Careers in Textile Designing and Fashion Designing
Fashion design is the most well known and most sought after career in the fashion and textiles business. The common notions about fashion designers are that they are rich, famous and constantly rubbing shoulders with celebrities. While this is true in many cases but out of the thousands of people in this Industry who work behind the scene and only few get the recognition and wealth. Without this crucial support role this industry would not exist. In this article our editorial team have tried to investigate the opportunities for students in the fashion and textile design world.
The Supply Chain of Fashion and textile:
a) The Yarn suppliers: They supply the yarn from the farmers and cooperative agencies to the fabric manufactures.
b) Fabric manufacturers: They are the manufacturers of the fabric and specialize in fabric production to the garment suppliers.
c) Garment Suppliers: They produce the garments with the fabric received from fabric manufacturers based on the design by the fashion designers.
d) Retailers: They sell the garments, apparels in retail outlets. Jobs in Fashion retailing: Retail Managers, Sales Advisor
Fabric and Garment suppliers employ:
- Textile designers
- Fashion designers
- Pattern cutters
- Sales representative
- Fabric technologists
- Woven Fabric Designer
- Knitted Textile Designer
- Printed Textile Designer
- Embroidery Designer
Job Role :
- Selecting yarns for fabric
- Designing the construction and colour of fabric
- Liasing with customers such as garment suppliers or retailers
- Developing designs requested by customers
- Visiting trade fairs
Career Starting Point : You can start your career as an assistant designer with a Graduation or Diploma in a textile designing / Textile Engineering and move into senior Textile Designers.
A clothing/textile technologist carries out a range of technical, investigative and quality control work on clothing and textiles, ensuring that products perform to specifications. Technologists work on the development of products, improve production efficiency and quality, and liaise with those involved in the production process.
The textile and clothing industries are inextricably linked, starting with the production of fibres, yarns and fabrics, and ending with the sale of finished products, which are mainly clothing but also include household and industrial textiles.
Typical Job Role :
Technologists in smaller organisations are usually responsible for both clothing or garments and textiles, but in some large companies, these functions are split.
Clothing/garment technologists are involved in all aspects of garment construction and are expected to keep up to date with technical innovations. They work with a wide range of materials, including natural and synthetic textiles, leather, fur, metals and plastics. Their main responsibilities are to minimise risk, assure quality, support product development and develop supplier relationships. Tasks typically include:
- liaising with designers, and adapting designs to suit production methods;
- making and sizing pre-production garments;
- sourcing fabrics and accessories;
- undertaking quality evaluations of materials and checking the quality of the final product;
- responding to product queries, including complaints, from wholesalers and customers.
Textile technologists are responsible for:
- developing manmade fibres and the quality assessment of natural fibres;
- spinning fibres into yarn, and knitting or weaving yarn into fabrics;
- producing nonwoven materials;
- identifying the latest fabric trends, developments and innovations;
- overseeing the dyeing, printing and finishing processes;
- ensuring quality in areas such as strength, durability, colourfastness, and water and chemical resistance;
- advising commercial colleagues on technical aspects of the business;
- working closely with suppliers and customers.
Some technologists specialise in research and product development, and may:
- undertake research to find new ways of using yarns;
- develop chemicals that may be added to fabrics to make them more waterproof, flame-resistant or shrink-resistant;
- experiment with textiles to improve their look, feel, texture and durability.
What Do Fashion Designers Do?
Fashion designers understand that clothes are much more than protection from the elements. Clothes can make people feel confident or powerful. Or they can be comforting. Clothing can be an artistic expression—a projection of the image people want the world to see.
While good fashion design will probably never be equated with a cure for disease or a solution for world hunger, fashion can make a person feel better. Though some may say fashion is purely superficial, appearance can have profound effects personally and to the world at large. Whether you think of royalty or rock stars, you visualize their appearance and presentation. What people wear projects who they are.
The elegant and often eccentric styles found on the runways of Paris and New York do not represent the full scope of fashion designers’ work. In reality, there are a multitude of opportunities in fashion design, from sportswear, to children’s clothes, to haute couture. If you can wear it, someone has designed it.
