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Internship opportunity with Fascino Kids Fashion Week 2019

Right from our very first day at ICF, we have been gaining experiences in the fashion world and this July got us one very exciting one.

An opportunity to work at the Fascino Kids Fashion Show, an exclusive Fashion Week for children between 3-14 years of age, with a series of interactive workshops leading the participating children with sessions on Personal Hygiene, Etiquettes, Personality Grooming putting forward a holistic, confident personalities on the ramp.

fascino kids

This was an exciting opportunity for me and my other enthusiastic lot of friends since none of us had ever had the experience of handling these little bundles of energies. Glad we all enrolled ourselves for this and were prepared to take this new challenge head-on.

The show was scheduled from 25th-27th of July 2019 and was held at Eros International, Nehru Place.

We were involved from day one….from the trials to training and practice days for the child models and handling schedules for all the participating designers.

Time management was one of the major factors that we needed to learn and report to work an hour early than the kids’ schedule since all the arrangements for the day were to be organized and put in place to avoid any delay or glitch during the sessions.

We were about to be hit with a real challenge of handling small kids throughout the day while helping the Organizers. The kids started to pour in and some of them came in “like a wrecking ball”. Some of the kids were not ready to leave their parents at all and kept wailing and crying. That was truly a challenge, to get them separated from their mothers, get them changed and make them practice along with everyone else. But we were not there to give up easily. All through the days this cycle continued, designer after designer, kid after kid, and we would generally wrap up the day around at about 9 in the night right after a short meeting with our team heads….just to repeat the whole process every day for the next couple of days; but the second day was less chaotic, thanks to our experiences gained the day before.

Then came the big day, the actual show on Saturday the 27th of July, 2019. We all reported at the venue sharp at 8 am, dressed and ready to work in our Fascino Kids Fashion Show custom t-shirts, that gave us the sense of responsibility to shoulder the brand we were working for.

We began readying up the first lot of kids for our first scheduled show at 11:00 a.m., which was actually delayed by an hour due to technical issues, but hiccups like this are common in such fashion events. With each show, our work gradually got easier, and we had a smooth functioning through the fashion shows……. till the finale show……That was when chaos broke. We ran out of hands to help backstage, and 3 people barely kept the kids in control, but with immense help from one of the team heads, we were able to deliver an amazing finale of the day that was widely appreciated and adored.

The after-party to celebrate the success of the show had us all as a team had us all danced and celebrate the successful line of shows the whole day, and we all retired to our homes in groups and pieces, to finally rest our feet which had been working on and on through the week.

Even though the whole experience was tiring and we ran out of energy to function by the time we got to leave, it was all worth it when we received our certifications when we rejoined college.

We were also awarded a beaming trophy to represent all the hard work we all collectively put in, and it was truly an amazing moment to be able to hold it in our hands.

The trophy now rests in the office of our Chief Mentor, Ms. Jaivani Bajaj’s office, as a beautiful memory of something so demanding and challenging yet so rewarding and full of knowledge.

This was an experience gained, that will forever be with us all.

Abhilasha Sharma- BBA FE 2018

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The Pret Imperative

I became the head (Executive Director) of the FDCI, now nearly a decade ago. Our office was in an apartment in Saket, a common practice at that time. To reach the office on the second floor, we had to walk up the stairs and jump over a sleeping dog known for being aggressive when provoked. As I took up the onerous reins of the fashion industry in India, I realized that much like the dog, the gross artistic talent of Indian designers was immense but the fashion design industry was still in its infancy and had made a little impact at home in India, much less the World. Coupled with the rich Indian heritage and culture we should have been talking of a major industry. In reality, designers were living from hand-to-mouth and quite literally operating from their father-in-law’s house!

This is when I commissioned research through the well-known consultants KPMG to study the level of the current industry and also to benchmark the West where billion-dollar brands such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, etc. all mocked us. Surprisingly, my initiative did not find sympathetic support from the FDCI Board which, unfortunately, consisted entirely of designers who were sure they knew it all. The results of the study, however, were seminal.

In the West, the industry started at the top of the design totem with couture (exclusively one of a kind) remaining exclusive and relatively small. It did make a handful of designers personally rich but as an industry, it was nowhere, and it was extremely risky for investors. The industry grew as designers moved down the chain to diffusion – multiple but limited lines which were sold in studios with, most often, the designer himself in attendance. The real breakthrough came when a few enterprising designers pushed to move into pret-e-porter (ready-to-wear) available off the shelf and at affordable, even if premium, prices to a vast upper-middle-class!

The move to Pret was not easy.  Designers quickly realized that Pret required large numbers to make business sense. This required efficient factories, distribution to a large number of stores, marketing, etc. This was usually beyond the competence of designers and was also beyond their interest areas. This is the classic clash in a fashion business – how to mate the vagaries and subtleties of art with the heat and dust of a competitive marketplace. The solution, of course, was the partnership of the high-flying designer with down-earth businessmen. The partnership could be in the form of a joint venture with a corporate which could bring in finances and skilled managerial support. That is how the West got into the big leagues.

Unfortunately, we in India faced many hurdles on many sides. At the FDCI, to promote Pret, we instructed all participating designers to show only Pret collections at the India Fashion Week. However, this was easier said than done as designers still displayed what they were most comfortable with – couture! Those who did venture forth most often came up with watered-down lines of their couture lines or worse still, Western wear! We could see that Indian fashion had a long way to go to mature. Customers were also in a time warp where they valued the weight of the garment, the amount of embroidery or surface work done and hesitant to move beyond drapes.

