The fashion industry has thousands of apparel manufacturing establishments. Both men’s and women’s apparel industry has seen phenomenal growth in the past few decades. The major functional areas the industry has are designing garments, cutting the cloth, sewing the pieces together and finally merchandising. Popularising and marketing of the various styles and products is done through ramp shows and fashion write-ups.
This chapter details the work of fashion designers, fashion manufacturers, fashion merchandisers, fashion journalists and fashion models.
Fashion is a term commonly used in relation to clothes, dresses, garments, textiles, etc. This Chapter deals with fashion as related to garments and accessories. In the last fifteen years fashion designing has gained spectacular prominence. There is increase in quality textiles and materials for the fashion designers to work with. This trend of fashion consciousness is bound to grow and stay. Fashion is identified today with status, acceptance and it almost implies social involvement. India enjoys a prominent place in the international market with its rich silks, traditional handloom fabrics, rustic textures and vibrant dyes. The creation of a world market for Indian garments is largely the contribution of Indian fashion designers. The trends of growth are set for upcoming fashion entrepreneurs.
NATURE OF WORK
What fashion designers do
Fashion designers create designs for almost anything, which is a part of the garment of men, women and children. Designers create garments and accessories making them functional as well as attractive, the main consideration being the needs of the client, which obviously are influenced by trends, market predictions and the climate. The designer needs to keep a close track with fit, style, colour, texture, size and material. Fashion designers design outer and inner garments and accessories to go with it. The process begins with sketching the original idea on paper and then shaping the pattern pieces, which make the garment. The pieces are then drawn in actual size on paper and cut out on a rough material. These pieces are stitched together and fitted on a model. Modifications in the pattern pieces or other features of the mock up are made and thus the design is completed. From the rough model sample garments are made in the final fabric. Much time of the designer is spent in exploration and research. Knowledge about fabric, weave, draping qualities, material, colour and design and the changing trends is important. There are three main areas of fashion design and manufacture. These are designing for mass production (wholesale), for fashion trends and large-scale manufacture of designerware. By far the largest area is wholesale manufacture, where firms mass-produce garments following fashion trends set in by fashion forecasters. High fashion designs when simplified and adapted for the common public are suitable for production in large numbers at low cost. Fashion trend setters are celebrated firms and fashion houses which produce exclusively designed garment collections. Fashion shows of ‘Haute Couture’ collections are held for marketing these designs. Designers, in the wholesale manufacturing sector, generally specialize in producing certain types of clothes in a wide range of styles and fabrics, e.g. jeans, jackets, childrenwear, men’s wear, etc. Some designers specialize in leisurewear, women’s wear, accessories, shoes, knitwear, sports wear. Some others specialize in designing of costumes for stage artists, TV or film. This work can involve historical research as well as design.
Stages in the designing of a garment :
Research - Creation of a design involves identifying what customers need and which designs will sell. Even in the special designers section, designers producing expensive original work keep in mind factors such as social customs, international fashion trends and fabrics available. In the wholesale sector manufacturing designers select and modify designs, which are going to sell. They get ideas by reviewing periodicals and attending fashion shows etc. They also take into account competitors’ products and sales information. Trends are anticipated as designs are produced a year in advance of garments reaching the market. New designs are required for two or more seasons each year. Designs - Designers use their creativity to produce ideas to suit the market needs. Sketches are used to outline basic ideas when fabrics are selected. The appearance, quality and texture of fabrics are taken into account. During manufacturing, the designer liaises with production staff and the buyer to ensure that mass production is feasible and cost effective.
Patterns- Designers make formal drawings indicating the position of seams, folds, darts, etc., but in many cases patterns are translated from the rough sketches by draftsmen.
Samples- Designers garments are made up for the show or private clients.
In wholesale manufacture, samples are made up before mass production begins and the designer makes any necessary adjustments. Changes may be required to suit production/budgetary requirements.
