Tough choices for young designers

Ground reality

Fashion industry may seem alluring on the surface, but the pursuers of the career say that ‘it is not getting easy’. Young designers, who aspire to become a part of its glitz and share the same position with the celebrity designers, spoke to Metrolife about the fashion world and personal tribulations.

To enter into competition with the industry’s A-listers is not so easy. Delhi-based Vani Vats launched her label Vvani just a year ago. In this one year period, Vats participated in a number of fashion shows sharing the stage with some of the known names of the fashion industry. She says that such events where both the experienced and
unexperienced designers participate, the former overshadows  the later.

Vats says, “If you mix fresher with the A-listers, it becomes a flop. Your competition is with them who already are well-known in the industry. These events are important for us to galvanise buyers of our products. And Indian market is not open for new designers as people prefer products from established designers. So there should be different platforms devoted only to the freshers.”

But reaching out is the bigger picture. A newbie requires enough funds, manpower, marketing and promotion to be able to come into even the smallest picture.

Gursi Singh, co-founder of the label, Love Birds, elucidates, “As newcomers, we are not supported by any sponsors who will back us financially. If we manage to invest our own money in fabrics, tailors, machines etc still something or the other remains incomplete. We earn almost nothing as compared to what we spend. Many designers have come and gone, not because they were not good but because they couldn’t survive the cost.”

Another aspect which Suman B has explored in her career – her label Lola was launched two years back – is that every product has a market for itself but logistically difficult to figure out.

“I did any freelance work during my college days and saved money from it. So the monetary part was not a big trouble for me. But if you don’t know which market you are going to pitch, it will become difficult to suffice. Every designer has a market but to get to that it takes time. You should very much know which market you are going to pitch. Buffering should start at an early stage,” says Suman.

But the topic does not end here. Every year a large number of students pass out from the fashion schools with a dream of becoming a part of this fashion world. Adding to the set of A-listers that already exists, freshers have to compete amongst each other as well.

Gautam Gupta, alumni of NIFT and founder of label Autre, says, “Every fashion student dreams of becoming a designer and having a label of their own. That way the supply becomes much more than the demand. There are more people fighting for the same spot. Forget about the older ones, you have to fight among yourselves to carve a way out of the horde.”

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