On the creative side, designers had to learn, to their dismay, that pret is not a mini version of their couture collections with, say, a little less embroidery but required a fresh new approach and a totally new collection.

The other challenge at the FDCI was to get investors and corporates to partner Indian designers. The trouble was both ways – with designers and with Indian corporates.  From the FDCI we extolled Indian designers, but businessmen found it difficult to relate to persons who ‘got up only after 11 o’clock’, did not care much about business civilities and wanted to be treated as prima donna’s! On the other hand, designers could not accept that the corporates valued their business to just a simple multiple of one year’s sales rather than the hundreds of crores they thought they were really worth. Further, they found it unthinkable to sell their label, which was usually their own personal name, to an alien entity and risk the possibility of losing it entirely. The result was that potential corporates such as Raymond, who even launched a Designerwear chain called BE:, baulked from backing any designers. Instead, when expansion was called for, they preferred to buy out premium, mass brands which in the case of Raymond was Color Plus. It finally devolved on foreign businesses such as LVMH, who better understood the dynamics of fashion, to invest into Indian designers.

Luckily, the new breed of Indian designers, having much less baggage of yesteryears, is far more business savvy and are able to quickly appreciate business complexities. However, Indian corporates are still tardy at making investments in Indian designers as they are still uncomfortable with the risks of the industry and still face a less than robust retail infrastructure. The saving grace has been the VC’s and other foreign investors who have made that move. Today there are a handful of Indian designers who have made it close to the Rs 100 cr. annual turnover. This includes the like of Rohit Bal, Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Malhotra and Anita Dongre. Of particular pride for us is Anita Dongre, whose pret labels and retail chains, Indo-western styled Global Desi (138 retail stores) and  Western-styled AND (125 retail stores) together with other labels add up to a solid Rs 725 cr per annum.

Although having less flourish or creativity than her brethren, Anita’s Dongre’s phenomenal success has been due to a relentless focus on Pret, sharing the business end of the stage with her MBA brother, Sawlani and the VC’s who put up the money. This is just a tip of the iceberg of what Indian fashion can do when everything falls in place. To be sure, there is still a long way to go but now the glass ceiling for Indian designers has been broken!

Vinod Kaul

Jt. Managing Director, ICoFP

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India is a country with various cultures and tradition

It was around 1980s; the late 80s and the 90s saw a spurt growth of fashion in India.

It was only in 1999 that India showcased its first-ever fashion show. Of course, there existed many designers before the 90s but the fashion industry was never that widespread until the late 80s and 90s.

The main trademark of fashion in India is because of the Bollywood industry. Since its inception, people get really inspired and keep trying to copy the designer’s styles.

In the year 1986, the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India opened the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Delhi with the help of the Fashion Institute of Technology in India.

The word fashion brings the glamour. There are 100s of designers now. Some are really popular and some are still expanding. India today is one of the mostly dense countries which are mainly giving a hand to the fashion industry in order to magnify.

The western culture has most influenced our fashion industry. However, Indian cultural fashion has not loosened its popularity too.

Our fashion industry has started to grow and is expected to propagate exponentially in the next two years.

The growing population itself is predicted to hand the fashion industry to develop manifold. The love for brand names has already gone crazy and that will increase the consumerism.

In a nutshell, it can be said that the Indian fashion industry is budding at a high pace. This industry is offering a wide range of opportunities to the creative people, artists, hard-working and innovative people.

There are plenty of job opportunities in this sector; so what I personally feel about this is that the Fashion Industry is totally going to be a professional’s career choice with a lot of fascination. Rest, the time will showcase what the industry beholds for us.

Saloni Sharma

BBA-FE (2019-21)

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Degree in Fashion Design

What Can You do With a Degree in Fashion Design?

In India education is often seen from the prism of the career opportunities it offers. A degree in fashion design is no different and aspirants for these courses want to know about employment prospects after completion of their course. Fashion is one of the biggest industries in the country and hence offers you numerous career options once you complete your course. Here we look at some of the careers opportunities you can explore with a degree in fashion design.

  • Fashion Designer – This is the first choice career option for many and for the uninformed the only career choice a fashion designer has. You can take to designing apparels and accessories once you complete your course. You can work with fashion labels or sell your creative work to various labels. Depending on your interest you can choose a niche.
  • Fashion merchandising – It is a big career opportunity especially in a country like India which has a large young population. Here your main role would be assessing the fashion trends in India and sourcing the in-trend products from various designers and offshore companies for your clients or the consumers at large. With the boom in ecommerce fashion merchandising has become a rewarding career option.
  • Jewellery design – For Indian women their attire is incomplete without the right set of jewellery to go along with it. Indian women love flaunting their gold and precious stone. And they just don’t do it with Indian wear but also with western outfits. With the country being the largest consumer of gold and precious stones in the world you can make your mark in jewellery designing by keeping up with the latest trends in the market.
  • Fashion marketing – As like all other products in the market fashion too has to be sold creatively. With digital channels offering unlimited marketing opportunities fashion marketing has also grown as a career. This career option is more oriented towards marketing and less to do with the nitty-gritties of designing and merchandizing. There are special management course that focus on the fashion industry and by taking up such a course you’d open up new possibilities for your career.
  • Fashion reporting – Fashion is an important beat for any media organization. And when it comes to fashion reporting the regular battle hardened journalists who cover politics and business aren’t chosen for this creative role. The responsibility often falls up people with a degree in fashion who understand the industry and are able to keep a close watch on it.

As you can see there are several career options that you can explore with a degree in fashion design. Sky is the only limit when you have a creative bent of mind.

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