Presentation- Designers are required to present their design work to clients. Effective presentation is essential for designers. They do so through fashion shows, selling to individuals or retail buyers. Designers market their work and give advice to clients about adaptations - types of fabric, which can be used, different dimensions, production problems etc. This is a major aspect of the work for many designers.
In the fashion industry :
Job opportunities in the fashion related garment manufacturing industry are in:
Design department - Manufacturing units work on a large scale. They employ designers, cutting assistants, sketching assistants, junior designers. Cutting assistants have to cut samples as per specifications of the designer. This is followed by draping and garment construction. Sketching assistants make the technical sketches of the garments which are passed on to cutting assistants. From the making of specification drawings which decide how a garment has to be fabricated to the selection of fabrics is often the duty of the sketching assistant. Junior designers generally do the first pattern cutting. They assemble the first samples with fabrics they have selected from the market.
Marketing and merchandising-
Fashion trends are constantly changing, the people in merchandising and marketing have a good knowledge of fashion trends, of sales data and the organization’s marketing objectives. Based on this information the marketing department plans the company’s overall direction. It determines the price, product requirement, and hence they often work with the styling department when a new product is conceived.
Manufacturing department -
The production manager is at the head of the manufacturing unit. He is responsible for scheduling work goals, training of workers, managing all activities in order to maintain quality in production. The production manager oversees the work of pattern cutting- from pattern grading, spreading and marking to cutting, assembling and finishing. With the production manager are production assistants who supervise the work at each stage.
The production pattern maker makes the first ‘master pattern’ of the garment on tough paper. This master pattern is made in close coordination with the fashion-designing department. The master pattern is made into a number of sizes. Each piece of the garment is represented by a piece of the pattern. The fabric is spread out and patterns are cut. The pieces are assembled for the machine operator and finally finished by handwork. This is the process where a number of people are employed in large manufacturing industries while in smaller units the same persons may be doing a number of tasks.
Fashion coordinators -
They coordinate with the buyer and the production manager. The fashion coordinator makes sure production schedules are kept, meets buyers goes through specifications for fabrics, colours, designs and keeps an eye on the quality. When buyers give their own designs, the coordinator helps decide the fabric colours and accessories that should be used to suit the designs. They explain the design to the production pattern makers and get sample pieces made. The sample is draped on a dummy to see if some changes in details or style are required. Once the sample is finalised, its pieces are measured precisely. It is the coordinator who suggests how the cloth should be cut so as to minimize wastage. The garment is then and finally presented for sale.
The work of a fashion designer is both competitive and stressful. Constant excitement, limelight and glamour set the tone for work. Considerable time is spent standing, working on large worktables. The work involves teamwork. Fashion shows require perseverance over long periods of time. There is considerable travel involved during fabric selection, analysing fashion trends, fashion displays. Hectic work pressure evolves during fashion shows.
Fashion designers should be artistic and creative. They should be able to express their ideas in sketches. They may not be brilliant artists but must be able to combine colours, shades and tones. Designers have a flair for creating with fabric and know how to use textiles effectively. Designers need visual imagination and the ability to think in three-dimensions to translate into garments what they visualize. They must be fashion conscious and must be aware of market requirements. An understanding of the market and customer lifestyle is required, so that designs are suitable for people they are made for. Designers must be good communicators. The work attitudes involved with selling, persuading and influencing are required. Self-employed/freelance designers need business acumen. Top designers must be highly original and inventive. Sketching is not possible at shows, therefore designers must be observant and must have a good memory.
There are opportunities for work with the various sectors dealing with fashion. The opportunities for jobs exist in the following sectors:
Export houses dealing with garment/textile/handloom exports
Retail and wholesale garment businesses in men’s/women’s/children clothing in sportswear/casual wear, etc.
Government/Semi government-handloom/textile manufacturers)
Fashion show organizers/Fashion publishers
TV/Film fashion programme producers/comperes/costume designers, etc.
Trainee designers get a stipend of around Rs. 4000. Designers working as part of a team get Rs. 12,000 a month.
