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Bachelor of Fashion Design

Fashion Design Course After 12th

Fashion designers live a life that’s very fulfilling. They get to do a job that they are passionate about. They get to use their talent to improve their standards of living and they get to do it everyday. Not many people in other vocations can claim to make their passion their job. Becoming a fashion designer is not tough. While many believe that you don’t need any degree to become a fashion designer, in reality a professional degree helps accelerate growth. Once you complete a bachelor of fashion design course, you automatically come to the notice of people.

If you are keen to become a fashion designer, you must begin your journey early. The best thing to do is enroll in a reputable and recognized fashion design course after 12th so that you get the maximum leverage later. Nowadays there are many courses available for aspiring fashion designers, from the traditional fashion designing course to the more advanced apparel production, communication design, fashion management and textile design. While the core idea in all types of course remains the same, the approach and teachings vary from course to course.

Bachelor of Fashion Design

A Bachelor of Fashion Design can mean different things. A full-fledged 3-years’ bachelors’ degree, a 6 month or 12 month diploma course, post graduate diploma and so forth. Where you want to see yourself in a future should determine what you want to study now.

There is no doubt that in the last two decades fashion designing has become a very popular vocational program in India, so much so that today it is a highly competitive space. Probably we must thank stalwart designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Wendell Rodricks, Satya Pal, Ritu Kumar and so many others who have made fashionable clothes accessible to all. There was once a time when designer clothes were meant for celebrities and affluent people. Today that’s not the case as everyone has access to fashionable yet affordable clothes. This means that there is a huge scope for new designers to enter the market and become a part of the fashion industry.

Scope for Fashion Designers      
In this age of social media glitz and glamor, anyone can become a social media star. This means that anyone can earn followers easily by posting quality content online. Since the world has become more open to newer talents who are not necessarily celebrities at the first instance, more and more young people are drawn towards social media popularity. This has opened floodgates of opportunities for fashion enthusiasts who can help social media influencers reach their goals by styling them appropriately. Other than that the traditional opportunities for fashion designing aspirants still exists. In fact boutiques and fashion brands have become all the more common which has made it easier for fashion designers to make their mark.  

There is no dearth of opportunities for fashion designers today. From opening their own boutiques right after passing from a reputed college to working under a well-known fashion designer for few years, there are many ways to grow in the industry. Moreover, no one looks down at experimenting fashion designers anymore. The more you experiment with your designs, the more you collaborate with influencers, the more you create sustainable designs, the more opportunities you get.

What Are the Core Responsibilities of a Fashion Designer?         
A fashion designer is responsible for steering trends towards newer directions. Conscientious fashion designers make sustainable decisions that help create lesser pollutants and waste. As a beginner, your core responsibilities will begin with –  

  • Conceptualizing new designs and using new materials
  • Staying abreast with emerging fashion trends
  • Understanding technical aspects of designing, production and cost estimations
  • Understanding mass fashion requirements and collaborating designs according
  • Developing products that have a wider acceptance
  • Collaborating with sales executives to understand the demands of the market
  • Identifying target audience and market based on gender, age and socio-economic status and molding designs accordingly.

Characteristics That Makes a Successful Fashion Designer           
Talent is naturally a pre-requisite for becoming a fashion designer. But talent can take you only so far. You will need to develop other qualities, some of which we shall be discussing below, that will help you become not just a better designer but also a successful one. If you have read inspiring stories about how fashion designers have taken over the world with their creativity and business acumen, you must understand that they didn’t achieve all that in a single day. They toiled hard, burnt many midnight oil, failed numerous times, rose every single time and continued to persevere despite of all challenges.  

So, what makes a successful fashion designer? Below we shall be discussing a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • Confidence – The fashion industry is a grueling one. You cannot easily succumb to the pressure. You will need to build a wall of confidence around you to sell your ideas and designs to retailers, buyers, other designers and stakeholders. Your efforts will not be recognized instantly but you must have confidence in your skills and know with certainty that you will succeed.  
  • Perseverance – It takes more than just talent to become a successful fashion designer. You have to be patient and persistent in your efforts to succeed. You must have the tenacity to recognize failures as stepping stones to success. You must have a never say die attitude to succeed.
  • Personality – You must have noticed that fashion designers have a flamboyant attitude that puts them apart from the rest. Personality is surely a winning trait in a good designer. Your designs can take you only to a certain level, but your personality can heighten your success. It is your personality that will help you promote your brand successfully and also win more admirers.  

Why a Degree in Fashion Designing is Necessary?           
When talent is a pre-requisite to becoming a fashion designer, why do you need to study it as a subject? This is a question often asked. Though it is true that your talent can determine how successful your career as a fashion designer will be, it is often not enough to succeed. You need to also understand the nuances of the industry, the challenges ahead of you, how to beat competition, rise above mediocrity and showcase your talent in a manner that helps fulfill your dreams.

If you want to rise about mediocrity and fulfill your dreams quickly, you should enroll in a fashion designing course right after your 12th.

What to Expect From A Fashion Designing Course?         
The very basic thing you need to become a fashion designer is creativity. You need to be able to imagine newer designs and have the skills to execute your idea into something more tangible. This is where a professional education comes handy. An academic program will help you mold your creativity so that you can get best leverage in the industry. When you enroll in a fashion designing course right after your 12th, your young mind is ready to learn a lot of new things. If until then you had been scribbling in your drawing book and making innumerable designs then during your academic pursuance, you will learn your mistakes and know ways to improve yourself.

In a professional environment, you will get the exposure to know how to improve your skills. You will be taught by professional designers who have a thorough knowledge about how this competitive industry works. Within the confines of a college, you will the opportunity to know how challenging the work of a fashion designer really is. However, enrolling in a reputed fashion designing college will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for the challenges of a professional life.  

Skills You Will Learn in a Fashion Designing School         
Scribbling designs on a notebook isn’t fashion designing. That’s just your talent outpouring to fulfill your creative pursuits. That’s not going to take you too far. You need to enhance your skills and learn newer things that will improve your skills. When you enroll in a fashion designing program you will learn new things that will help you enhance your skills. Some of the things that are commonly taught in fashion school are –

  • Creativity – It is a core skill that will define your path ahead as a fashion designer. You should be able to look at a piece of fabric and imagine how best it can be styled. You should be able to determine which material will do justice to your designs. Creativity is the fundamental asset that is at the core of all your future endeavors. In an academic environment, you will get ample opportunities to improve your creativity. 
  • 3D Designing Skills – Technology is a part and parcel of any profession today. Even as a fashion designer you should have the know-how on how to use technology for better reach. Learning 3D designing skills is absolutely necessary today when you want to hasten decision making, design while on the go, share digital samples whenever you want and also to become more sustainable.
  • Visualization – Your mind may be brimming with ideas but unless you can visualize where the design will look the best, you cannot go forward. In a fashion school, you will be taught visualization skills which will help you ideate better. For example, if you are designing for women, you will be in a better position to understand which design requires which material and so on.   
  • Improved Communication Skills – Designers thrive when they interact with colleagues, industry experts, models, consumers, retailers, raw material suppliers etc. Communication is key to success. Designing is only one step to becoming a fashion designer. You will need to explain your ideas to your team members, liaise with manufacturers on fabric requirements, communicate with production team on how the final outlook would be and further talk to retailers/wholesalers/boutique owners to sell your designed clothes. All this can only be successful when you can communicate clearly. Developing your communication skills is an important lesson taught in fashion schools.   
  • Multi-tasking Skills – Right now as a young final-year school student, you may have the time to sketch for endless hours without a worry. But once you become a professional designer you will have to do a lot more than sketching. You will have to source materials, talk to clients, enlist in fashion shows, promote your brand, maintain public relations, and more. Multi-tasking is very important if you want to do all the above without getting flummoxed. When in a fashion school, you will have to multi-task everyday which will prepare you for the tough journey ahead.
  • Becoming an Environmentally Conscious Designer – Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter just after the oil industry? Yes! The adverse impact of fashion on our environment is huge. As we battle global warming, it is important that the next generation designers become conscious and responsible of what and how they produce fashion goods. Today, it has become an essential skill taught in fashion schools.  

How to Enroll in A Fashion Design Course After 12th?     
Since fashion designing is a professional course, there is no restriction on who can enroll in the program and who cannot. Students from any academic background can join a bachelor’s program in fashion designing. The main criterion is to have the knack for fashion, to be able to understand fashion and its changing milieu and have the drive to become a part of this competitive environment.

Though many colleges give admission on a first come first serve basis, many other reputable colleges require students to clear either the –

  • All India Entrance exam for Design(AIEED)
  • National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT) entrance exam or the,
  • National Institute Of Design(NID) entrance exam   

A minimum age for qualification is 17 years while the maximum is 23 years which can go up another 5 years in case of ST/SC/OBC/PWD category students.

Career Opportunities for Fashion Designers       
Innumerable opportunities open for fashion designing graduates after the completion of their course. You can be hired by famous fashion designers as interns and then you can slowly climb the ladder of success. You can also be inducted into a corporate setup when you are hired by a bug fashion brand. Alternatively you can start your own business right after graduating and open your own boutique. The opportunities of participating in fashion shows, both nationally and internationally also open when you graduate from a leading fashion school of the country.

The important thing to remember while enrolling in any fashion designing course is to know what you want to specialize in. As the academic scope of the subject expands, there are more and more specializations being added to the course every few years. So you could be interested in a simple fashion designing degree or go for specializations in textile designing, accessory designing, fashion merchandising, leather designing, fashion publisher and lot more.

Final Words       
A professional degree in fashion designing will help you realize how to best utilize your creativity. You can forge a path in creative arts in a more professional manner when you are armed with the right degree. Join the course right after your 12th so that you can become a part of the industry quickly. Find out more about Bachelor of Fashion Designing before enrolling in any program.

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Pattern Making Course

Pattern Making Course

How many times do we think that the clothes we wear have been meticulously planned, designed, cut, seamed, stitched by faceless people who spend hours ensuring that each cut is perfect, each stitch is flawless and each fabric is perfectly sewn? In truth, most of us don’t really think about the finer details of the designs we wear. Most of us go to a shop, choose from a bundle of options, select a garment that we like, buy it and wear it. That’s it. But if you belong to that small percentage of people who likes to know how things are made, want to understand the exciting process of apparel designing, you may be interested in fashion designing and pattern making course.

In popular culture, fashion designers are people with a paper and pen, sketching their creativity and then seeing their final output. In reality, fashion designers do a lot more than sketching. It is a complex process that goes through multiple stages before you see those inspiring designs on your apparels. They must ensure that their idea is conceivable; they have to source the right material, create patterns that justify the design, stitch it professionally and finally ensure the product reaches the right customers. 

