Best Prices and other details about corner sofa beds

With the smaller spaces that can be found in homes and condominiums, many home owners are thinking of creative ways on how they can have efficient solutions for small areas by using corner sofa bed with storage which have many uses and which they can also decorate. There are many kinds of corner sofa bed that are being sold in the market and this kind of furniture has a double feature that can function well in a bedroom or in a guest room as well.

There are corner sofa bed that has storages which can be placed in your living room and there are also other guides that you can follow in order for you to decorate properly your corner sofa bed and this will be a big help for you. You have to first measure up the size of the room so that you would know the size of the corner sofa bed sale that you are going to purchase for your room and the dimensions of the room should also be defined.

The use of the corner sofa bed is a great solution for maximizing or optimizing the space of the room and you must also learn on how you can rearrange the other furniture that can be found inside the room. There are many kinds of materials for a corner sofa bed and if you want to buy one, you may choose a sofa bed made up of a genuine leather because this is more classy as compared to other kinds of materials.

Fabric material for corner sofa bed is available in the market if you fine the genuine leather material quite expensive and this fabric can also blend in with other designs and colors of furniture that you would want to place in your room together with the corner sofa bed and this would be very helpful for you. You can always buy additional storage with fabric textiles as its cover so that it will be more decorative and colorful when you place it under the cheap corner sofa bed and this is very functional for small space in your room along with other furniture.

If you will buy a corner sofa bed make sure that the base material of your sofa bed is very durable so that it can last for a long time whether the material is a genuine leather of a fabric. Bright colored pillows or cushions can be added to your corner sofa bed if you want to decorate it with something lively and with something that is not that expensive and with this, the decorations will also be pleasing to the eyes.

Fashion Fiesta Wrapped In A Week

Creative sensational from different parts of the world taking style, beauty and definition of fashion to its edge, promotional linchpin of a multibillion-dollar industry, I am talking about nothing else but Fashion Weeks. Fashion weeks are hallmarks of fashion industry to rollout the new season feel in fashion. They generally last up to a week allowing fashion designers, artists and fashion houses to display their latest collection. It hallmarks next seasons in things, that’s why it is very important for buyers, media, celebrities and entertainment industry who take that fashion among the general public.

The most famous fashion weeks are held at Fashion Mecca Paris, Milan, London and New York. Since the new millennium fashion weeks are held in different parts of the world to put the local fashion on the world map and making a packed fashion calendar throughout the year. A refreshing sense of national identity and pride has emerged from the achievements of fashion sector – something that was otherwise traditionally been restricted to feats of sporting prowess, adding that its benefits go well beyond the fashion world (Emling 2006).

Fashion weeks are held several months in advance giving chance to designers, media and buyers to preview the trend for the next season. Fashion weeks are bi-annual events; the fashion weeks conducted between January and March are called “fall fashion weeks” whereas the one conducted in September through November are called “Spring Fashion Weeks”. Some fashion weeks can be genre-specific, such as a Miami Fashion Week (Swimwear), Prêt-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) Fashion Week, Couture (one-of-a-kind designer original) Fashion Week, Palm Springs Fashion Week (Resort Collections) and Bridal Fashion Week.

History

Omission of fashion week history would be curious at this point of time. Let me throw some light on that. Edna Woodman Chase–former editor of Vogue organized “Fashion Fete,” in 1914 to benefit the war-relief effort which is often apocryphally called the first fashion show ever. By the 1920s, the fashion show had gone mainstream. Early shows were often more theatrical than those of today.

Indian Fashion Industry

Colourful fashion trends of India

With the end of the 20th century came the end of all hype which has created a more practical and pragmatic environment and has given a more stable picture of the fashion business.
In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario wasn’t exactly colorless. It was exciting, stylish and very graceful. There were no designers, models, star or fashion design labels that the country could show off. The value of a garment was judged by its style and fabric and not by who made it.

It was regarded as ever so chic and fashionable to approach any unfamiliar tailor, who could make a garment for a few rupees, providing the perfect fit, finish and style. The high society lady, who wore it, was proud for getting a good bargain and for giving her name to the end result.

In 60s, tight ‘kurtas’, ‘churidars’ and high coiffures were a trend among ladies. It was an era full of naughtiness and celebration in arts and music and cinema, manifested by liberation from restriction and acceptance of new types of materials such as plastic film and coated polyester fabric.

The 70s witnessed an increase in the export of traditional materials outside the country as well as within. Hence, international fashion arrived in India much before the MTV culture with the bold colors, flower prints and bell-bottoms. Synthetics turned trendy and the disco culture affected the fashion scenario.