The main area for entry into the world of fashion after +2 is in designing. Merchandising, marketing, manufacturing requires a graduate degree. For aspirants to the fashion design arena here are some tips:
Preparing to be a fashion designer
Begin with drawing and sketching early at school, sketch people around you with different types and colours of clothing. Draw fashionable looking figures and learn to develop your instinct for putting your ideas down on paper. Fashion relates to trends, use your imagination, learn about fashion, read all you can get on it - the history and the story of its evolution, the work of famous designers and their distinctive styles. Read fashion magazines you can lay your hands on and study the prevalent trends in design. As a designer, you will have to be familiar with all of that. Remember successful and dedicated designers have to live and breathe fashion.
As a designer, you have to have knowledge and experience of the basic tailoring skills. You have to know cutting, sewing, draping, how to distinguish between fabric quality and you have to be really persevering when searching for good cloth. The training for apparel designing provides an access to fabrics, a knowledge of basic craftsmanship and also of other specialized fields like embroidery.
Fashion designing courses are generally offered to students after +2. The course imparts training in all the aspects of garment manufacture. However, the quality of training varies from institute to institute. There are very prestigious and competitive courses in fashion technology offered by National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi which has gained tremendous applause for training some very prominent fashion designers. Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai too is a well-known training school. Fashion designers, however, are being trained by some newer institutes also. Students in other parts of the country are advised to visit local polytechnics and vocational training institutes for courses in fashion design.
National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)
Institute Courses Prerequisites
NIFT, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Bangalore 3 year Under Graduate Diploma Programmes in 1 Accessory Design at Delhi, Gandhinagar. Hyderabad. Bangalore & Chennai I Fashion Design Candidates who have completed 10+2 or are in their 12th Std. from any recognised Board with a minimum of 50% (45% for SC/ ST candidates) marks. Academic exposure in fashion design or art is desirable. Selection through test.
NIPT, Delhi Fashion design and Information Technology, 3½ year course 10+2 from India or abroad. Admission through interview .
NIFT, Delhi, Ban- galore, Hyderabad NIFT, Delhi, Mum- bai, Bangalore Kolkota.Chennai, Hyderabad, Gandhinagar NIFT, Delhi & Calcutta NIFT, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota, & Chennai NIFT, Delhi, Kolkata& Hyderabad NIFT Delhi 2 years Post Graduate diploma programmes in - Apparel Marketing and Merchandising Garment Manufacturing Technology Leather Apparel Design and Technology Knitwear Design and Technology Textile Design and Development Fashion communication for fashion writing, editing, PR consultants, visual merchandising, styling, event managers (2 year course) Candidates who have passed Bachelors Degree or are in their final year examination In Engineering, Science, Mathematics or Humanities securing 50# marks. Diploma holders in Fashion Design & Accessory Design from NIFT only are eligible. Selection through test. Same as above Same as above Same as above Same as above
NIFT Delhi 2 year Certificate Advanced PG Dip/Dip in any of the NIFT/NID design course or B.Sc. Home Sc. (Clothing and Textiles) with 50% or Bachelor in Fine Arts with 50% marks. Grade with 50% (45% Sc/ST) and aptitude are also eligible.
Programme in Fashion Design
Address for Correspondence
- NIFT Campus, Hauz Khas, Near Gulmohar Park, New Delhi 110016
- NIFT, Tata Mills Compound, Dada Saheb Phalke Mg., Dadar (E) Mumbai 400041
- NIFT, Manjusha Bhavan, 181, Sector III, IB Block, Salt Lake City, Calcutta 700098
- NIFT, Plot E/4, GIDC Electronic Estate, Gandhinagar (Gujarat) 382044
- NIFT, Opp. Hitech City, Madhapur, Jubli Hills, Hyderabad 500133
- NIFT, Cooptex Building, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai 600008
- NIFT, The Karnataka State Co-op Mktg., Federation Building, No. 8 Cunnigham Road, Bangalore 560052
National Institute of Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad 580007
The NID conducts Advanced Entry Professional Education Programme entry requirements are given below:
Course-Apparel Design. Duration -3 years, Entry Requirements -Graduates in Fine Arts, Home Science [clothing and Textiles], the Humanities, or diploma holders who have qualified from Polytechnics with related specialization or candidates with at least 2 years experience in the field or 10+2 students with 3 years experience can apply. Advertisement - October.