Fashion Design Tasks
A fashion design job has many aspects. Designers may be responsible for a number of tasks, including researching fashion trends and staying current on contemporary styles; creating sketches and prototypes; choosing materials; going to fashion shows; performing business administration tasks; marketing products; and supervising or working with design team members.
Creativity and Style – No fashion designer can get by without creativity and style. The fashion industry is in a constant state of metamorphosis. Fashion designers need to be on their toes. They need to be able to look at old styles and see a new direction to take with their designs. They need to be able to innovate and put a fresh spin on things. From sketching to execution, fashion designers need artistic ability and originality to succeed in the industry.
Knowledge of Fashion History – Setting trends isn’t a simple business. Fashion designers have to stay a step ahead. To do that, they need knowledge about previous styles and movements in fashion history. They also need to be aware of current fashion events and developments.
Business Know-How – Knowing the ins and outs of business is also beneficial for fashion designers. In this highly competitive industry, aspiring designers can’t rely on their artistic vision alone to bring success. For fashion designers, understanding basic principles of marketing and business can help them reach their goals.
Abililty to Perform Under Pressure – A fashion design career isn’t for the faint of heart. Fashion designers should be able to work well under pressure. Working with an assortment of people and personalities to meet tight deadlines can be stressful. Those entering this occupation should be willing to work in a team, and they should thrive under the demands of deadlines. They should also be able to handle criticism. Critics in this field can be brutal. Successful fashion designers know how to learn from a critique while maintaining their individual style.
Careers in Fashion Merchandising
Every great boutique or department store needs a Wizard of Oz—someone behind the curtain making everything appear as impressive as possible—someone deciding to stock ruby slippers because they’re the next big thing. Fashion merchandising experts accomplish tasks like these on a regular basis.
Fashion merchandising requires a blend of fashion sense and business expertise. Style alone won’t yield a successful career in this field. Staying ahead of the fashion curve is a feat involving both art and science. Strategy and marketing know-how are an integral part of fashion merchandising.
As a fashion merchandiser, your job is to connect fashion with consumers. To reach that goal, you may do a variety of tasks, including the following:
- Attending fashion shows
- Buying fashions
- Negotiating with suppliers and manufacturers
- Managing retail outlets
- Setting up store displays
- Advertising and marketing
Forecasting Ability – While more methodical than fortune telling, fashion merchandising does require forecasting ability. A thorough knowledge of past fashion trends and an awareness of current industry developments will serve you well in a fashion merchandising career.
Analytical Ability – Problem solving and analytical ability also come in handy in this field. A good sense of style obviously helps you; however, you must also determine how things fit into a budget and whether they meet the functional needs of consumers. Other criteria may also influence your fashion merchandising decisions, so you will need to be able to analyze a complex set of issues and stand behind your choices.
Communication Skills – Fashion merchandising also requires good communication skills. From negotiating with manufacturers to getting your marketing message out to customers, there is ample opportunity to exercise your powers of communication in the fashion merchandising field.
Career in Fashion Marketing and Buying
What’s the difference between fashion merchandisers, fashion marketers and fashion buyers? If you find yourself asking this question, you’re not alone. It seems like these titles are often used almost interchangeably or, perhaps, to describe different functions of the same job. It all seems unclear.
Merchandising, marketing and buying are closely related. Depending on the job you get, you may focus on one of these things, or you may do all three. Some companies may not have the resources or the need to separate these job functions. In other companies, however, it may make sense to divide the work load according to these different tasks. Each job is different.
Defining the Roles
Fashion Merchandising – The goal of good fashion merchandising is to craft a positive consumer experience. Fashion buying can be a part of this. From choosing what to sell, to designing how it’s displayed in stores, fashion merchandisers have customers in mind. They know that presentation counts. A sweater on its own may not dazzle, but pair it with the right belt, jeans and some fabulous shoes, and it becomes a hot item. Fashion merchandising experts subtly inspire consumers to see the possibilities in their products.
Fashion Marketing – Fashion marketers are not so subtle. It’s their job to promote fashion. They want to generate interest in new styles and products. Fashion marketing involves advertising, but it’s more than that. Fashion marketers have to be on the cutting edge—endorsing the right thing at the right time. They connect the public with the world of fashion, and they help set trends.
