The advent of technology in the fashion industry has changed things dramatically for aspiring fashion designers, especially in tier-2 cities. Competition has increased, yes, but at the same time the industry has also become more accessible for young fashion professionals. And giving this new crop of designers a big fillip are social media platforms and online fashion destinations such as Jabong and LimeRoad, with concepts like online fashion shows. Similarly, opening up of fashion boutiques in the city is gradually bringing about a change in the fashion perspective and giving an impetus to these fashion designers to showcase their creations.
At the recently held annual design awards show of JD Institute of Fashion Technology (JDIFT), aspiring fashion designers of the city talked about their design philosophy and the changing dynamics of the fashion industry.
Take for example, 19-year-old fashion designer Soundarya Mishra, who graduated from JD Institute of Fashion Technology this year. In a short span of time, she has created an online custom designed garment brand – Avatar and a Facebook page called ‘Avatar You’ where she showcases her designs. “In the two months since I started my brand, the online platform and social media have helped me to reach out to potential customers. Last month, four of my designer garments were booked through my Facebook page. It is a big boost for budding fashion designers like me,” says Soundarya, who takes her inspiration from international designer Zuhair Murad.
Her new collection showcased at JD Institute’s annual design awards show highlighted the hidden emotions of a human being through layers of fabric in five creations of western ethnic designs. The young designer used leather belts, hanging dolls and artistic prints in her collection to convey this theme in Bhagalpuri silk fabric.
“Vizag is not an easy city for budding fashion designers. It is still at a nascent stage when it comes to fashion consciousness. Having said that, online platforms and entrepreneurship trends among youngsters have changed the scenario for budding talents. They need a bit initial mentoring and get to a flying start. Many of our students have opened their own boutiques and also become fashion stylists at leading brands,” says Sangita Daga, the Head of Department of JDIFT.
An alumnus of the institute, Sai Prasanna works as a fashion stylist at Kankatala’s The Fabric Store.