Other Institutes :
-- International Institute of Fashion Technology, H-12, South Extension Part-I, New Delhi -110 049
3 year Advanced Diploma in Clothing Management, Fashion Designing, Textile Management, Apparel Management
2 year Advanced Diploma in Fashion Designing, Apparel Merchandising
1 year Diploma in Apparel Merchandising, Fashion Designing, Accessory Design, Garment Production Technology, Garment Quality Control.
1 year College Diploma in Fashion Designing
Certificate Courses (six months) - Garment Merchandising, Garment Manufacturing, Garment Export/Import, Fashion Designing, Quality Control, Accessory Design, Textile Designing,
Two year Post Graduate Diploma in garment Business Administration for graduates Eligibility For Diploma Course- 10+2/Graduation.
Eligibility for Certificate Course - Degree in any discipline and relevant experience.
Mangalore Institute of Fashion Technology (MIFT) Kulai, Mangalore 574196 (affiliated to Mangalore University).
Courses-B.Sc. (3½ years) in Leather Design, Garment Design, Fashion Design
Eligibility - 45% in XII with Science for Leather Design, Arts, Science or Commerce for Fashion/Garment Design
Selection - Common Entrance Tests at Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Patna, Hyderabad, Kochi & Mangalore.
Pearl Academy of Fashion C-56/21 Okhla Industrial Area, Ph. II, New Delhi 110 020 and A-21/13, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi-28. Website - www.pearlacademy.com
Post Graduate Programmes
2 years in Integrated Fashion Technology, validated by the Nottingham Trent University U.K. and the Melbourne Institute of Textiles, Australia leading to MA degree.
1½ year in Apparel Merchandizing & Production Management.
2 years in Fashion design and clothing technology.
2 year in Fashion Design Domestic Retail
2 year in Fashion Merchandising and Production Technology
2 year in Textiles Design Technology and Management
1 year Knitwear Design and Technology
2 Year Integrated CAD Programme in Fashion, Textiles and Communication (in association with APTC India).
Selection - Through admission test
Wigan Fashion School, Wigan & Leigh College (India) Ltd., 401-402 Skipper Comer, 88 Nehru Place, New Delhi -110 019.
Course - Full time diploma in Fashion Technology (2 years) conducted in Delhi & Calcutta for graduates/XII. 1-year part time certificate course in Pattern Cutting. Part time certificate course in Fashion Design (1 year) Last semester may be pursued in UK. Selection through merit.
National Institute of Fashion Design, NIFD Campus, 2-B, Jal Bhawan, M. Marg, Sector 27-A, Chandigarh has institutes in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, UP and Haryana (75 centres) Courses in Fashion and related fields of design are offered by the institutes.
JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Lokayata, Hauzkhas Village, New Delhi. www.jdinstitute.com. The institute offers courses in fashion photography, visual merchandising, jewellery designing, fashion designing.
Apeejay Institute of Design, 54, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, MB Road, New Delhi 100062. The institute offers 4 year courses for school leavers and 1 year courses for graduates in Textile, Fashion, Interior, Graphic, Ceramic, Furniture, Jewellery Design. Each course is preceded by a Foundation course, which assists students to prepare for special areas of study.
International Academy of Design, E-291, GKII, New Delhi - 48 offers 2 year courses in Fashion.
Academy of Fashion Studies, B-37 Pocket B, Gangotri Enclave, Alaknanda, New Delhi 110019.
Academy of Fashion Technology, C-574, Saraswati Vihar, Pitampura, Delhi.
