Prospective students: fashion design education and career outlook

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Fashion design in India is an important industry connected to international trade. A complex business dependent upon the collaboration of professionals such as make-up artists, models, hair stylists, retailers and manufacturers, a career in fashion design has many possibilities.

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) has initiatives that aim to nurture the fashion design industry across the country and internationally. Besides its importance in worldwide business, FDCI also provides fellowships and scholarships for students in recognition of excellence.

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Fashion design education

Programmes in fashion design are concentrated on developing creativity along with design conceptualisation. Common bachelor programmes in fashion design include:



  • Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) Fashion Design
  • Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) Accessory Design
  • Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) Textile Design
  • Bachelor of Fashion Technology (B.FTech.) Apparel Production

These degrees typically take three to four years to complete, although actual completion time can be impacted by many variables. Even at the undergraduate level, it possible to specialise in sub-areas of fashion design. The +2 examination from the 10+2 system is required for admission.

Fashion design schools in India are growing, with National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) expanding from one centre to 13 since being established in 1986. NIFT's design entrance test (for B.Des. and M.Des.) is the Creative Ability Test (CAT), which gauges applicants' sense of color and aptitude for drawing. The General Ability Test (GAT) is also required for most programmes. The Computer Based Test (CBT) is required for B.FTech. and M.FTech. programmes. Other design schools include the International Institute of Fashion Technology's fashion design diploma.

Core courses in fashion design include:

  • Basic design skills
  • Pattern-making
  • Promotion and merchandising
  • History of fashion
  • Art and design

An important aspect of many fashion design bachelor's programmes is the practical skill of making clothes. Students create and present an entire collection in the final semester of the last year of schooling. Industry internships are another important aspect of some programmes.

Postgraduate programmes in fashion design include:

  • M.Des. (Master of Design)
  • M.FTech. (Master of Fashion Technology)

Fashion design careers

B.Des. degrees can confer valuable practical experience for a potential career. Being professionally trained in fashion design may give you an advantage in the industry. Careers within fashion design include:

  • Costume designer
  • Fashion illustrator
  • Design consultant
  • Stylist

Placements in the fashion industry are a primary objective of some schools. For example, NIFT facilitates campus placements for graduating students by inviting international and national companies for recruitment. Consider how an education in fashion design could allow you to pursue a career combining art with technology and marketing.



About Iris Yellum

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