It was in the early 80s when the first fashion store ‘Ravissant’ opened in Mumbai. At that time garments were retailed for a four-figure price tag. The ’80s was the era of self consciousness and American designers like Calvin Klein became popular. In India too, silhouettes became more masculine and the ‘salwar kameez’ was designed with shoulder pads.

With the evolution of designer stores in Mumbai, the elegant fashion design culture was a trend among Indians along with their heavy price tags. No doubt that a garment with a heavy price tag was at the bottom stage of fashion. But clients immediately transformed into the high fashion fold where they were convinced that that the word ‘elegant fashion design culture’ means, it had to have a higher price tag.

Garments were sold at unbelievable prices only because the designers had decided to get themselves noticed by making showy outfits and getting associated with the right shows, celebrities and events.

Later, fashion shows shifted to competitive events each attempting to out-do the other in theme, guest list and media coverage. For any newcomer, the fashion business was the number one professional art that time.

In the 90’s, the last decade of the millennium, a move towards the drastic pairing down returned with ethnic wears (Today, ethnic wear market in India is accounted to Rs. 9000 crore). This led to the decline and the recession, the push to sell at any cost and keep staying in the limelight. With heavy cut throat competition and sound awareness of the client, the inevitable occurred. The price tags, which had once reached at a peak, began their downside journey.

At those times the downturn was not only being experienced in the price tags of the garments, but also in the business of fashion shows. More models, choreographers, make-up men, hairstylists and designers streamed down into their business.

The fun and party time in the Indian fashion scenario had not ended with this, but continued. It was a point, where it reached at a certain steady level and from there, in the beginning of the 21st centaury, with new designers and models and some sensible designing; the fashion hype accelerated its speed.

Indian fashion industry spreads its wings globally

For the global fashion industry, India is a very big exporter of fabrics and accessories. All over the world, Indian ethnic designs and materials are considered as a significant facet for the fashion houses and garment manufacturers. In fabrics, while sourcing for fashion wear, India also plays a vital role as one of the biggest players in the international fashion arena.
India’s strengths not only depend on its tradition, but also on its raw materials. World over, India is the third largest producer of cotton, the second largest producer of silk and the fifth largest producer of man-made fibres.

In the international market, the Indian garment and fabric industries have many fundamental aspects that are compliant, in terms of cost effectiveness to produce, raw material, quick adjustment for selling, and a wide ranges of preference in the designs in the garments like with sequin, beadwork, aari or chikkon embroidery etc, as well as cheaper skilled work force. India provides these fashion garments to the international fashion houses at competitive prices with shorter lead time and an effective monopoly in designs which covers elaborated hand embroidery – accepted world over.

India has always been considered as a default source in the embroidered garment segment, but the changes of rupee against dollar has further decreased the prices, thereby attracting buyers. So the international fashion houses walk away with customized stuff, and in the end crafted works are sold at very cheap rates.

As far as the market of fabrics is concerned, the ranges available in India can attract as well as confuse the buyer. A basic judgmental expectation in the choosing of fabrics is the present trend in the international market. Much of the production tasks take place in parts of the small town of Chapa in the Eastern state of Bihar, a name one would have never even heard of. Here fabric making is a family industry, the ranges and quality of raw silks churned out here belie the crude production methods and equipment used- tussars, matka silks, phaswas, you name it and they can design it. Surat in Gujarat, is the supplier of an amazing set of jacquards, moss crepes and georgette sheers – all fabrics utilized to make dazzling silhouettes demanded world over. Another Indian fabric design that has been specially designed for the fashion history is the “Madras check” originally utilized for the universal “Lungi” a simple lower body wrap worn in Southern India, this product has now traversed its way on to bandannas, blouses, home furnishings and almost any thing one can think of.

Recently many designers have started using traditional Indian fabrics, designs and cuts to enhance their fashion collections. Ethnic Indian designs with batik cravat, tie-and-dye or vegetable block print is ‘in’ not just in India but all across the world.

In India, folk embroidery is always associated with women. It is a way of their self expression, and they make designs that depict their native culture, their religion and their desires. Women embroider clothes for their personal use, and the people linked with the pastoral profession prepare embroidered animal decorations, decorative covers for horns and foreheads and the Rabaris of Kutch in Gujarat do some of the finest embroidery. Embroidered pieces are made during the festivals and marriages, which are appliqué work called ‘Dharaniya’. One of the significant styles of Saurashtra is ‘Heer’ embroidery, which has bold geometric designs, woven on silks. The Mutwa women of the Banni area of Kutch have a fascinating embroidery where they make fine embroidery works with designed motifs and mirrors in the size of pinheads, the Gracia jats use geometric designs on the yoke of long dresses. Moreover, the finest of quilts with appliqué work are also made in Kutch.

