to develop a product which is market specific.
- 1.) Accessory designers are trained as stylists for men’s, ladies or children’s accessories
- 2.) They specialise in leather designing /jewellery designing etc.
- 3.) After carrying out a detailed research about the accessory they are required to work on, designers create new and attractive designs for their clients
- 4.) In the traditional, studio–based design sector, crafts people work to prepare each article individually
- 5.) Work is sold through local outlets, at tourist destinations, emporia and through craft melas.
- 1.) Jewellery designers create new designs for gold, silver and precious metal jewellery
- 2.) Large exporters employ designers or select designs from eminent freelancer
- 3.) Gemologists are experts in assessing the quality, value and use of gems for jewellery. They are experts in grading, sorting and setting of gems in various metals.
(C) Personality Traits
- 1.) Artistic, Creative and imaginative
- 2.) Know-how of textiles
- 3.) Original and inventive
- 4.) Flair for creating with fabric or gems
- 5.) Fashion Conscious
- 6.) Good Communicators
- 7.) Persuasive
- 8.) Business acumen
(D) Career Progression
- 1.) To start with, one has to be prepared to work in a junior position as a trainee or a design room assistant and the work could involve anything from developing other people’s designs to working as a colourist or in a pattern cutting role.
- 2.) You could expect to move from being a trainee or a design room assistant to an assistant designer and subsequently to designer and even head designer.
- 3.) Career progression often means moving to a new employer.
- 4.) Once you have established yourself you can look at working on your own either on a free lance basis or setting up your own boutique / design house.
- 1.) The best bet for a beginner is to get associated with an established designer or design house, and begin with doing the menial work. Most trainee designers get a stipend of around Rs. 4000, but what you can learn in terms of working knowledge is immense. Working as a part of a design team fetches around Rs.12,000 a month.
- 2.) After you have the necessary know-how as to how a designer operates on his/her own, which can take any amount of time from months to years, you can work on your own terms and command your own price.
To know more about other relevant information about Career in Fashion Design, read the Second Part (2) of this article.