Ever since ages, the beauty and finesse of the textile and garment industry of India has remained the centre of attraction amongst the traders around the world.
But this time around, there is a growing need for innovative approaches in the garment and accessory design to make it relevant and stand competitively against the International brands in the global scenario.
The need has opened up a plethora of career opportunities in the fashion field which have a promising future ahead. The field is dynamic and fast changing but the ones with the penchant for creativity, style, and originality backed up with great managerial skills will be able to make it big in the alluring world of fashion designing.
Required creative skills: A career in fashion designing involves a good blend of both the natural and acquired skill sets. While coming to the natural attributes, the designer needs to hold in a decent aesthetic psyche, colour choice, the good and bold taste of moving ahead and striking a balance with the changing fashion trends and contemporary societal needs.
A precise eye for minute detailing like knowledge of fabrics involved, embroidery and design patterns used and so on are a big plus for making it big in the industry with ease.
Along with nature’s gift of a creative and design-conscious mind to be a successful designer one also needs to have the qualification from a decent and well-recognised fashion institute. The minimum requirement for the enthusiasts to enroll in any of the full-time or part-time graduation courses is a 10+2 certificate.
Higher qualifications in the field are not a compulsion in the present scenario, but their presence in a professionals resume keeps them ahead in the competition and portrays the professionals technical and creative expertise.
Dynamic work profile: In India, the scope has improved quite significantly; still, a lot needs to be done. With the rising demand for fine quality products amongst people and the equally outsized quantity of exports, the career prospects for fashion design graduates are many and are rapidly adding up more.
Either one can get employed and work for export houses, garment store chains, textile mills, leather companies, boutiques, fashion show organisers and media houses or can start a business of their own and remain self-employed.
Professional challenges: Most of the offbeat careers come with greater challenges. Working independently is a bit riskier venture as there is no guarantee of a steady and continuous income.
Satisfying a client is a great challenge, which requires entrepreneurial skills besides creative ones. Also, trends keep on changing rapidly, one need to keep oneself updated with the latest technologies, fabrics, and a about all the market dynamics.
One also needs to have good networking skills to acquire clients, in case one opts to work independently. Working as a fashion designer would not leverage you with the 9 to 5 job comforts, instead; the shifts might get erratic with client meetings scheduled even on the weekends. Furthermore, one may have to work simultaneously in the office, on-site, and from home to meet strict deadlines.
Tempting rewards and remuneration: At the beginning, things might be tough and the monthly salary package would be between Rs 10,000 to Rs15, 000 depending on the one’s skills, knowledge and location preferred. But, with the progress of time and experience, the salary package also tends to get better.
With substantial work exposure and gaining of new skills, the salary package will jump to the range of Rs 40, 000 to Rs 60, 000 per month within a few years.
Moreover, one can encounter tremendous opportunities of getting associated with the glamourous worlds of modelling, Bollywood and even Hollywood.
Independent designers, on the other hand, can earn varying amounts of revenue based on their networking skills, contacts in the industry and business as well as managerial acumen.
Whatever be the approach of getting employed in the industry, it is only the discipline, hard work, and consistent effort that will take one ahead in the ever competitive world of fashion designing.
The writer is creative head and founder, AKS Clothings.