There are many facets of fashion designing that often gets eclipsed by the glitz and glamor. It is quite a misconception that fashion designing is only about designs. There are other professional aspects that are as important as fashion designing which require adequate training and experience. One such thing is pattern making, an aspect of fashion designing that often goes unnoticed due to the technicality of the subject. It’s much like the food we at restaurants where all credit goes to the chef but others in the chain often live uncelebrated.

What is Pattern Making?

A design is sketched on a paper. But that’s just the basic outline of what the final garment will look like. In the design there are technical details that are very important. The cut, seam and measurements of the various parts all make up for the technicality in the process. These are things which when ignored will result to poor quality design output. Pattern Making is the technical aspect of designing which acts more like the blueprint for a garment based on which a fabric is cut. In pattern making, the garment has to be drafted or drawn according to standard sizes depending on dress, forms and figures. Once the technical drawing is complete, they are then converted into 2D patterns using which the fabric is finally cut.

Pattern making is not just another skill that is part of a fashion designing program. Though fashion designers must know everything about pattern making, it can also be studied as a separate vocation. It must be understood that pattern making is a practical and application based subject. It can be a time-consuming and difficult subject to learn in the beginning but once you get the hang of things, the concepts become simplified and easy. It is worth all the efforts that people put in thanks to the career opportunities it opens up for you.

Pattern making became very popular with the advent of ready-to-wear clothing. Since the onset of the industrial revolution, clothes began to be mass produced in factories. Thus now we find the same pattern of apparel in different sizes. This is possible because of pattern making as it works as a bridge between design and production. It is in pattern making that the various shapes and proportions of the human body are taken into consideration while making any apparel. 

Thanks to the art of pattern making, a flat piece of fabric can be cut into shapes that do justice to the human figure. A sketch can only be turned into a garment when pattern making is used to interpret the design. It is important that we remember that while a design is sketched on a flat surface, a body for which it is envisioned isn’t flat. It has height, width and depth. The human body looks like a rough cylinder with sudden bulges and curves. It is the job of a pattern maker to take note of the varying shapes to turn a design into a proper, wearable garment. 

In order to interpret a design properly knowledge of pattern making is essential. A fashion designer cannot do justice to their designs unless they understand pattern making. It is important to note that pattern making can vary from fabric to fabric, design to design, garment to garment. Even when all these remain the same a pattern that looks good on lean people won’t do so on those with extra pounds around their body.   

There are different methods in pattern making that can be used. Flat pattern making and draping are the two most common methods that are used. In flat pattern making accurate measurements are taken from a dress form which is then used to make a pattern on paper. In draping, on the other hand, a specific design is achieved by draping a muslin fabric upon a figure form and then a design is conceived. 

Evolution of Pattern Making

For human beings clothing was once just a means of covering the body. A well-fitted garment was never a consideration. As time went by, fitted clothes were almost exclusively worn by the rich. It was seen as a luxury to wear fitted clothes and utilitarian clothing was for all. As the concept of fashion advanced, ordinary people started seeking fitted clothes accentuated their appearance. Comfortable and functional clothing especially created for a body type became much popular. But there was a limitation of dress makers. Only the affluent could afford to hire the services of a dress maker for their personal needs. The rest had to make their own or wear hand-me-downs.

Clothing patterns became known around the late 16th century when Spanish dress makers started publishing clothing patterns in books. Though there were patterns published, they were more of how-to books for tailors. Instructions were provided on cutting, measurement, garment fit etc. They were so technical that home sewers couldn’t use them. In the 1800s things started changing as books for home sewers became popular. There were full-size patterns, final garment images and even pattern drafting instructions. However full-size patterns were not published often. Illustrations and patterns were printed without any scale measurements (more so because there weren’t any standard then) which made it difficult for home sewers to size them according to their own needs.

During the Civil War, tailor Butterick began to mass produce patterns in tissue paper. He ensured that the patterns were made using standard proportional grading system. They became so popular that by 1871 he had sold 6 million patterns. Mass produced paper patterns soon became the norm and McCall joined in the league of Butterick to sell patterns.  

Today, a lot of things have changed in pattern making. Advanced technology  and the use of computers has made pattern making easy and accessible. A mention here must be made of the role tape measure played in all this. Until the 1800s there wasn’t any standard measurement for clothing. But as tape measures became popular, it became easier to produce mathematic patterns in three dimensions. Pattern making has helped not just home sewers to stitch their own clothes that are well-fitted but also helped mass produce clothes in different shapes and sizes. Pattern making has made it possible for people to buy ready to wear clothes. 

Methods You Must Know in Pattern Making


There are different methods that are used in pattern making. Primarily there are three methods, namely,

  • Drafting
  • Draping
  • Flat Paper Pattern Making

Drafting
As the name suggests Drafting involves understanding the basics of measurements and sizing systems. In drafting the basic concept of how to size a body form are highlighted. How to measure chest, hip, waist, etc. are important concepts in drafting. Furthermore, ease allowances are put on paper where construction lines are later drawn to complete the pattern. Basically, drafting lays the foundation of a design pattern.  

Draping       
Draping is the art of using a two-dimensional piece of fabric to wrap around a three-dimensional body form. Muslin is used in draping which is then transferred to paper to finalize the pattern. Draping is considered an effective technique as it allows the designer to visualize the overall effect of the design before the fabric is cut and stitched. However it must be remembered that draping is an expensive and time-consuming process.

Flat Pattern Making               
Flat pattern is the art of developing a fitted basic pattern that is comfortable for a person to wear. The starting point is a sloper which is nothing but a simple pattern that is developed for ease of movement and comfort. For women’s clothing there are five basic pattern pieces – snug-fitting bodice front, bodice back with darts, basic neckline, sleeves, fitted skirt front and back with darts. The basic slopers are often manipulated to meet the demands of changing fashion trends. This method is very popular especially in the ready-to-wear market because it is considered a highly efficient and accurate method. 

What Makes Pattern Making So Important         
A design is worthless unless the designer takes into consideration the three-dimension figure of the human body and envision how best to make the design look on the human body. The gap between a design and a garment can only be filled when there is someone in between translating the former for the latter. This is that job that a pattern maker does. It is pattern making that bridges the gap between design and final garment. It is that technical aspect whose relevance is hardly known to many. But without pattern making the process will remain incomplete. Not surprisingly pattern makers are deemed very important in the apparel designing and production process and this has made it a desired career option.  

Who Can Do a Pattern Making Course?
Anyone can do a pattern making course. Most people have the misconception that you need to be able to draw and sketch decently to become a pattern maker. But that’s not true. It is more important for a pattern maker to understand simple maths, dimensions, width, height, cuts, depth etc. than be able to draw and sketch. If you are creative and understand how garments are produced, you can do a course in pattern making.

Alternatively, it is always better for a fashion designer to have the necessary skills in pattern making. A fashion designer can never go far and beyond if they restrict themselves to simple sketching new designs. They must be able to create patterns, select necessary fabric and must also have adequate knowledge of production. So, it is better for a fashion designer to also have a diploma in pattern making.  

What is the Duration of a Pattern Making Course?         
Pattern making isn’t a full-fledged graduate or post-graduate course. It is a diploma program offered by most fashion designing institutes lasting anything from six months to one year.

Who Offers Pattern Making Course?     
Apart from graduate and post-graduate fashion designing programs, most commonly fashion schools also offer scores of other small-term programs. They are usually designed for those students who seek short-term programs that can give their career the desired boost. Pattern making is one of the popular short-term courses offered by most fashion schools. Nowadays, there are several online courses on pattern making too that are very popular. Though these courses have become very common nowadays, it is better to enroll in a recognized program.  Getting admissions in a reputed and recognized institution will mean that your opportunities widen in the long run. You are also taught by the very best which will help you understand the subject better. Since there are many technical things to learn in pattern making, it is important that you learn from the best.

What Are The Requirements for Admissions?   
Pattern making course is open for all. Many institutions admit Class 10 and Class 12 pass outs. You can also be a graduate and still get admitted in a pattern making program. This course is also ideal for fashion designing graduates and post graduates who seek to strengthen their CV. A professional working in the fashion industry can also enroll in such a program.

What Will You Be Taught in Pattern Making?    
Pattern making is an interesting subject. It is also very technical. Some of the things that are taught in pattern making include –

  • Beginners will be taught how to draft patterns which will include dart manipulation, contour and adding fullness
  • Basics of draping are also taught
  • Techniques such as Slash-and-Spread and Pivoting are also taught
  • Basics of drafting A-line Skirts
  • How to add fullness to a skirt and how to draft a yoke onto it are also taught
  • Techniques such as darts, tucks, pleats, seams, princess stylelines are part of the curriculum
  • Pattern labeling and grainlines are also taught
  • Notches and seam allowance techniques

During the duration of the program, videos will be shown about drafting and pattern making. You will also have practical sessions where you will be encouraged to cut, draft and drape different types of patterns.

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Fashion Design Degree

Fashion Design Degree – Career, Courses, Subjects, Eligibility, Exams

Fashion Designing is an art, a dream, and a vision to revolutionize apparel designs aesthetically. It is the soul of the entire fashion industry. Just imagine how the world may look without the hues of colors and beauty! Similarly, how uninteresting it is to see everyone in the same attire. With the dawn of civilization, fashion sense started attracting people and took shape in different ways and forms in different eras. However, the concept of obtaining fashion design degree or education emerged with the modernization of society. Fashion has now become a full-fledged industry.

The history of fashion design dates back to 1826. Charles Frederick Worth is considered the first fashion designer of the world who started a fashion house in Paris. No wonder why Parish is the international fashion capital. It was during the middle of the 20th century that fashion houses from the streets of Paris started mass production of fashion garments. Since then, the wave of fashion never stopped.

It encroached massively from rare few to everyone and became accessible to a larger public. The revolutionizing fashion trends received so much love and acceptance that it became a lifestyle among people from different geographical conditions. It largely added to the world’s GDP by also creating employment opportunities for keen fashion enthusiasts. Since the fashion design industry broadened its horizons, specializations in varied categories of clothing came into existence. Fashion trend like men’s wear, women’s wear, lingerie, bridal wear, kid’s wear, handbags, footwear, and accessories, etc. emerged to remain forever.

Fashion Design in Modern Times

Modern fashion design can be categorized into ready-to-wear and haute couture. The intricate developments in the fashion design industry gave a boost to other career paths like fashion journalism, fashion photography, fashion advisory, hair, and make-up artisans, etc.  Due to having core skills and understanding today, fashion designers have more career choices than the earlier times when most of the fashion designers were independent freelancers. Today, fashion design degree or diploma holders can get a competitive-edge over their counterparts, especially during promotions. Added to their enhanced skills and understanding of fashion business, individuals equipped with special training are preferred among others.

Today, the work has become more streamlined with the synchronization of the fashion industry. Need for various fashion assistants to stylists to managers to entrepreneurs and so on has emerged. Hence, the competition has increased among the fashion corporates, professionals and scholars. It allowed global fashion schools to enhance the training structure with an innovative curriculum in fashion design. The upcoming fashionistas must have a good hold of fashion trends for emerging as fashion leaders.

