By: Lalita Rani Taneja and Saroj S. Jeet Singh

Fashion is what we wear, through a constant process of selection, adoption and change. It is triggered by people, events and social, economic and technological change. No wonder fashion and apparel designing have become one of the fastest growing professions in India in recent years. The world of cloths and accessories has expanded into a giant industry, both for domestic requirements and for export. Today, the Fashion industry in India is a high growth sector with a multi-core turn over.

There is an ever-growing demand for more designers who can come up with the innovative designs that are commercially Viable in the export market. With fashion becoming a big business and India emerging as one of the major players in the global garment market, the need for qualified professionals in this field has increased tremendously.

Fashion designing offers unlimited opportunities for those who are good at it. The status and income of the person goes up as he establishes a reputation of his own. Exposure to the fashion industry abroad may help in widening horizons since Indians still tend to copy western styles. With beauty pageants, fashion shows, foreign labels and a public that is increasingly becoming fashion conscious, you as a fashion designer have enough chances to exhibit your talent. If you are enterprising, you can set up your own manufacturing or export units, which will bring big financial benefits or you can find a lucrative job in the textile industry.

A fashion designer is no longer an anonymous entity- designer labels give him an identity. As long as people feel the urge to dress well, there will always be a need for more designers to provide a variety of clothing that is appealing, fascinating and up-to-date.

Export houses, domestic markets and manufacturing units throw up ample opportunities for you to work as a fashion designer in textile designing. It involves working with different fabrics and material. Textiles account for a major chunk of exports. The textile industry calls for technically skilled executives who are specialists in designing interpretation, pattern creation, gannent construction, grading, product development, marketing and computer aided design. So you could make a beginning with any of the export house or manufacturer.

More over, you can find a job in accessory designing- designing anything: from hair clips and sunglasses to footwear and luggage. There are a lot of opportunities for you in designing leather accessories.

How to become a professional in fashion designing?

The industry demands the vision to see beyond what is already there and the ability to see market trends. What you need is a flair for designing a willingness to learn, Imagination, manual dexterity, organizational skills, a sensibility for colors, textures and style and business acumen.

Like any other creative field, Fashion design does not depend so much on qualifications as on talent and creativity. Styles and tastes keep changing all the time and a good designer need to be on his toes to give the consumer the best and the latest. In the realm of designing, fashion is a business and it must not be misunderstood for an art fonn. Its dynamics are guided by conunerce.

Unlike popular belief, fashion design does involve a certain amount of technical knowledge, of types of material, their adaptability to weather, wear and tear etc. Production facilities and costs also need to be taken into account. hi the field of apparels, careers can be made in design, production, merchandising and marketing.

As a designer your job is to forecast fashion and translate the requirements of the market into saleable designs. It calls for a rare combination of talent and business acumen. If you want to be successful in this field, you need to have confidence and optimism, keen powers of observation, an eye for detail and a high level of creativity. You should be able to withstand the stress of failure and long and irregular hours.