A K G Nair
Director, Pearl Academy of Fashion
New emerging trends in today’s fashion world are driven by young people who are challenging the old styles of dressing. The casual and ‘I don’t care’ attitude is spreading among young peoples’ fashion mindsets, highly influenced by sports, music and the media. Today’s youth are an empowered lot and they have an enquiring and independent mind, open to accepting ideas from around the world.
Some parents on the other hand, even in urban India are still apprehensive of letting their children study fashion. Distorted publicity, sensationalising the glamorous face of the industry rather than the real facts in terms of business and technology, commerce, trade and creativity creates confusion in the minds of students and parents alike.
Direct communication with the students, teachers and parents on an ongoing basis by all stakeholders concerned including industry is paramount to attracting good talent. At the same time, the scope for careers in fashion and the creative industries is increasing every day.
A graduate or post-graduate from programmes in fashion could be employed with fashion or export houses in areas such as design and development, styling, trends research, forecasting, pattern making, merchandising and buying or manufacturing. Textile Design graduates could foray into fabric design, merchandising or surface ornamentation.
Pass-outs from the business and technology department could take up store operations, visual merchandising, buying, marketing research or advertising. Communication Design graduates can take up jobs in visualisation, art direction, illustration, photography, copywriting, spatial design and event design.
Alternatively, graduates may start a venture of their own. As they grow and become more mature, consultancy is an option that can allow them to work on multiple brands.
Over time, the logistics of the Indian fashion industry have also improved and are allowing it to compete in the international arena. Computer Aided Design (CAD) has been a major contributor in this direction. ‘Fit’ and ‘Fall’ have been the major challenges for fashion suppliers from India. This proposition is no longer complex on account of readily transferrable IT resources.
The time consuming mode of physical transportation of samples and other design inputs is no longer required. It is also very easy through this mode to visualise and conceptualise new weaves, prints, textures and knits, ready for commercial production as per requirements of clients. The increasing demand for fashion education is producing a lot of ambitious young professionals for the industry.
For students aspiring to enter the fashion design business, fashion is not as glamorous as it looks from the outside. It is real toil and hard work with a constant vigil on all details.
Visualisation is the key with appropriate technical abilities to convert an idea to a product, using material production techniques and the ability to scale. High sensitivity towards colour and understanding the body shapes will help young graduates to grow faster in the industry. There are also a number of course options available to make graduates’ dreams come true.
Pearl Academy of Fashion offers B.A. (Hons.) in Fashion Design, Textile Design, Jewellery Design, Fashion Styling and Image Design, Fashion Media Communication, Fashion Business Management and Fashion Retail Management.
At the post-graduate level, programmes are offered in Fashion Design, Textile Design, Garment Manufacturing, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Marketing and
Fashion Retail. Last year two MA programmes were introduced in Design (Fashion and Textiles) and Fashion Marketing.