Career in Fashion Design

Fashion design professionals should have an in-depth understanding of different weaves, fabric, texture, prints, colour, style and fashion trends with a sense of analyzing the upcoming trends profitably. After all, the success of a brand depends upon the selection and approval from the fashion designers through various levels. By obtaining a career in fashion design, one doesn’t only get to work as a fashion designer alone. There are certain sets of duties, leverages and perks that come along. A fashion design degree offers enormous career opportunities with fashion houses, big apparel or accessory brands, and industries, etc. Let’s ponder upon what job titles one may acquire after pursuing a course in fashion design.

  • Fashion Designer: Anyone with a qualification in fashion design can opt for either starting his label or may join a fashion enterprise and render designing services. A fashion designer works on styling different apparels that come under various clothing categories.  
  • Technical Designer: A technical designer is responsible for creating a technical package. They decide every detail about a garment/accessory under construction. It may range from fabric selection to stitching instruction to points of measurements to placement or even packaging instructions.
  • Fashion Marketer: As the title suggests, one can utilize his fashion design knowledge and understanding in marketing big fashion brands, retails or chain outlets. Anyone having a flair for marketing in the field of clothing, accessories or styling can become a fashion marketer with just right skills and persona.
  • Quality Controller: A quality controller sets quality standards for the items to reach customer shelves. This involves issuing guidelines for each department from production to packaging to distribution and delivery. At every stage production gets quality-checked under the supervision of Quality controller.
  • Fashion Stylist: Majorly fashion stylists are hired by celebrities who require them for enhancing their wardrobe and present them with a trendier selection in their closet. Fashion stylists are usually independent freelancers who work for one or more celebrities. Now a day, fashion consultants are evolving rapidly due to technology access and crunched distances. All thanks to social media.
  • Fashion Concept Manager: A fashion concept manager has a heavy burden on his shoulders, yet this is an interesting profile for fashion design professionals. Concept manager is responsible for bringing revolutionized thinking and approach for new design under a brand name that is saleable as well as earns a good reputation for the label.
  • Fashion Coordinator: As the title suggests, a fashion coordinator is responsible for integrating fashion range across all divisions of a retail outlet, fashion house, boutique or a fashion magazine. They play a vital role in helping their organization decide on the trending range in clothing and accessories.  

Above listed titles are just a glimpse of title(s) that a student with a degree/diploma in fashion design may acquire after completing fashion studies. However, there are a lot of opportunities that the fashion industry has to offer to qualified individuals who have a zest for making it big in the industry. One may need to undergo thorough training and education to support their candidature for the awe-inspiring fashion world.

Fashion Design Degree and Courses at ICF

Do you have a flair for designing clothes or do you have a keen eye for the detailing of fashion accessories? If yes, then nobody can stop you from excelling in a career associated with fashion design. Often, fashion design is perceived as just designing clothes, however, it goes beyond the intricate designing. You can have a plethora of opportunities (also mentioned above) in front of you after obtaining the desired qualification in Fashion studies. Today, the time has changed and the fashion schools have revolutionized from just being traditional to completely modernized, having the modernized equipment, training methods and the curriculum.

Fashion students can choose from the wide variety of courses available at the respective institutions. The most sought-after fashion courses for students as well professionals are those that can fetch them employment or career growth respectively. The fashion industry is vast; hence the courses vary across different institutions. Fashion courses at the ICF are divided into two categories, viz., Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programs.

Undergraduate Programs Include:

  • BBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship
  • Diploma in Fashion Design          

Postgraduate Programs Include:

  • Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship
  • PG Diploma in Fashion Design

BBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship

The course duration for BBA in Entrepreneurship is 3-years. It is a degree program from UGC recognised Government University that combines Fashion Design with Entrepreneurship.

BBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship involves an extensive curriculum which has been developed by IIT Delhi, NID Ahmedabad & NIESBUD.

This is a job-oriented course which has been created to establish practical fashion skills and understanding about the brand and design.

Diploma in Fashion Design

Diploma in Fashion Design is a 1-year Diploma Program which is a UGC recognised program suitable for undergraduate students. Anyone having a keen interest in becoming a fashion professional after completing school has a golden chance to brighten their career in Fashion Design in an affordable manner.

Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship

Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship is a 2-years degree program in Fashion Entrepreneurship which is a UGC recognised degree program. Serious graduates who want to make a career in Fashion Entrepreneurship can opt for this program. Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship nourishes your skills in understanding the fashion business environment, evaluating business opportunities, creating new ventures and fostering innovations in the fashion world.

PG Diploma in Fashion Entrepreneurship

PG Diploma in Fashion Entrepreneurship is a 1-year post-graduate diploma program which offers a UGC recognised qualification for the aspiring fashion students and professionals. It gives you access to cutting edge qualification which can be acquired in the least minimum time. This course is perfect for graduate students and working professionals as well as those on a break.

Fashion Design Subjects

General courses in Fashion Design includes the following subjects:

  • Fashion and Art
  • Pattern Drafting
  • Creative Design
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Fitting

Fashion students get their hands-on exposure to the fashion industry through the following subjects included in their syllabus at various diploma, graduate or post-graduate level. The below list may vary as per different study levels and may include more subjects.

  • History of Fashion Designing
  • Fabrics and Raw Materials
  • Clothing Design
  • Pattern Making
  • Surface Ornamentation
  • Fashion Trend
  • Fashion Photography
  • Fashion Market
  • Communication Design
  • Accessory Design
  • Fabrics, Prints and Raw Materials, etc.
  • Partnership
  • Business Management
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Textile Management
  • Garment Industry (Merchandising quality, industrial garment production, marker planning, etc.)

Everything today has revolutionized to technology. The fashion schools have also geared up with a couple of technological advancements in graphic design, adding following in the curriculum for their upcoming fashionistas. 

  • Construction Basics 
  • Textiles and Pattern Making 
  • Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) 
  • Portfolio Development 

Eligibility:

  • For securing admission to BBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship, a student should have passed class 12th from a recognized board with 45 per cent marks. Students awaiting their board results may also apply.
  • For securing admission to Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship, a student should have obtained a graduate or an equivalent degree from a recognized university with a minimum pass percentage as 45%. Candidates awaiting their final year results may also apply.

Fashion Design Exams

The most important exams associated with fashion and design courses are AIEED, CEED, NID and NIFT. Students seeking admission in reputed college should undergo the common entrance examination and obtain a minimum score for consideration.

Also, many fashion schools/colleges conduct separate exams like IIT CEED, NID GDPD / PGDPD, and so on.

It is critical for a candidate to pass the minimum required criteria accepted by various colleges.

Chances of Success

It is important to learn that your success depends upon your choices. As you opt for a study in fashion design, you have to be very sure about your strengths and likings in this particular field. Also, at the same time, you will need to know about the pain points that may arise in the future. You have to set your mind before jumping on any conclusion. Any decision about your career in fashion or otherwise should be deeply thought before working out. One wrong decision can change your entire life. You may not likely to take that chance!

Hence, hold on and re-evaluate your decisions. Talking about success in the fashion industry, it is immense. It is so much that one may not get bored of this industry ever. First of all, it is an ever-evolving industry. It is very surprising how quickly the trends, tastes and consumer response and behaviour changes. It keeps the fashion professionals on their toes. A person with a love for dynamism is a perfect fit for the fashion industry. Since the change multiplies the chance of success and you can achieve it if you are quick to respond to changes.

You can inculcate great professional ethics by nurturing yourself under a highly esteemed fashion college. Do not just opt for a course to study but a complete culture that can bring out the right professional in you. Make a list of the colleges that you are planning to apply to, re-evaluate each one of them based on learning, education, class, popularity, placement records, alumni track and above all industry training. Yes, industry training is a LIVE experience that students get during their course time. It makes you develop a hands-on understanding of the real-world scenario. It prepares you for cracking interviews confidently. Do not just go by college popularity, evaluating certain parameters will give you a clear insight into the authority of an institute.

Scope of Fashion Design

Today, the world is growing at a faster pace due to digitization. E-commerce and social media have allowed brands to evolve like never before. For instance, e-commerce shopping sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, etc. have given fashion professionals a plethora of opportunities.

Also, the consumer buying behaviour has impacted a lot through the use of social media and social app. The need for fashion professionals has witnessed an outstanding increase which will continue exponentially as the fashion industry broadens its horizons. This is a clear indicator that the demand fashion professionals will keep evolving with this industry.

Investing in fashion studies is surely about investing in your future for greater success.

Inspirational Personalities in Fashion Design

They are leading the Indian fashion industry with their exemplary work and performance at each sphere. With their hard work and dedication, they haven’t received love from their own country but from other nations too. They have international reach and are known as the best fashion designers in the fashion industry. Let’s uncover who:

Ritu Beri, Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Manish Arora, TarunTahiliani and Ritu Kumar.

They are the ones fashion students look up to for motivation and courage. To become as successful as them, one needs a keen eye on detail and right approach towards learning. Equipping yourself with a full-fledged qualification sets the base for achieving a lot more throughout your professional journey. Students are advised to learn from their hard work and get inspired by their work.

WHY ICF for Obtaining a Fashion Design Degree/Diploma?

International College of Fashion is more than just being a fashion institute. We are home to state-of-the-art facilities. Our students get exposure to deal with elite industry figures who hail from different backgrounds and reserves honorary positions in their respective working areas.

We have developed a new Fashion Entrepreneurship program under the guidance of exemplary industry figures in association with IIT-Delhi, NID- Ahmadabad and NIESBUD.

Our students not only obtain a fashion design degree or diploma but a handful of learning experiences which they get by involving in various industry training and internships conducted by the ICF. Our track record of successfully placed students is of an umpteen repute and we are counted among the best fashion colleges in India. A student who joins our college for either of the diploma or degree program(s) achieves exceptional learning, LIVE training, industry exposure and intricate professional mannerism with our off-class sessions.

We aim to develop future entrepreneurs in the fashion industry as this industry is rampantly evolving and the future will need more entrepreneurs to lead the world of fashion design. Our curriculum in Fashion Entrepreneurship is distinguished from other fashion courses due to the high volume of business management and partnership lessons. It will strengthen a student’s knowledge and understanding of the way fashion business operates in India and cross-borders. The future fashion entrepreneurs whom we develop today will bring delight to our nation by amalgamating the tradition, culture and fashion together to create new fashion horizons.

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Home Routine for College Students During the Lockdown

Home Routine for College Students During the Lockdown

Did you ever think that you would need to pursue your studies sitting at home? No, not the correspondence courses, your full-time graduating major subjects. The coronavirus pandemic created havoc across the globe, forcing a new lifestyle for every individual. It led to the insurgence of an emergency state which necessitated nation-wide lockdowns everywhere. As social distancing became the new norm, college students faced newer challenges coping with it.