Garments embellishment with bead work is another area where it in demand in the international market. Beads are used to prepare garlands and other accessory items like belts and bags and these patterns now available for haute couture evening wear too.
According to a survey, in recent times Indian women have given up their traditional sari for western wears like t-shirts and shorts, as they feel more comfortable in skirts and trousers instead of saris and salwar kameez. It’s been noted that women spend just $165 million on trousers and skirts against 1.74 billion dollars spent by men on trousers. With more women coming out to work, the (combined) branded trouser and skirts market has been increasing at a whopping 27 per cent in sales terms. Women feel that Western clothing is more suitable, particularly when working or using public transportation. Many corporate offices are also in favor of their employees wearing Western wear.

In India, Western inspiration is increasing due to the influence of TV and films. Besides, shopping malls selling branded clothes have also mushroomed in India and are fascinating the youngsters. Recently, designer wear is being promoted through store chains such as Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloons, Westside, etc. Companies such as Raymond and TCNS have also set up their exclusive stores for designer wear such as Be: and W.
The market of India fashion industry

Recently, a report stated that the Indian fashion industry can increase from its net worth of Rs 200 crore to Rs 1,000 crore in the next five to ten years. Currently, the worldwide designer wear market is amounted at $35 billion, with a 9 per cent growth rate, with the Indian fashion industry creating hardly 0.1 per cent of the international industry’s net worth.

According to approximations, the total apparel market in India is calculated to be about Rs 20,000 crore. The branded apparel market’s size is nearly one fourth of this or Rs 5,000 crore. Designer wear, in turn, covers nearly about 0.2 per cent of the branded apparel market.

At present, the largest sales turnover within the designer wear segment is about Rs25 crore, with other well-known names having less turnovers of Rs10-15 crore. In view of the prospects of the Indian fashion industry for growth, the figures are not very hopeful.

The figure of fashion industry

o The organized market for designer apparel is about Rs 250 crore

o Designer wear calculates to less than 1 per cent of the apparel market

o The global market for designer wear is 5 per cent of total apparel market

o The global market for designer wear industry is largely dependent on the small-scale sector

o Consumers for designer wear have a yearly household income of Rs 10 lakh-plus. There are 3 lakh such households developing at 40-45 per cent

o Designer wear industry is projected to increase to Rs 1,000 crore by 2015.

o More than 81 per cent of the population below 45 years of the age is fashion conscious.

Many fashion designers and management experts foresee an average growth of about 10-12 per cent for the Indian fashion industry in the coming years. Though, the growth rate could be more than 15 per cent, if infrastructural and other logistical bottlenecks and drawbacks are over come.

India needs more effort to overcome

However, despite the benefits available in India there are also some disadvantages. India is not a remarkable player in the global market with reference to brands because of its inability to add value to products. This is observed by the fact that nearly 50 per cent of its exports are apparel and made-ups where value addition is essential. Likewise, 75 per cent of domestic apparel market is commoditized and unbranded and very few Indian brands do survive in the foreign markets. Evidently, the Indian market has not made a strong stand and hence it is difficult to make Indian brands that can compete with global brands in India.

Another reason for the fashion industry’s inadequate growth is the limited experience of the designers and the platform they are offered. The insignificance stalks from the reality that most of the young talent is hired by the bigger names to work in their studios, thus imprinting their work with the label of the big designers.
Though performing individual presentation is not an alternative choice for most of the young talent, because of the limitation of finance, a beginner designer’s name fails to come to the forefront.
Another thing, with regards to the ramp, is what the designers offer is barely appropriate to be worn ordinarily. You’ll see there’s dissimilarity between what is there on the ramp and what the Page Three crowd wears. Some believe at present the fashion is in, but the tendency hasn’t changed much as it is the old ones coming back. We have had short kurtas, long kurtas, flowing skirts, etc. coming back into fashion with only a new variety of designs.

Many management consultants and professionals believe that the Indian fashion industry will be boosted if the new comers are paid proper attention. What they require is more support so that their work gets due recognition. According to the consultants and professionals there should be a panel of people who choose designers for showcasing according to their work and not their name or who they’ve worked for earlier, and hence selection would be purely based on quality. Besides this, the panel of judges should comprise of people from the fashion schools rather than designers.
It has been observed that the media-hype around the big designers and blatant commercialism has hindered business in the Indian fashion industry. No clear cut picture is provided about the feasibility of the products. Basically it is only the famous names that are being talked of. What they offer is not quite daily-wear. The entire focal point of the industry is on commercialism. The discussion is only regarding how much is sold and for what price and nothing about the designs or styles.

