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'Indian fashion talent has no limits'

Mamta Gautam, Centre Head, INIFD, speaks to Nazim Khan on the institute and the fashion design industry.
By Nazim Khan | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 20, 2008 11:29 AM IST

Tell me something about your institute.

The Institute of Fashion and Interior Design, based in Andheri was started in 2003 with the collaboration of Annamalai University. INIFD-Andheri is a franchise of INIFD Chandigarh. It was started to achieve the objective of promoting fashion awareness and to gratify the ever-increasing need in the industry for trained professionals. Miss Ritu Beri, a leading personality in the fashion world, inaugurated INIFD.

It has over 160 centres all over India and has a well-established network across India and has been in the field for over 17 years.

What courses do you offer and what are the requirements for students to get into them?

INIFD-Andheri offers MBA in design and a BSc degree as well diploma courses in fashion designing, interior designing and textile designing, which are government-recognised and in technical collaboration with Annamalai University. We also have international certification from Institute Di Moda, Burgo, Milan, that is a famous school of fashion in Italy. The eligibility criterion for the MBA programme is graduate (10+2+3) in any discipline; for BSc programme, it is Higher Secondary (10+2) from any recognised board or university. We also offer two years' advance diploma and one-year diploma courses on fashion designing, interior designing and textile designing. The eligibility criterion for these courses is minimum 10+2.

The MBA offered is focussed on the market trend, which is retailing and visual merchandising. Employers today are on a lookout for people who are trained in the field of design and also have retailing skills. The first year of the course will cover major aspects of the retail market and visual merchandising. The second year of the will entail topics like introduction to malls, customer relationship management and supply chain management.
We do not have any entrance test. We are of the belief that each student who wishes to pursue a career in designing should be passionate. The skills can be developed.

What qualities make for a good fashion designer?

Qualities required for a good fashion designer are good communication skills, dedication, hard working, creative, eye for detail, and being abreast with world's latest trends in design, and good academic and technical skills.

How do you work on the students to imbibe those qualities?

The specific curriculum equips the students with in-depth knowledge about fabrics, weaves, draping qualities, and materials, colour and in dept tailoring skills.
We have Tassel 2008 a fashion show, is the platform given to graduating (third year) students to display their creativity and showcase their talent as well as students who are in the first- and second-year to get exposure to the show so that they get trained and have experience when they graduate.

How do you view the Indian talent pipeline?

Talent in India has no limits. You will be surprised as the amount of talent you can find and especially if they are given the right training, skills and resources India can create the best in the field of fashion/Interiors. The awareness in the field is growing and before you will know it India will be leading and become the hub of fashion industry.

Do you think India can ever produce a Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein?

Yes. We can a produce more than Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein because India is talent store. As I said, with the right training and with the right resources they can establish a name in anywhere in the world and out do any designers.

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