All higher education institutions have been temporarily closed to prevent the spread of this infectious virus. Students and teachers have had a hard time keeping up with the constant changes in the education sector because of Covid-19. To abide by the rules of social distancing during the pandemic, the digital sector came to the forefront as that became the only medium for education. As virtual learning came into the spotlight, the challenges associated with it have caused inconveniences to college students globally. If you are student of fashion designing or fashion management, you will be able to identify with the shortcomings of the pandemic on your life. We are going to discuss how to deal with those drawbacks and establish the perfect home routine that will help you define the “new normal” for yourself.

What are the challenges faced by college students during the lockdown?
The coronavirus pandemic has forced all college students to pursue their studies, their passion, from within the four walls of their house. It is undoubtedly correct that students everywhere are facing difficulty learning their lessons digitally on a daily basis. But when it comes to fashion designing and management studies, life has become especially hard. As much as we love staying online and checking our social media pages, we do not prefer remaining online to finish our lessons by straining our eyes for hours. Let us take a look at the various challenges that students face because of the global pandemic and see how many you can relate to immediately.

  • Zero Practical Learning: There are many subjects that require regular practical sessions, and fashion is the perfect example for this. You cannot expect a student pursuing fashion to learn what different fabrics feel like from a digital conference call. They need to physically touch them to fully understand their application and what kind of apparel the fabrics are best suited for. Fashion designing students also learn how to operate certain tools only when they are attending classes in college. Most colleges that offer a course in fashion have different varieties of sewing machines to help their students. Some of the examples are portable sewing machines, heavy duty sewing machines, computerized sewing kits and cover stitch sewing machines among others. Even though professors might find YouTube videos on how these machines work, the student needs to tangibly work on them to understand the kind of pressure that needs to be applied. The inability to have practical demonstrations has been one of the biggest challenges that fashion students forced to face because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Unavailability of Tools: It goes without saying that a student of fashion needs access to certain tools which they generally do not keep at home. These special tools are easily available at their colleges and they are too used to such devices that it has become extremely difficult to work without them from home. Varieties of dress forms like adjustable full female body dress forms, half female body dress form, different sizes of male dress forms (small, medium and large) are always available on the college campus. Drafting tables, which are one of the most important things a fashion student needs, are obviously not lying around in their homes. Pattern making tools and product development tools are the bread and butter of fashion students’ lives at college. The unavailability of all these devices at home has become extremely burdensome for the college students who are forced to stay at home and digitally attend classes.
  • Network Issues: No matter how high profile a student may be, there are always chances of facing network issues when working from home. This year has not been very kind when it comes to climate change and has given rise to sudden downpours, even cyclones and earthquakes. It is quite normal for students to face this challenge when virtually attending classes from their homes. Have you missed an important lecture by your professor because your laptop won’t connect to the internet? Thousands of students are battling this mega problem everywhere.
  • No Formal Environment: A student going to college, attending classes attentively, taking inspiration from professors and fellow classmates is the normal routine. It has been completely disrupted by the unforeseen onset of Covid-19 and made it mandatory for students to practice social distancing from home to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. As students, you have been used to a certain lifestyle which does not involve the comfort of your house. You pay more attention when surrounded by a formal environment of education. But that is absolutely out of question when you are at home. There is a potential for distraction in everything you see. For instance, your parents never check on you when you are in college attending lectures, neither do your pets make it extremely difficult by staring at your face as you take down notes. The lack of a formal environment has resulted in students losing focus from their studies, getting detached from their passion and feel uncertain about their future.

How to Overcome These Challenges?
At the end of the day, each challenge is only as difficult as we allow it to be. A famous proverb remarks, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” All students need to focus on the solution to the issues they face regularly instead of mulling over the adversities. Let’s face it – you do not have any personal growth as long as things run smoothly, it is the challenges along the road that shape your personality. We are going to help you establish the perfect home routine that you can follow to defeat the hurdles posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. There are number of things you can do that will help you get a control over the current situation, let us take a look at them.

  • Acceptance is Essential: Carl Jung once said that, “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.” It is essential for all students to come to terms with the situation we are living in now, and only then can you choose to ignore the chaotic side of it and work hard to come up with plan to improve yourself. Students of fashion need to internalize the fact that this lockdown situation will be over soon and the world of fashion will be alive and thriving again.
  • Maintain a Strict Routine: Just because you are at home does not mean you are on vacation. You must come up with a strict routine that will set the right mood for a long day of online classes. Set an alarm just like you did for college, get dressed in formal clothes as they guarantee higher levels of attention and make sure you have highly nutritious food to fight this global pandemic. You should take breaks in between your online classes, like you had in college. It helps you have a fresh mind for each class and also gives you the necessary movement you need from sitting in one place in front of the laptop screen.
  • Flow with Your Creative Spirit: One of the major reasons why you chose fashion for graduation is because you have a very creative mind. You should use your imaginative skills to come up with great solutions for your daily routine. Do you have that one corner in your house that gets your creative juices flowing? Try to recreate a workshop there which somewhat replicates the one you have in your college. It does not have to be very spacious or grand, it should just be enough for you to sit at a table to make beautiful sketches. As the digital sector is in the full bloom now, you can order the necessary things online at create a functioning workplace for yourself. This will not only be a temporary escape from the situation but also permanently solve the issue of working from home. Just like photography students have a dark room they can access to develop photos; you can use your home workshop to create masterpieces anytime. Earl Nightingale said the most inspirational words, “Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” The kind of love and dedication you have for your passion can be easily reflected through your self-made quarantine workshop.
  • Keep in Touch With Nature: Are you someone who gets inspired by the variegated beauty of nature? The flowers, the trees, the differently shaped leaves, beautiful and endless colors are a source of great inspiration for students of fashion designing and management. As the government as mandated us not to step outside for the sake of our safety along with everyone else’s, we need to think outside the box. You can consider a bit of gardening in your terrace, backyard or balcony. Since online delivery is available to us, you can order beautiful varieties of flowering plants, indoor plants and bonsais. Once you get to searching about gardening tools and techniques, you will across extremely adorable earthen, ceramic and plastic pots to grow your plants in. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” You should consider growing things in your little garden that speak to your soul and provides you with endless motivation. While sipping on a cup of coffee, you can inculcate all the unique ideas that come to you through your beautiful creation and sketch it down on paper.
  • Build on Your Resume: Though Covid-19 has confined you to the four walls of your house, it has also provided you the gift of time as the whole world comes to a standstill. You can use this time to create an impressive curriculum vitae (CV) by developing new skills. As students of fashion, you have a wide array of skills to work upon. Some of these include exceptional drawing skills, a good understanding of fabric, texture and color, an interest in the trends of the past, sewing and draping a variety of patterns. Yes, the job market is at a crucial condition now but if you have an essential and unique skill set, employers in the industry will give you preference. You can try and design accessories, clothing and even footwear as they will add to your resume. If you have a workstation at home, you can even think of making these designs come to life.
  • Search for Internships: You can either get disheartened by the trending news of low job opportunities and internships or you can set a goal to do proper research to find an internship that you can do from home. Thousands of opportunities are still available if you do a thorough search. You can try to lean on the career services provided by your college to find an internship during the lockdown. You should develop on the contacts you have through online platforms, video conference calls and social media. Look for the companies that are providing digital internship programs. By applying for internships, you are only gaining experience on how to improve on interview skills.

Apart from all this, you can also spend some time on yourself which you were unable to do when attending college every day. Being a fashion student does not mean you cannot have other interests too. You can learn a new language, read the books on your bucket-list or simply maintain a healthy workout regime which you can follow when your college starts again. Spending time with loved ones, cooking and sharing a meal together will also help you overcome the stress or anxiety you maybe going through because of the coronavirus pandemic. Remember that once the lockdown is over, you must go back to college. Prepare yourself for that day.

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Guide for Students to Achieve Careers Goals despite Covid Impact

Guide for Students to Achieve Careers Goals despite Covid Impact

It was in December 2019 that short snippet news of a coronavirus affecting people in a far-distant place called Wuhan, China first broke out. In January, 2020 a few more hundred people were infected, Wuhan was under lockdown. It wasn’t worrisome news. People continued to go about their work as before. But by March, Italy and many European nations started reporting hundreds and thousands of patients infected by Covid-19. By the end of the month, WHO declared it to be a pandemic. Most countries declared lockdowns, put in place strict travel protocols while many banned international travel. In three months, the world around us changed. Everyone was forced to stay indoors – for their own safety as well as the safety of their near and dear ones.

The next few months saw people from all spheres of life accommodating themselves with a new reality. No one had the time to prepare themselves for such a day. The pandemic taught us all to re-adjust our priorities, re-evaluate our decisions and plan a feasible future progression. But all of this had to happen from the confines of the home. It hasn’t been easy for anyone. When offices shut down, workforce had to understand the full implications of the concept of work from home. Many had to set up small office spaces at home. As markets closed, businesses looked at a bleak future. The travel and tourism industry have been among the worst hit with no evidences of things getting better any time soon.

Unfortunately students have been the silent sufferers in all this chaos. Educational institutions were closed overnight. Online classes started almost immediately. There was some clamor, a lot of hesitation but very little noise. Graduating students who were on the verge of seeking employment or planning their higher education had suddenly been left in the dark. Most didn’t know what the impact of coronavirus would be on their career. The economic consequences of prolonged lockdowns has been unimaginable. According to ILO, the pandemic has worst hit employment opportunities – both in the formal and informal sector. Globally ILO estimates 305 million job loss.

The already grim situation in terms of employment rate has reached an alarming level due to the recent job losses over the past couple of months. The lack on the demand side is going to create fresh challenges for fresher in a post-Covid job market. The newly graduated students will have to re-visit their career plans, think of alternatives and prepare themselves for a new world post-Covid.

What Students Looking for Job Opportunities in Covid Times Should Be Prepared For
We are not going to live in this state of lockdown and heavy restrictions forever. The world will re-open. Businesses will flourish, people will get back their jobs. Students will get their dream jobs. But it’s going to take a while. Until everything goes back to normal, students must prepare themselves for the worst case scenario. More importantly, they mustn’t look at this time as a ‘holiday’ from work. It isn’t. The pandemic has given many of us an opportunity to learn new things and enhance our skills. If working professionals are ready to put in extra hours to improve their skills, students who have freshly passed out of colleges and universities should have the aptitude to learn newer things.  

What should students who are looking for jobs do right now? Below you will find a well-curated guide on how students can achieve their career goals despite the Covid impact.

Re-Evaluate Your Skills
It is true that you have spent years honing your skills and you are ready to take the plunge. Unfortunately the current situation is so unprecedented that the skills you learnt in college may not be enough. Before you shoot off those resumes to prospective employers, re-evaluate your skills. Ask yourself whether you have the aptitude to meet the changing demands of the job market. Can you work in allied services, which may be unrelated to what you studied so far? Will your job opportunities be compromised because of your skills? You will need to keep an open mind in order to evaluate yourself. do not look at your mark sheets. Those aren’t going to help right now. Instead take a few tests online that will help assess your capabilities. Ask yourself ‘if not this, then what’. Prepare yourself for joblessness for a longer duration.