Fashion Buying – While many people think that they could make a career out of shopping, fashion buying is more complex than that. Fashion buyers have to be aware of the nuances of trends. They have to anticipate where styles are going and what will catch on with consumers. Not every new style will make it to the marketplace. Fashion buyers make decisions about what to sell and how much based on their knowledge of fashion history, market trends and customer psychology.
Career in Fashion Photography
Does the thought of a desk job conjure up frightening visions of drab cubicles and bad fluorescent lighting? Can you think of a thousand places you’d rather be? Traveling to exotic locations is one of many perks you might enjoy as a fashion photographer. While you may also have to fight off your share of mosquitoes along the way, fashion photography is a creative job that won’t keep you behind a desk all day.
Working in fashion photography, you will represent fashion designers’ work to the public. You’ll create the visual story that sparks interest in new styles and trends.
As a fashion photographer, you may be self-employed or do freelance work. You may also find employment opportunities with magazines or clothing retailers.
Artistic Sensibility – Although it may go without saying, a good eye and artistic sensibility are essential in fashion photography. More than taking pictures of models and clothing, fashion photography requires the ability to set and capture a mood. It takes creativity and innovation. Attention to artistic detail is key for any aspiring fashion photographer.
Technical Skill – Fashion photographers also need to be comfortable using technology. From traditional development methods to digital editing, technology plays an increasingly important role in this field. Fashion photographers who have the necessary computer skills can use digital technology to edit their work and create special effects.
Organizational Ability – Since many fashion photographers free-lance, those who are self-starters should do well in this field. The ability to stay organized and focused will help when establishing a credible reputation in the industry.
Teamwork – The ability to work well with others is beneficial in fashion photography, as in any field. You will need to be able to communicate with your customers and deliver the product they want. You will also need to be able to work with a variety of people—from models to stylists—to complete your work. Fashion photography is not a job that can be done in a vacuum. You will need to cooperate with a several individuals to accomplish your work.
Careers in Fashion Stylist
There is an art to putting together the right outfit for the right occasion. The best clothes do more than cover. They express the wearer’s personality and style. They make good first impressions and boost self-confidence. Good fashion stylists know how to bring out the best in the people they dress and the clothes they choose.
From working with celebrity clients to styling models for photo shoots, there are many different arenas in which fashion stylists can use their talents. Stylists’ work is evident in music videos, advertisements, TV shows and movies. They may also work with designers or public relations experts. A fashion stylist career can provide exciting opportunities to bring style to a variety of interesting people.
Fashion Knowledge and Adventurous Style – Fashion stylists need more than great taste. When putting together a look, they must also consider a number of factors, such as color and fit. Knowing what clothes will flatter a variety of body types is important. They must also be able to see the possibilities in clothing. Successful fashion stylists can take conventional pieces and use them in unconventional ways. They are clothing innovators.
Ability to Communicate – The ability to communicate with clients is also essential. Fashion stylists need to be able to find the compromise between their own style and opinions and their clients’ wants and needs. They need to be able to influence without overpowering.
Business Sense – Most fashion stylists are self-employed, so they need to be able to run their own businesses. They must maintain client relationships and handle administrative tasks or hire others to do them.
Apart from the above roles one can also choose a career in Fashion Media. The main roles in fashion media are:
- Fashion journalists
- Fashions PRs
- Fashion stylists
- Fashion forecasters
- Fashion illustrators
There are various good colleges where you can start studying on Fashion Technology. Few colleges to Study Fashion Technology in India are :
- DART Fashion School , Bangalore
- FX School, Mumbai
- D New Age School of Design, Delhi
- Fortune Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore
- Army Institute of Fashion & Design, Bangalore
- Integrated Management College , Delhi
- Hamstech Institute of Fashion & Interior Design, Hyderabad
- IIFT Paschim Vihar, Delhi
- International Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi
- Varia D Design, Ahmedabad
- NIDD (National Institute of Design & Development), Delhi
- J.D. Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi
- Indian Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore
- Inifd – Noida, Delhi
- WLC College of India, Hyderabad
- National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi
- Aastha Institute of Gemmology, Pune
- I.P.D. College, Delhi
Do post your comments and questions you may have.
Compiled by Balaji R (Editor GSG)