JD Institute of Fashion Technology (Affiliated to the International fine arts College, Miami USA), D-147, Savitri Path, Bapu Nagar, Jaipur
South Delhi Polytechnic, N-9, Ring Road, NDSE I, New Delhi 110049
Lisa Institute of Fashion (P.) Ltd., J-l/164, Rajouri Garden, NewDelhi-110027
Airforce Vocational College, Old Wellingdon Camp, Race Course, New Delhi-110003
International Polytechnic, A-3 NDSE I, New Delhi 110049
Sophia BK Somani Polytechnic, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai 400026
Apparel & Leather Technics Pvt. Ltd., Kai Kondanahalli, Sarjapur Road, Carmelrani Post, Bangalore 560 035
School of Fashion Technology, Dr. Bhanuben Nanawati College of Architecture, Karvenagar, Pune 411052.
Shree Devi College of Fashion Design, Shree Devi Education Trust, Maina Towers, Ballabhgarh, Mangalore - 5 75003
Nirmala Niketan, 49, New Mauni Lines, Mumbai.
CEPZ Institute of Fashion Technology, Clothing Export Processing Zone, plot No. F 1 1 & 12, MIDC, Marol Central Road, Andheri, Mumbai 400093
Premilila Vithaldas Polytechnic, Juhu, Tara Rd, Santa Cruz (W), Mumbai 400049
Dress designing and manufacturing courses (2 year)
Women’s Polytechnic, Maharani Bagh, New Delhi
Lajpat nagar Polytechnic, New Delhi
Institute of Handloom Technology, Benaras
Nirmala Niketan, 49, New Marine Lines, Mumbai
Akbar Peerboy Girls Polytechnic, Mumbai SNDT University, Church Gate, Mumbai
(Special course in children’s garments)
Note : Polytechnics offer courses in textile designing, fashion designing, garment manufacture etc.
Footwear Design and Development Institute, A-10 Sector 24, Noida 201301
Course - Diploma in Footwear Designing (DFD) of one-year duration.
Eligibility- Bachelor’s degree in any disapline Art/Painting/Sculpture.
Selection - Entrance test in subjects such as Arithmetic, Inspection, Mental alertness, Sketching, Expression, Comprehension.
Fashion in India often originates abroad. Study opportunities exist for those who wish to train abroad at these institutes. (Address queries to Officer for Admissions)
United States of America
Fashion Institute of Technology, 227 West, 27th Street, New York, NY 10001.
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, 818 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles CA 90017
Pratt Institute, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn NY 1 1205
Tobe Coburn School for Fashion Careers, 686 Broadway, New YorkNY10012
University College with Fashion programmes in USA
Drexel University, 32nd and Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Lowa state university, 140 Le Baron Hall College of Home Economics, Ames, Lowa 50011
Kent State University, 145 Rockwell Hall Kent, OH 44242
Stephen’s College, Columbia, Missisipi 65215
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13210
University of Arizona, Division of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design, Tucson, AZ 85721
University of Maryland, Department of Textiles and Consumer Economy, College Park, MD 20742
Design/Art programmes in Universities in the US
California College of Arts and Crafts, 5212 Broadway College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
Cooper Union, Cooper Square New York, NY 10003
Moore College of Art, 20th and the Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Parsons School of Design, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Rhode Island School of Design, 2 College Street, Providence, RI02903
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbus Drive and Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, II. 60603
Kingston Polytechnic, Kingston, Surrey (Three-year degree course)
London College of Fashion and Clothing Technology, London (Three-year diploma in design and clothing technology)
Middlesex Polytechnic, London (Degree courses in fashion design)
Royal College of Art, London
St. Martin’s School of Art, London, France (Knowledge of French is essential)
L’ecole de la Chambre Syndicate de la Couture, Parisienne Rue Saint Roch, 75002 Paris (Three-year course. Also a two-year course for foreign students)
ESMOD, 16, Boulevard Montmartre 75009, Paris
L’ecole Superieure Des Arts Appliques ‘Duperre’, 11, Rue Dupetit-Thouars,
75003 Paris (One-year course)
The Bunka College, Tokyo (Two-or three-year practical courses. One-year postgraduate course specifically for design).