Reflect On Your Career Choices
What happens when there are no job opportunities for your skills? Reflect on this point for long. It is important for students who had planned a specific career path for themselves to know that all that they dreamt of may not come true. It is essential that you make a pragmatic career choice, willing to work in areas you hadn’t prepared for. Whether it is an alternative career path or waiting for a better opportunity to knock at your doors – you need to prepare yourself for every possibility. Plan an entrepreneurial venture to sustain yourself. After all you may not land on your dream job just yet. Do not worry though, there are lots of things you can do.  

Go For Career Counselling
It isn’t easy for a fresher to make an informed decision, even in normal circumstances. We are living in such times where we don’t know how long will it take for a vaccine to be ready or whether herd immunity is going to be the final answer. Simply put, this means that the pandemic could well last much longer than we anticipated. As a fresh graduate it isn’t going to be easy to make a career decision. The purpose of career counselling would be to help you understand the realities of the current job scenario, to counsel you of your choices and to help you make an informed choice. Fortunately most premier institutions assist graduating students to choose their career. Today it is being done remotely. Talk to your college authorities and fix an online appointment with your career counsellor for more. Do not rest unless you are confident that you have the right answers.

Embrace The Changing Times
One of the greatest fallouts of the pandemic has been its impact on our collective mental health. Youngsters are especially finding it hard to adapt to the sudden changes imposed all around them. The fresh graduates who were ready to embark on a new and exciting journey suddenly found themselves trapped indoors. Anxiety, stress, depression and suicidal tendencies are increasingly being reported. If you want to succeed in your career and make a good impression in front of your prospective employers, you must embrace the change. Do not let it bog you down. Do not think that your being at home is harming your career. Your mental health is in your hand. Choose to remain positive for a better tomorrow. Your patience and hope will help you in the long run.  

Learn Something New
Technology has made it possible for all of us to sit at home and continue with our jobs. But there is more to technology than just that. You can use the Internet and the many resources available within it to improve yourselves. The pandemic has opened a pandora’s box of opportunities for people who want to learn and upgrade their skills. Educational institutions are conducting webinars on various subjects, registering in which will teach you new things. The pandemic has given the youth an opportunity to learn from experts from around the globe. You can sit at home and take a short-term online course that will further help your career in the long-run. There are literally so many things you can do. Don’t wait for this opportunity to pass.

Improve your Networking
Even in normal circumstances you would have been facing stiff competition in the real, toughened world. Everything is highly competitive today. There are more skilled but unemployed youth today than there are jobs. This imbalance will further become pronounced in a post-Covid world where businesses would be looking at ways of cutting costs, reducing their already stretched finances. It isn’t going to be easy to get a job – and that’s the truth. But if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to know the right people, learn about the job realities and get used to speaking the job language. You can do all of this and more by improving your networking. Make an appealing and informative LinkedIn profile. There are many employers out there on this (and other) social media platform. Follow your prospective clients and the bigwigs of your chosen industry on social media to stay connected and informed. Participate in open discussions. You can also upload your CV to the various recruiting sites.

Practice Your Interviewing Abilities
You should be prepared for telephonic as well as video-calling interviews. Even when the current situation normalizes, it is going to take a while for offices to resume their day-today activities. Right now whoever are employing are doing so distantly and digitally. This means you might not get the opportunity to impress your prospective employers with your confidence and body language. While you are at home, practice your interviewing skills. Sit in front of your laptop and run a  mock-test interview. It will not be easy in the beginning to ‘talk’ to a gadget. But practice will help you. Similarly, use this time to practice telephonic interviews. Ask your friend, parent or sibling to help you out.  

Build Your Portfolio
It will always fetch you extra points if you can show interviewers your work. You will need an impressive portfolio for this purpose. If you don’t have one yet, use this time to build one. If you are a fashion designing graduate, make an impressionable digital portfolio of your designs and ideas. On the other hand, if you have a degree in fashion entrepreneurship, show how you will use your entrepreneurial skills to improve a fashion brand. Remember that whatever you do must be digitally stored and shared when necessary.

Grab an Online Internship
So what if you can’t step out of your house? So what if companies have frozen their recruitments? There are still many companies offering online internships. While most may not have any stipends attached to them, it can be a great learning experience for you. This may just be the right opportunity for you to understand how working in an official manner means. It is true you will not be able to gauge the full experience of an office from home, nevertheless the learning trajectory is going to be huge.  

Do Not Waste Your Time
Covid-19 has crippled world economies. We are looking at long term recession and depression. Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are burning the midnight oil to fast-track a viable vaccination. The rate of infection is increasing every single day. More number of people are being infected with the virus. It is true that all this paints a grim picture. But as a student who wants to jumpstart on a successful career, you mustn’t bog yourself down. Remember the world’s best minds are at work right now trying to fix a solution. You must do you bit. Do not waste this precious time. Stay proactive. It’s okay you cannot start working right now. Make the best use of this unexpected time to better your skills. Improve your communication, work on your talents, and work on improving your resume. Build a portfolio that no one can ignore.

Despite the Covid-19 situation, you can still achieve your career goals. If you are a fashion designing graduate, there is no better time than now to unleash your creativity. Fill that designing book with your imagination. Create breath-taking apparels that are surely going to become success. This is also the right opportunity for you to think about your own brand. You can start by doing something small – without a lot of investment. You can also model in your own creations, put it out of social media platforms and see how the response is. You would be surprised at the overwhelming response you can get. This pandemic has taught us all to count our blessing. Count yours. Make this moment count.  

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Education in the Time of COVID-19

Education in the Time of COVID-19

We are living in unprecedented times, locked inside the four walls of our home, changing our habits to unimaginable proportions yet continuing to wait for all of this to end. Covid-19 pandemic has literally brought the world to a standstill. A few months into the pandemic, we are witnessing a staggering re-opening of economies. As scientists and epidemiologists are telling us, we have to be patient before we can relax and get back to our life. We will have to adapt to the ‘new normal’ where everything works, but differently.

How has COVID-19 Affected Our Daily Lives?
We are already seeing how the new normal will look like. We are going to work, but from home. We are going to learn, but from home. We are going to socialize, but from home. We are doing everything we did before, but from home. Is it inconvenient? Of course it is! We are adapting to change we didn’t think we could. Who knew eating home cooked food would be so much fun. Video-calling old friends and remembering old times is quite re-invigorating, isn’t it? Though we are all staying home and only venturing out when absolutely necessary, we have learnt to make the best of this situation.

We have learnt to do household chores as a family. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have learnt to re-energize ourselves by learning new things. If some are excelling their culinary skills, others are advancing their career by participating in webinars and online courses. However, the pandemic has been the toughest for the student community. Suddenly, they had to give up their daily routine. They didn’t need to go to their educational institutions, they need to sit in classes and they need to write their exams.

Impact of Covid-19 among Students?
As the world comes to an uncertain standstill, students everywhere had to come to terms with the new definition of normalcy. The sudden shift from classroom teaching to online classes hasn’t been easy – neither for the students nor the educators. There was scarcely any time to plan this transition. The students were suddenly told to stop going to their institutions and to continue their education from home. While educational institutions closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it remains crucial that the students complete their curriculum, sit for their tests and regular evaluations continue without any glitch.

In the past few things, the education sector has learnt a lot. Acclimatizing to change, learning the ropes of digital education, distant learning have all become a part of life today. It hasn’t been easy for anyone. There have been many hurdles the system had to cross in order to come to this stage of online education.

Challenges Education Sector Had to Overcome

  • Everyone was unprepared – Students have always seen laptops and computers as a source of entertainment. Many have used them solely for gaming. Internet was the means to escape to a fantasy land, to watch shows, movies, to read what they liked and to relax. For them to accept that they had to use these gadgets for classroom education was not an easy pill to swallow. They asked many questions. How would we learn without someone teaching us? How could teachers highlight the importance of a subject distantly? Could we do assignments with minimal help from our educators?

The pandemic brought newer challenges for teachers as well. The shift from classroom teaching to online learning sessions wasn’t easy for them. Many had to learn the ropes of digital education overnight, with minimal help. Those who were proficient in online education still grappled with the magnitude of it all.  

  • Passive Learning – The biggest challenge for students across the world was to adjust to online learning itself. In developing countries like India, students are accustomed to learn from the teacher in-person. Classroom teaching has been the cornerstone of education till now. Digital learning was seen as an added skill one must learn. It wasn’t compulsory. Online learning induced by the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in students losing interest in their curriculum. Their attention span reduced to bare minimum. Most couldn’t see the importance of online education and why they had to continue learning. It was equally distressing for teachers to keep up the momentum.  They had to make use of visual aids, presentations and creative lesson plans with bare minimal tools. Passive learners who took time to grasp the new system lagged behind. They needed extra care but didn’t know whom to ask.
  • Little Practical Demonstration – There are certain subjects that invariably need to be demonstrated practically for the students to comprehend. We will take the example of fashion designing courses to fully understand this problem. You cannot expect a fashion designing student to learn the various techniques involved in fabric making, designing, stitching patterns and the trending styles through online classes. It is more strenuous for the educators to make lesson plans that will adequately pass the accurate information to their students due to the lack of practical illustration in a classroom.
  • Difficulty in Student Recruitment and Admission – The coronavirus pandemic has ensured a series of events in the education sector that have never been dealt with before. The admission procedures in schools and colleges that require physical interaction with the students have to be re-modified completely. We still don’t know when normal classes can resume again. Students are unable to seek admission in their favored institutions due to the pandemic. This has increased stress levels and anxiety among students.

How The Education Sector Rose Above All Odds
It is only natural for humans to rise above all challenges, defeat the odds and emerge victorious. Though the pandemic is still far from over, we have learnt to live with the virus. Educational institutions have brought policy changes that has made online learning much easier. Governments are reducing syllabus to ease students’ workload. All in all, there has been many positive things the pandemic has taught the education sector. Let’s take a look.

  • Integrated Learning Experience – As a result of being forced into the digital platform, most educational institutions are coming up with integrated learning and teaching system. In simpler terms, educators will henceforth be accustomed to deliver both face-to-face classes and will be adept to teach through online mediums. This blended learning experience will eventually become mandatory for educational institutions all around the world. Instead of submitting handwritten assignments, students have learnt to do their work on online platforms. Once properly adopted, the digital platform is poised to improve the education sector.
  • Implementation of Modern Management Systems – The scope of online learning has expanded to the industrial sector too, giving rise to new job opportunities. Digital learning and tutoring apps have gained immense popularity due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. It has also widened the opportunity for educational institutions to imbibe modern management systems to upgrade the learning experience for students, teachers and also the administrative staff.
  • Informative Learning Experience – Since all classes are being conducted virtually, it has broken the boundaries of confined learning. Teachers are at the liberty to divulge relevant information to help students understand complex topics and also to catch up with the latest occurrences around the world. The quality of content in classes has improved significantly because of the global pandemic. There is less scope for irrelevant information and that has help diminish the attention span of students.
  • Growth in Participation – We all know that there is no limit to knowledge. The pandemic has proven this to be absolutely correct. Educators from around the world have now started participating in teaching students other than their own class. Everyone is looking out for collaborative teaching that has expanded their knowledge and helped others in the process. Virtual conference calls have piqued the interest of learning in students everywhere. The seminars that students were unable to attend earlier have become accessible through webinars which are open to one and all.