Efforts to develop global fashion brands

It needs innovative designers, a seamless supply chain, control over retail and distribution and concentration of quality while dealing with some image. While a few have accomplished something in the west covering Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Zara, Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, etc, India has not been capable to track on.
A serious reason for India not being successful has been its isolation in the fashion system. Each stakeholder including designers, exporters, textile players and retail chains need to come together along with the government to make sure that the position of Indian fashion is strong in the coming years.

There are various agencies and industry associations that can support in brand-building practice. Many of these agencies require attractive resources and making a global image of Indian fashion rather than independently trying to promote particular brands or textile segments.

Efforts to create strong global image

Large textiles players require more and more to target on the market facing activities while developing an association with small medium enterprise (SME) clusters. Such kind of networks would be a benefit to that which can focus on demand making and branding as well as for clusters that can focus on quality production.

Efforts to create value networks

After the entry of large retail chains like Wal-Mart, Gap etc in India, Small scale manufacturers in India will find it very difficult to satisfy the demands of these international buyers if they continue to promote their products individually. Therefore, it is very important that value networks are created between large textile and apparel companies in India and small scale manufacturers, so that the marketing muscle of the leading players can be utilized for receiving large orders while the bigger players then assign the orders to the small-medium enterprises according to their past record of quality and service. For this to be put into practice, it will be vital to well-organize the information on small-medium enterprise clusters in a perfect manner so that supplier selection decisions are made according to the information in the long run, only the more efficient small-medium enterprise players survive and develop.
Efforts to concentrate on designers and designs

Designers have a fundamental role to play in the future of Indian fashion scenario. There should hence be an effective process for preparing these designers. This can be done by sponsoring exchange programs with international schools, increasing participations in the fashion capitals of the world, motivating and offering business incubation to new designers and rewarding efforts through proper design awards.
Even in India, well-known designers are incapable to tap finances from well-organized resources, since a vital part of their assets are brands and design talent which are not measured in terms of money and hence it becomes difficult to judge the value. This has severely inhibited their development and capability to raise retail existence across the country and abroad. Likewise, there is no systematic approach of existence in the fashion capitals of the world like Paris, Milan and New York. Due to this, designers have to depend on their personal contacts and relationships for organizing fashion shows and making retail alliances. The French government as well as the British government helps designers of their particular countries appreciably in these areas as they understand that value creation through design is the only way to carry on in the competitive landscape of the global fashion industry. The Indian government and related agencies should also accept this aspect of textile, apparel and fashion industry sincerely if they need to see India on the global fashion map.
Work in collaboration: designers-corporate efforts

Designers and many organizations can work globally through various models and with many working relationships. The Indian fashion industry has many views but only one such model, wherein a designer creates a retail venture with his/her own brand through organized retail chains. There are many other models according to brand ownership and division of operational activities.

Globally, many models of collaboration between designers and corporates are available. For example Ralph Lauren has made an agreement with Jones Apparel for producing and retailing various Polo brands. Likewise, Armani had an agreement with Zegna for production, even while it was competing with them in the marketplace. There are many cases of designer brands being co-owned by the designers and corporates, Gucci-Alexander McQueen and Gucci-Stella McCartney being some of them.

In the end, many designer businesses have been obtained by corporates where designers play a major role in the design elements of the business, but the brand and the organization is owned completely by the corporate.

The current possession of Calvin Klein by Philips Van Heusen and earlier holdings of Hugo Boss and Valentino by Marzotto are some related examples in this segment. These examples strongly point out that not only designers find such relationships important for development, but also corporates find these attractive for rising their profitability and growth. Likewise deals in India could go a long way in developing the brand values of corporates and designers.

Developing clusters

Making common infrastructure for functioning such as design and sampling, affluent treatment, product testing, etc can help in increasing the capability of the clusters since noteworthy investments could be made by the cluster itself rather than any single player.

Well-managed databases can help in decreasing search costs and through data mining, rating of players can be done so as to make the procurement process easier for buyers. Cooperative marketing programs at different clusters can also support players to grow up in the value chain by mixing their strengths within the cluster.

Cluster based battle in the fashion industry is characterized by the Italian industry. The National Chamber for Italian Fashion for example, supports the development of the fashion clusters at Milan and Florence in a well organized manner. Indian industry can learn a lot from Italy because India has a similar cluster based scattered production base, but has been incapable to link it with design and branding capability.

