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NIFT was the pioneer of fashion education in India
Sep '16
NIFT Delhi director Vandana Narang speaks about the critical role that the National Institute of Fashion Technology played in building the fashion ecosystem in India
The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) made all the difference to the Indian fashion ecosystem, according to the institute's Delhi director, Vandana Narang.
In a full-length interview with Fibre2Fashion for a special issue on the state of fashion education in India, Narang said, “We have changed the mom-and-pop culture to a professionally-managed system. A lot of senior designers have taken over as chief executives of companies. Like ITC, for instance, may ideally be managed by a marketing person, but it is headed by a NIFT graduate from knitwear design [Sartaj Singh Mehta is the creative head of the Lifestyle Retailing Business Division of ITC Limited]. Karunesh Vohra is creative director (Louis Philippe) at Madura Fashion & Lifestyle."
Talking about the establishment of NIFT around 30 years back, she remarked, “Over all, when we started, NIFT was the pioneer of fashion education in India. At that time, there was no proper curriculum or hand-holding. When NIFT was launched, the government took the support of Nottingham Trent University as well as Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) New York, with FIT as mentor campus and faculty members from Nottingham were requested to contribute. They started with a very open mind about what fashion education in India should be.”
Narang spoke about faculty members for the first ten years being sent abroad for training, and the support that came both from the government of India as well as a project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She said, “It all started with that one course (on fashion design) in 1986. Today, we have seven Bachelor's programmes and three Master's programmes. We have had five PhDs in the last two years from NIFT Delhi, and two from outside. Our PhD is extremely rigorous, and there are three examiners, one of them necessarily being an international examiner.”
Read the full interview in the August issue of Fibre2Fashion, or online here

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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