Tips For Students To Deal With The Covid-19 Epidemic
Here are some tips that will help students to develop healthy study habits and guide them in the correct path of dealing with these sudden changes.

  • While attending online classes, students should dress formally, even if it means wearing their uniforms. This will immediately transform how to mentally prepare yourself for the classes. You will respond better to lessons. Staying in your pajamas for online classes reduces your attention level drastically and you are more prone to be have less retention of what is being taught.
  • If you have a dedicated workstation which you can use regularly for your online classes, it increases your focus levels. If you don’t have one, create a space right away. This will help you stay focused.
  • It is essential that you establish a proper routine for each day. It should include all the things you did earlier when you could go out. Replicating these actions sets the right mood in your mind and it makes you prepared for a day filled with online classes.
  • Being at home, there are many distractions which you never faced while in class. It can be your pet dog wagging her tail in front of you or your younger sibling asking for help. You need to set strict boundaries which you will not overstep while attending online classes.
  • No matter which digital platform you have to use for your virtual classes, be it laptop, tablet or smartphone, there is always a scope for distraction. You might get the urge to check your social media accounts or play a round of your favorite game. Some ads might pop up that instantly disrupt your focus. You can use ad-blockers to resolve that issue.
  • You must take small breaks in between, just like you did after each class got over. It is important to regulate your physical movement, take those water breaks and more importantly to relax. You should not let the pressure of finishing your curriculum online get to you and increase your stress levels.
  • One essential tip for coping with online classes is to ask frequent questions. This allows you to pay attention throughout the course of the virtual session. Besides, it provides a sense of contentment to the teacher as they realize you have been focused and not just sitting idle in front of the screen.
  • You must realize that it is absolutely normal to feel stressed out and anxious. What you can do to cope with it is to take a hold of things gradually, and not all at once. You should talk with your educator and fellow mates about how they are dealing with the situation.

It would be wrong to say that the transition has been smooth. It hasn’t. It has been a challenge for everyone. But humans are known to rise for the occasion, meet any challenge head-on and emerge victorious. The student community surely is garnering applauses from everywhere because they have adapted to the change. Educators have continued to be role-models, like always. Everyone is still learning to make things better. Many things have improved in the last few months but the road ahead is long. Students, teachers, facilitators as well as administrators have to work together to make learning fun, interactive and informative.

It is especially important for institutions offering specialized courses to make online learning fun. Many institutions offering courses such as fashion designing already had implemented digital education, much before the pandemic. Today they are simply using the resources better. Students enrolled in such courses from path-breaking institutions are benefiting from the improved teaching methodologies. Those seeking admissions are filling out online forms of such courses knowing how much they will benefit even though they will have to learn from home. It has become even more important today than it ever was to choose the right institution for learning. Students must look for institutions where teachers have turned facilitators, where intuition and creativity is given wings to fly and where learning is not confined to the four walls of a classroom.  

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Covid-19 Effect: Designer Sales and Auctions Comes to Fashion’s Rescue

Covid-19 Effect: Designer Sales and Auctions Comes to Fashion’s Rescue

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many issues to the fore. Unskilled and semi-skilled labourers have always worked tirelessly without getting any recognition. There have of course been many reasons why their contribution to the society was never attributed, but the key reason remain ignorance and complete apathy. Most choose to ignore them because that’s convenient but without these unnamed, unknown men and women working tirelessly, many industries would have crippled, many stalwarts would have dusted the ground. The pandemic has been an eye-opener as most of us finally saw them. In the last few months, these people have made national and international headlines. They have created a fervour, shaken the collectively empathy of the people and have forced us to look beyond ourselves.

Yes, we are talking about the migrant labourers who until the pandemic hit us were no one to us. By walking miles to reach their homes they captured the collective imagination of the people. Their struggles, their spirit to battle all odds made us all look at them with new eyes. The fortunate people of this country came forward to help them. Many who were rendered jobless in these trying times found help not only from the government but also people, corporate organizations and NGOs.

In these past few months we have all realised how important it is for us to stand together as humans first. The pedestals that made us stand above others suddenly didn’t vanished. Suddenly we were all fighting a faceless, unknown virus together. It has been a huge lesson for us all. What has been really heartening has been the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has made many corporates and entrepreneurs thinking out of the box to help the disadvantaged section of the population.

Fashion Industry’s Role in Overcoming Ordeals
Many have forever associated fashion with triviality. While such accusations may be unfounded and demeaning to a large extent, the truth is we tend to ignore or look down at fashion when uncomfortable truths stare at our face. But it cannot be ignored that for the longest time the fashion and beauty industry have taken their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities very seriously. Many a times they have been the silent crusaders working towards uplifting the working conditions of artisans, small-time weavers and other labourers directly and indirectly associated with the industry. It has been the CSR activity of many fashion brands to consciously create fashion products that do minimal harm to the environment and reduces one’s carbon footprint on this planet. Improving healthcare, providing education to the marginalised have often featured in the CSR activities of brands. There are several other such examples of fashion brands leading from the front.    

Many a times the role that the fashion industry have not appropriately been acknowledged by the larger world. Nevertheless fashion brands and renowned designers have been silent crusaders for causes they believe in. The biggest and most underrated contribution of these people have been their tireless work towards artisans and semi-skilled labourers who are really the backbone of the industry.

Fashion Industry’s Relief Measures during Covid-19
When the government first announced a nation-wide lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, the country knew how unprepared it was to deal with the consequences of the ill-fated virus. Face masks, hand sanitizers, hand wash and many other essential items – not only for healthcare workers but for everyone – become utmost priority. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough for everyone. Moreover initially there was so little information about the virus that most people panicked. Eventually virologists explained that wearing masks, maintaining social distance of up to 6 feet, maintaining hand hygiene acted as deterrents to the spread of the virus.

Initially most of us understood that masks meant wearing the N95 respiratory varieties. N95 masks are used extensively by healthcare workers as these face masks are tight-fitting, and can filter 95% of small particles from entering our mouth and nose. This means they can help prevent the spread of the virus to a large extent. Unfortunately there was an acute shortage of N95 masks and the government was procuring, manufacturing as many as they could, especially for healthcare workers and other frontline warriors. People were than told that surgical, one-time use masks could well be used as alternatives to N95 masks, especially for people who could stay at home and venture out only on emergencies. Surgical masks also helped protect against the virus to a large extent. However the downside was that they had to be disposed after every use. Soon it become a cumbersome process to acquire and stock so many masks.

Government agencies and health advisories then noted that hand-made cloth face masks can protect us from the virus. It was a more sustainable, easily accessible, re-usable option for most people. Along with social distancing and other protocols, this soon became the most commonly used variety of mask worn by most people. This is where the fashion stalwarts stepped in. They helped produce and distribute masks in large numbers. Several well-known fashion designers and brands led from the forefront in producing cotton masks so that there was no scarcity. Among those who led from the forefront in making masks include –

  • Masaba Gupta – There were two reasons why Masaba, one of the leading fashion designers in the country started making masks as early as in April under the name ‘Maskaba’. One was to sustain her business and give employment to the many workers working for her brand, and the other – for donating to charities. Most of the masks available on her brand’s website have the unique, quirky designs that Masaba is known for. Though the price of each cotton mask is much higher than the regular ones available in the market, she promises to donate one mask to a needy for every piece sold.
  • FabIndia – One of the leading cotton fabric brands in India were also among the first Indian brands to produce masks. These masks are made of beautiful hand-block prints and weaves. The brand has always been known to work with traditional weavers. This time too they have sourced raw material directly from the weavers who also stitched the masks.
  • Payal Singhal – The ace fashion designer launched her line of cotton masks to create awareness about the use of face masks in public places. She started a social media campaign with trending hanhtags such as #Stayhome #Staysafe #Flattenthecurve to reinforce the message. She roped in celebrities who wore her creations to spread awareness.
  • Ritu Kumar – For the veteran fashion designer, the aim of stitching masks was to send them to the slums around Gurugram, Haryana. She started by delivering 1500 masks a day. Now her team is producing over 2000 masks per day.  

Other brands that starting making masks for free distribution initially, and eventually started selling them include Fable Street, Greendigo, Lovebirds, Nivedita Saboo and many more.

Designer Sales and Auction – Initiatives to Support the Fashion Industry
Designers and fashion brands continued to spread awareness during the time of nation-wide lockdown that stretched to more than two months. But once the lockdowns were relaxed and markets were opened, the fashion industry faced a new and much more compelling challenge. While markets saw a staggering re-opening, business had already hit an all-time low. One of the mainstays of couture fashion is the big fat Indian wedding. Unfortunately wedding couture has almost become non-existent in these times of social distancing. Not only are fashion designers and brands faced with the task to keeping their business alive, but they must also think of their back-end workers.

In order to support the fashion industry, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) established the Covid-19 Support Fund. The aim was to help small businesses and young designers in the industry. One of the most successful endeavours to this effect was an Instagram live session organised by the designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra that saw the participation of Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani and Rahul Mishra. The live titled ‘The Fraternity Talks’ not only ended with an insightful discussion on the future of the business, but by the end of the session, all designers volunteered to auction a garment from their collection to raise funds. Soon they managed to raise a little above INR 6 lakhs.

The idea behind the ‘Fraternity Talks’ was to bring the industry together. According to the leading designers, the fashion community had increasingly distanced itself from everyone within and outside. Everyone was either a competitor or an opportunist. But with the Covid-19 situation, the fraternity realised that they could not battle the storm alone. They had to come together and stand for each other if they have to survive. The auction sale was just a baby step towards that goal.  

This phenomenon of helping each other in such crucial times hasn’t just been seen in India. Many leading international brands have collaborated over the past few months to create awareness about the virus, to support each other and to become more accountable for their collective action.

In France, 80 international brands came together to support each other in a ‘one-off auction’. Some of the leading names in the business like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Celine, Dior, Balenciaga came together to support the French healthcare workers. It was a huge success and a great example of solidarity.  

Sabyasachi Mukherjee, one of the most renowned Indian fashion designers had been vocal about the need for the community to come together. It was as early as in March that Mukherjee announced that his label would continue to support over 2000 skilled and unskilled labourers directly associated with him for as long as possible. He encouraged and motivated many others to lead from the front.

