With increasing number of people becoming fashion conscious, there is a great demand for designer fashion accessories. Now is the time to pursue a career in the burgeoning field of accessory designing. If you are creatively inclined and have a taste for designer bags, belts, shoes, etc, read on.
Meera Mahadevia, a well-known designer who sells her aesthetically handcrafted bags in all the international fashion capitals states, "Some time back accessory designing was considered a subordinate field vis-à-vis mainstream fashion designing. Today, the client recognises the importance of how the right accessories can make or break a style statement. No wonder, accessory designing has carved its own niche and is considered serious business."
A degree in Textile and Fashion Design helps because it lays the foundation of the aesthetic sense in a creatively inclined mind. In India, unfortunately, there is still no separate course for accessory designing. “It is vital that you understand the complete rhythm and momentum of fashion and the wide spectrum of mediums and techniques. Passion coupled with commitment is sure a success recipe," adds Mahadevia, a qualified textile designer who works with brocade, tanchoi, brocade silk, jari and no leather at all. Her creations have found home in 23 stores across the country and 13 countries in all.
A professional course helps you with the knowledge of designing, stitching, fabrics, etc. Visualisation skills, sense of colour and an eye for detail are among the essential skills for a career in accessory design. Although most youngsters see designing as a glamorous profession, it involves a lot of hard work.
According to Belinda Randhawa head of the department of Mod'art International Institute Mumbai, "Basic drawing skills with understanding of 3D are essential. The power to take cues from a random image, and convert it into an embroidery, a print and then moving on to get this executed into a hat, bag or scarf is all about creativity.
“If you are armed with unmatched creativity, technical skills and determination, you will be absorbed in the industry either on the rolls or as a freelancer,” says Swati Mehrotra, fashion footwear designer. It would be a wise decision for an aspiring accessory designer to join leather exporters and bag manufacturers as designers to have a practical experience.
"If you are original, innovative and strive for perfection, there is no stopping you," Mahadevia says. "Jobs are not hard to come by, and as a fresher you can earn anything between Rs 15,000-25,000 depending on your qualifications and the recruiting organisation,” adds Mehrotra who has a retail outlet in Delhi and has studied at FDDI NOIDA (Footwear design and development institute) and had done shoe collections for JJ Vallaya's and Zubair Khirmani's last WLIFW (Lakme Fashion) collection. Established designers also hire young designers to work under them. Also eventually one can start one’s own enterprise.
Edwin Pinto of 'Janota' label, the well-known designer from Goa who has clients like Vijaya Mallaya for his classy designer footwear, says, "Creativity, craftsmanship and passion are most important qualities a designer should have. Also one must be able to translate ideas into the products. Lot of practice and apprenticeship is a must and one must enjoy the entire process of creating an accessory".
Leather technology is fast emerging as a lucrative career option. States Swati, "Until a few years ago, those who happened to be in the industry were there with experience rather than with any formal training. Today, institutes are offering certificate as well as diploma courses in designing as well as production, adding a much needed professionalism to this industry. Talking about the leather industry, there is a major shift of manufacturing base from Europe, USA to India and China." The industry is expected to grow at 20-25% in the next five years, it means now is the time!
Shoe designing and manufacturing institutes:
· Avi School Of Fashion and Shoe Technology, Chandigarh
· Central Footwear Training Center, Agra
· Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai.
· Department Of Industrial Training & Vocational Education, Haryana
· Footwear Design & Development Institute, Noida
· Textile designing, SNDT
· National Innstitute of fashion designing, Delhi