One of the main reasons why Indian fashion brands and designers need to do similar kind of auction and designer sales is because the industry must come together. While there are guidelines and regulatory bodies for the fashion industry, there is still a lack of camaraderie within the industry. But when a crisis as large as Covid-19 stares at the face, if the community comes together, they can battle it all out. Moreover Indian designers are the biggest employers of traditional artisans and it is their duty to safeguard their interests. If the top notch designers and brands do not bring the supply chain together, these fragile workforce will abandon their skills and look for employment elsewhere. This won’t be good for the industry in the long run.

What Fashion Designing Students Can Learn From This Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has badly hit global economy. It is going to take some time to revive it and it is going to take a lot of concerted effort to do so. While on one hand the economy has been badly hit, fashion designing students have been left with an uncertain future. But there is always a lesson to be learnt from the worst of situations. Students pursuing a career in fashion or in the verge of joining the industry as skilled workers must take lessons from industry stalwarts. If the pandemic could teach veterans to re-invent themselves and work according to the changing demands of the market, students should be able to do the same. What if you had bigger dreams of becoming a name as a wedding couture designer? That dream can surely wait. You must learn to adapt, adopt and change according to the needs of the new market demands. You must realise that for the next few years it is going to be very difficult for the fashion industry to revive. The demand-supply chain has been broken and it going to take a while to get it back to pre-Covid levels. Till then you must re-energise yourself, upgrade your skills and prepare yourself for an altered industry.  

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a great teacher of sorts. While we continue to battle the virus everyday, while scientists and medical experts try to find a vaccine for it, we must keep ourselves strong. Graduate students who have been left with an unknown future must use this time to improve their skills and to realign their career goals.

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5 Tips to Get Job-Ready before the COVID-19 Pandemic Ends

5 Tips to Get Job-Ready before the COVID-19 Pandemic Ends

If there is one word that defines the collective mood in the world, ‘uncertainty’ would perhaps be the best way to describe it. Just as the world welcomed a new decade with all the fun and the fervor tragedy struck. The initial reports of a virus infection in Wuhan, China didn’t set the alarm bells ringing around the world. After all we had already witnessed SARS, MERS, Ebola and Zika outbreaks in the last two decades. While threatening they were in terms of deaths and infection rates, most of these remained localized and didn’t bring the whole of the planet to halt.

Covid-19 has been different as it has hit the entire world with the developed countries with the best healthcare facilities hit hardest. At last count more than 14 million people around the world have been infected with this dreaded virus and upward of 6 hundred thousand people have lost their lives. Millions more are likely to be hit by this virus in the coming months as the infection shows no signs of receding. Major economies around the world have shrunk and it might take even a decade for some of the countries hardest hit by this virus to get their economy back to full steam.

If you were about to finish your course and planning to apply for a job or have lost your present job these times can surely be depressing. There are not too many businesses around the world that are in position to hire people in bulk like they did in the past. The signals that we are receiving from different industry bodies both national and global are painting a gloomy picture. While there are few green shoots in the economy, they are too few and don’t really encourage people who’d be looking for jobs when the pandemic starts showing signs of reversal and restrictions are lifted.

As a student of fashion designing and marketing you are likely to face even tougher challenges and this industry will take time to recover from the losses that it has suffered and continues to suffer in the coming months. The shrinking of disposal income is likely to create problems on the demand side of the economy and this will immediately have a rippling effect on how fashion labels spend in terms of building their capacity and hiring new people. Faction products and other merchandise aren’t likely to be the first priority for consumers once the economy starts recovering.

But you can’t stop, you can’t burry your mind in a world of negativity. Human race has overcomes challenges in the past and will come out of this crisis too. Whether it was outbreak of the Spanish Flu a century back or the World War II that destroyed economies from around the world, we have always fought back to earn our place. India as a nation has always stood out resiliently during times of crisis and people have built the nation and the economy from brink of disaster. Whether it was building the economy in the aftermath of the tragic partition or when 1991 Economic Crisis forced us to take hard economic decisions that sparked the growth of Indian economy. It isn’t only the governments and businesses that have written the success story but ordinary people who have walked the extra miles, taken the new ways of life positively that us made us the 5th largest economy in the world.  

As a student or one who will be looking for a job once there are positive signals from the economy you need to focus on staying relevant, upping your skills and focus on building your career in a world that is going to be different from what you have known so far in your life. Let us take you through five tips that will help you get job-ready when the Covid-19 pandemic ends –

  1. Stay Focused
    While there is no denying the fact that the Novel Coronavirus is a severally infectious disease that strikes its victim without any warning, its real threat may lie elsewhere. While more than 14 million people have tested positive for this dreaded illness, many more are suffering from mental health problems due to the ongoing crisis. Psychologists and mental health experts are working overtime to help people come out of the state of paranoia that can very well lead to acute depression in millions of cases.

    The working class and the student community are worst affected by this. As someone who was planning to start a career in immediate future all your plans may have been jeopardized with this pandemic. Interviews have been cancelled and many job offers have been withdrawan without any clear direction to the job aspirants. If you are one of them you’d know how depressing the situation is at the moment. But all said and done you cannot afford to lose your focus. This is perhaps the most trying moment in your life and you will need to stay determined to face that challenges that would come your way in the future. 
  2. Accept The New Normal
    The early days of the lockdown saw most students and aspiring job seekers take ‘Remote Learning’ with a sense of disbelief. After all few weeks of break from classrooms and projects wasn’t likely to affect learning or the course curriculum. Depressing as it may sound the spread of this infection is showing no signs of reversal. It is still few months from when we will start witnessing the sought after ‘flattening of the curve’ in India. When can we resume our normal lives as it was pre-pandemic remains a big question mark. This is where you will need to start adjusting to the ‘New Normal’.

    American philosopher William James famously said “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” This is the time when you need to accept this ‘New Normal’. If you are pursuing a course you will need to accept remote classes as the most feasible model of delivery as far as your course is concerned. There is no guarantee on when you will be able to sit in a physical classroom and discuss the topics with your peers.  

    Though remote classes aren’t a new concept they were never envisioned to completely replace physical classrooms. But the risk of stepping out of the homes and travel restrictions has made them the only means of continuity. This is here to stay and you will need to accept this reality if you are looking to prepare yourself for the job market once this pandemic ends.
  3. Start Preparing for the Post-Covid Market  
    It goes without saying that the post-Covid job market would be anything but what you had planned for in the past. Economy has been hit by a sledgehammer and it is the worst that enterprises around the world are facing since the World War II. The 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis, the last major economic downturn in recent memory now seems like a blip as compared to one we are living through. Millions of people have lost their jobs around the world. More of less every sector has been hit hard with some like hospitality, tourism and aviation living through the worst nightmare.

    All this would mean that hiring across the industry is likely to be extremely skill based, need based, and role based. The days of bulk placements out of campus will be a thing of the past for the next couple of years. Apart from the usual questions related to your field of study you may be tested on your skills to work remotely and collaborate with different team members virtually. Any and everything that can be done remotely would be done remotely in the near future. Right from being interviewed virtually to sit through digital training sessions you will have to start preparing to deliver your best sitting thousands of kilometres away from your mentors and supervisors. The usual handholding that most newcomers have benefitted from in the past isn’t likely to happen in the immediate future. This is where you need to get yourself accustomed to the tools and platforms that are being used in the new work environment.  
  4. Focus on Skill Development 
    While there are dozens of reasons to be frustrated about the lockdown and the new restrictions on your life there are few positives to it. As a student if you had ever thought about the need to add to your skills, the time is now. There are dozens of online courses that you can sign up to and add to your skills. For instance as a student of Fashion Designing and Marketing you can enrol into short-term diploma courses in Personal Styling, Fashion Photography, Fashion Illustration etc.

    Students should harness the power of several professional courses that institutions of higher learning are offering amid the lockdown. Most of these courses are being offered remotely and this allows you to learn from experts from around the world. One a positive note many of the skill development courses being offered digitally these days require you to attend the classes physically in the past.  These courses will not only help you in adding to your CV and improving your odds at an interview but unwind your mind from the constant news items you read about the gloomy picture of the economy and the job market. It is important for you to bear in mind that definitive picture on when this crisis will end how the job market would evolve is still not known to anyone. It is impossible for you to have control over what happens with the job market but adding to your skills is all within your control and that’s what your mind should be completely focussed on.
  5. Keep A Fall Back Plan
    All said and done there is no assurance that you are likely to find employment as soon as the industry resumes hiring. The job market is going to be extremely tough for the next few years. While you are likely to give your best effort to find a job, you also need to have a contingency plan ready in case you don’t crack the interviews. You can explore options like opting for a career which is related to your field or study and not the exact one you had been planning for. You can also explore further studies so that you are able to add to your qualification till the market stabilizes or take an entrepreneurial route.

    This is perhaps one of the most important things to do at this moment given the amount of uncertainty in the market. Failing to find a job can get into your mind and this may result in paranoia and depression. It is important for you to have a fall back plan ready that will help you tide through the worst case scenario where you don’t find your dream job. Not having a Plan-B or even Plan-C in such critical times can take a toll on your career as well as your confidence levels. Remember every job or venture would offer you a new learning experience and this is way better than standing dejected on not being able to start a career once you are done with your education.     

To sum up, students and aspiring job seekers will have to play a leading role when the economy opens after the pandemic ends. You will have to be the flag bearers of the economy and play your part in getting the juggernaut to roll once we have seen through the peak of Covid-19 crisis. As we have mentioned earlier human race has always overcome crisis that have hit us and we have learned our lessons from each of those dredged events in history. We shall learn our lessons in this too whether it is personal hygiene and social distancing or to take pandemic more seriously than perhaps we did in the early days. It is time for you to stay focused and positive. Negativity would just ruin your prospects in a post Covid-19 job market.

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How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser

Career Guide: How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser?

How to Become a Fashion Merchandiser?: Designing is an important aspect of the fashion industry, but it is definitely not the only aspect. A lot of hard work goes into getting the clothes from the manufacturer to the retail shop and finally into the customer’s wardrobe. There are so many things that you can do to be a part of this loop and fashion merchandising is one of them.

This career opportunity is quite rewarding, once you attain the correct training and experience. If you are one of those people who can dedicate themselves to their work and will not shy away from a dose of sheer hard work, fashion merchandising is the perfect path for you. We are going to give you a detailed description of this profession and answer every single question you may have.

Read Also: Fashion Designing & Fashion Technology Courses

How To Become A Fashion Merchandiser?

To become a Fashion Merchandiser, you need creative, motivated, goal-oriented, resourceful and must have good communication skills.

Master the basics to win the game

You need to learn the basics first in order to excel in the profession. Your role is somewhat similar to a forecaster, except you do not study weather changes, but market economy changes.

You need to be able to look at the past performances of the company and the present situation and predict the direction in which your company is heading. Your role involves determining which products will assuredly be profitable and the ones that are an absolute loss.

The Fashion Merchandiser acts like an agent between the manufacturer and the customer, the link that communicates between the two. You need to look over the processes of packaging and marketing the products. It is the only through proper branding and promotion that will shape the success of the product.

Read Also: Career in Fashion Designing

Get skilled up!

We have already discussed the major skills that a Fashion Merchandiser needs to develop. It is on the basis of how many skills you have acquired that you will get your coveted job.

As John Ruskin said once,

Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect, and passion in their operation”

Unless you are passionate about your job, you will not enjoy honing these skills.

There are various talents that a Fashion Merchandiser exhibits, starting from knowledge about the market trends, consumer relationship, and aesthetics of display management to being a financial wizard.

Unless you get yourself aptly skilled up, you most definitely will lose your competitive edge. Always remember that education only makes you sufficient, but skills are what make you efficient.

Real Also: Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship + PGDFE

Create value through connections

If you want to succeed in the fashion retail industry, you must develop connections in the industry. Knowing too many people never harmed anyone.

It might even surprise you how much you can benefit solely through the relationships you have built with the people you met. Be it store managers or college professors, they might be the reason you get your big break in the industry.

As a Fashion Merchandiser, you need to work on the floor of the retail shops. This enables you to administer full control over all the factors that are in direct contact with the customers.

Since your role as a Fashion Merchandiser involves being the Jack of many trades, you need to have a solid background to help you move forward.

Read Also: BBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship

What Is Fashion Merchandising?

Every industry requires a strategic analyst and a marketing executive, someone who will administer advertising and management. These are the basic responsibilities of Fashion Merchandiser. The promotion of sales is one of the most important aspects of this job.

It is vital to introduce the products at the right time to a suitable market where the target customers frequent. It is the duty of the Fashion Merchandiser to make an analysis of the sales from the previous season and predict the most likely future performance of the company or the store.

They are responsible for the type and quantity of clothes that will be available in the store for the customers to buy. They will need to make strategies on how to sell all the existing stock before the stocks from the new season come in.

It is because of the systematic analytic skills of the Fashion Merchandiser along with their in-depth knowledge about the business that profits are made. Their market study on the type, color, design, and textiles helps the designers to come up with products that will be accepted by the customers.

They work with the designers to ensure that the products are affordable for the target market while making a profit for the whole chain of departments involved in the product from creation to sales.

All the Fashion Merchandisers live by the 5 rights of merchandising to be able to properly satisfy the customers as well as turn a good profit. These 5 R’s include the right merchandise, at the right price, in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities.

This enables the Fashion Merchandisers to evaluate the variety of customers that the target market welcomes and their specific needs.

Read Also: Short term Courses in Fashion Designing

Why Become A Fashion Merchandiser?

If you are someone who loves fashion and has a commercial interest in the industry, this is the perfect profession for you. The analytical aspect of running a business in the fashion industry demands a thorough knowledge of the fashion trends coupled with a keen eye for financial details. This profession can give rise to feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment if it is because of your incessant research that fashion designers came up with certain clothing trends.

If you are someone who likes a challenging job, which keeps you ready on your toes at moments of dire need, then being a Fashion Merchandiser will be a good choice for you. One of the best reasons to opt for this career path is because the longer you stay in the industry, the better you get. Your job does not get monotonous since trends in fashion keep on changing.

Read Also: The Best Institute for Fashion Designing

What Is The Typical Work Environment?

The most commonly seen work environments for Fashion Merchandisers are retail stores, children’s clothing stores and sometimes with designers who run their own brands. It also involves traveling to a few fashion shows to remain updated on the latest trends and strategizing ways to make that available for the customers.

There are a number of things that you can do before and after starting the career as a Fashion Merchandiser. Some of these professions you may stumble upon are, sales associate, store manager, customer service representative, visual merchandiser, fabric trend analyst, merchandise director or stylist.

Read Also: Top Fashion Designing Colleges in India

Basic Duties Of A Fashion Merchandiser

There are some duties that are specific to the job of a Fashion Merchandiser which may be targeted daily or weekly or monthly.

  • Obtain regular knowledge about existing and upcoming trends
  • Work with retails managers to arrange visual displays to make them appealing for the customers and increase sales
  • Could be in charge of setting the retail prices for products
  • Analyse financial estimates for the upcoming season
  • Determine the different fashions, clothing, and accessories that should be stocked in a particular store
  • Travel to be in good terms with buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers to encourage cooperation
  • Take to social media to connect with potential customers and understand their needs
  • Maintain strict control over the inventory and regulate budgetary requirements
  • Organize floor plans to accommodate new arrivals and maintain a systematized sales floor

Read Also: What Can You do With a Degree in Fashion Design?

Skills Required

Every profession demands a few special skills from the individuals in order to excel. To become a Fashion Merchandiser, the following are a few skills that you need to master:

  • Fashion awareness at all times
  • A keen eye for details
  • Ability to meet deadlines on time
  • Communication skills to interact well with the whole team and a variety of customers
  • Customer service and feedback to create a strong customer base
  • Prevent losses and gain market share

Read Also: Why Fashion Designing Is A Good Career?

Educational Requirements

After finishing your high-school, you should enroll yourself in a fashion merchandising graduation program, which will lead you straight into this field. If you have already done your graduation in a different stream, you can always attain a diploma degree in the said field.

Although it is vital to have experience in the field rather than just bookish knowledge, it will play to your strengths when acquiring the said hands-on experience. You must learn everything about your job in text and then apply them when gaining experience.

BBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship, PG Diploma in Fashion Entrepreneurship or Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship will lead you straight into the career path Fashion Merchandising.

These courses will make you proficient in topics like market research and consumer behavior, fundamentals of merchandising, surface ornamentation, retail and brand management, fashion marketing, visual merchandising among others.

You should grab the opportunity to be a part of Industry Internships and get your career started.

Read Also: Part-Time Fashion Designing Courses in Delhi

Starting A Career In Fashion Merchandising

Starting a career requires you to follow a strict process that will not only enrich your knowledge but also help you attain your goal. The following points will guide you through the whole process of becoming a professional Fashion Merchandiser.

  • After pursuing the necessary educational requirements, you need to attain hands-on experience through retail businesses. You can try to get into fashion retail stores in shopping malls, boutiques or a chain of clothing brands. You must learn through everything that you experience, these will help in sharpening your skills for a successful career in fashion merchandising.
  • Internships are a crucial factor in this profession. Try to get an internship from the institute you are studying in or on your own. While interning, you get a close look at what your future awaits you. You can intern as an assistant buyer, sales executive at a retail store or social media internships. You might also get in touch with Fashion Merchandisers and work under them, learn from them and observe what they do closely.
  • Put together a compelling portfolio because this career path is quite competitive. In order to get a competitive edge, your résumé needs to provide potential employers with visual proof of your outstanding abilities, educational excellence, and valuable internships. The fashion merchandising portfolio can include reports based on market research, sample plans for showroom or store floor layout and visual merchandising plans to tip the scales in your favor.
  • Keep an eye out for job openings both online and offline. Make a note of the skills that different employers are demanding, find some in common and gain experience to hone those skills.

Read Also: How To Grow Your Fashion Business Successfully

Know Your Employers

For all aspiring Fashion Merchandisers, it is vital to know your potential employers. You can always choose to be a self-employed freelancer in this field, owning your business, which quite a few fashion designers do. You may work full-time with companies, brands, and retail stores on a contractual basis.

Fashion businesses involved in various fields as production, promotion, designing, clothing, cosmetics, shoes or jewelry require Fashion Merchandisers. Following are a few examples of potential employers whom you need to target:

  • Manufacturers of textiles and fabrics
  • Fashion publication house, both print media and online
  • Advertising agencies who promote designers and retails stores
  • Fashion shows (both production companies and individual shows)
  • National department stores and retails chains
  • Specialty and consignment stores
  • E-commerce stores

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The earnings in this profession vary from one country to another. We are going to explain with the use of US dollars and INR to get across a larger audience. The starting salary in the US as a Fashion Merchandiser is $24,000 (per annum). The higher end of the salary goes up to approximately $68,000 yearly.

In the Indian market, the expecting salary ranges between 1.3-6.4 lakhs, annually at the very start of the career. Although it might seem like an average number, these are always scoped for improving this number with more experience.

As a Fashion Merchandiser, you need to be equally interested in the fashion and business side of the industry. You will need to develop the innate skill of determining which trends will be a great hit among the customers and the ones that will hardly become popular.

This job demands a lot from you which requires learning to multitask without losing your efficiency quotient.

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Victorian Era with an Indian Twist at Asian Designer Week – 2019

Victorian era, a glamorous time period for rich Indian textiles. The fusion of these two far apart poles was the theme of our project this time. The challenge at hand was to bring to life, a garment which was set in the victorian era but fabricated in authentic Indian Textiles. It may seem like an easy thing, in theory, it did to us too, but when it came to practicality, this was the hardest thing about the project.

Victorian-Era-with-an-Indian-Twist

We began our quest with updating our knowledge on everything related to the victorian era fashion: the silhouettes, the fabrics, the colors, all design elements, accessorization, utility wear, etc. The Victorian era was a time of flowy, fluffy ball gown, of lacy parasols, of large, feathery hats, of elegance, of feminity. People of that era had dress codes for specific occasions, there were high societal expectations for women, and to fit those expectations women’s fashion was changed drastically.

Next came our research on Indian textiles, which was an eye-opening experience because we happen to neglect our beautiful collection of textiles every single day. Indian textiles are rich in culture, color, and history of their origins.

Victorian Era 2.jpeg

This collection was to be displayed at the Asian Designer Week 2019, so our deadlines were tight. I personally believe in practical learning, and taking on a challenge to stitch a garment to be displayed in a fashion show, was on my list for long. This time, I was able to successfully take that challenge head-on. After all the approvals in line, and the fabric ready at hand, I drafted patterns for my design with the help of my wonderful faculty always ready to help me. It took me around 4-5 days to completely perfect my garment, and another couple of days to complete my accessorization. I chose to make a parasol on my own as part of my accessorization, along with a waist belt and a ruffled necktie, which completed the whole look.

Our show was scheduled on 6th October 2019 at Hotel A Dot by GNH, ambiance island, Gurugram. We reached the venue around 1 pm the same day, with all our things ready for the show. After a few minor issues backstage, we were able to get our models ready for the display in time, which was a feat in itself, but also a nerve-wracking experience, because that entailed that the show was about to begin.

Our display went wonderfully well, without any mishaps, which made us all let out a breath we didn’t know we were all holding in.

To me, this whole project will always be dear to my heart, because it was an amazing concept, brought to reality by my own hard work, day and night, and I’ll forever cherish it as a student, and furthermore.

Abhilasha Sharma
3rd Semester, BBA FE (2018-2021)

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