If the above activities are successfully considered, India could have an extraordinary development in the fashion industry, which could increase from a negligible size to Rs 8,000 crore in the coming decade.

Conclusion

In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario was colorful and stylish, in the end of 20th century it was quite subdued and with the beginning of the 21st century it has geared up and is still experiencing the growth with many spectrums of colours. Though this industry is growing at a very good pace, besides achieving a negligible share in the global market, still it needs to make severe efforts to stand amongst international fashion market in various aspects.

How to Become a Successful Fashion Designer

If you are like me you live and breathe fashion. You are constantly inspired with so many new designs racing through your mind, so many you can’t seem to get them all down quick enough at the pace they arrive. You constantly dream of the day your fashions will be on the fashion runway with the lights beaming brightly overhead, the cameras flashing everywhere and the audience being completely mesmerized by your incredible designs. You can’t stop thinking of the day you will open a magazine or watch the Oscars and see a famous celebrity in one of your breathtaking designs. Your book shelf is stocked with fashion books and magazines, and you absolutely can’t resist visiting textile stores to view all the latest fabrics, decorative beads, rhinestones and trims.

It’s this ever present dream of being a successful fashion designer that has you work day and night on your designs in most cases for many years without pay and working a job to pay the pills which is brutal torture, when all you can think about is living and working in fashion.

Famous fashion designers come from all walks of life there is no one system to follow that will have you become the next famous fashion designer. Some have graduated from elite fashion schools and some have never attended fashion school. Some have undertaken a fashion internship with a fashion house and others have made their own designs in their basement. The only elements all these fashion designers have in common is they had an intense passion for fashion, were able to design fashions highly sought after and connected with someone who gave them the opportunity to break into the fashion industry. It is essential in becoming a successful fashion designer you get you and your designs out there as much as possible, as how will anyone know about your fashions if they can’t see them?

In getting your fashions out there here are a few things you can do:

1. We are not usually good at everything some of us are great at designing clothes but lack the sewing and pattern making skills. It is here you can partner with someone who shares your passion for fashion and has the skills you lack. It is in the bringing together of different skills you can create a real product that can be showcased.
2. In having a fashion line of 14 outfits you can apply to your local fashion week. In the USA: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all have fashion weeks. These fashion weeks attract many editors, journalists and local socialites who will see your fashions and potentially give you the exposure you need to get known.
3. Many city night clubs hold fashion shows, find out what night clubs hold fashion shows and contact them as to how you can be apart of an up and coming show.

4. Locate fashion boutiques that cater to the fashions you design, first make a trip to the stores to look around, if you can see your clothes fitting in well with the store, find out who the owner is and ask if they would be willing to have some of your fashions offered for sale in their store. You will be amazed at how many store owners are willing to work with you. I walked around San Francisco in the Nob Hill district and had my fashions placed after visiting and discussing my product with four boutiques. In having your fashions displayed you will receive valuable insights as to whether or not your designs are in demand and if you need to change your designs to increase sales. It will also give you free exposure to the public. When your fashions do sell you can present this to investors who are more than willing to invest in your line, when you prove the existence of a strong demand for your fashions.

Aspects Of Fashion Industry – Choose Your Fashion Merchandising Colleges

Fashion industry attracts many young people nowadays not only because it is a rather new profession, but also it is supposed to realize person’s likes in the field of fashion. Besides, it is quite a high-paid profession today. When a young person decides to connect his or her activity with the fashion industry nothing comes to mind except one its aspect – fashion design. Probably, few people actually know that it’s a separate field of fashion industry. In fact, there is a great number of other professions and specialties in fashion including designing clothing, fashion design, fashion marketing, fashion merchandising, etc. The latter doesn’t get worthy attention, but it is very important. Due to merchandising we have fashionable clothes in the shops and stores.

How can one know whether fashion merchandising is the field for him to start work at? Look through the following traits of a potential fashion merchandiser and if at least one point coincides with your way of life, you have all chances to make the career in the field. Do you like to spend your weekend walking through flea markets for the latest retro fashions? Or maybe your friends want to borrow your fashionable shoes and your defiant accessories? If so, maybe you should take a walk down the fashion runway. Being a student in merchandising, you will get an opportunity to learn more about fabrics and textiles. You are also going to study the cultures and subcultures that shape the way people dress.

No doubt, in order to become a professional merchandiser, a great desire and talent for this specialty is not enough. If a person wants to get into this career and have success in it one needs to get the right education and training at first. A fashion merchandising college will be of great help for you. Once you study at a fashion merchandising college you will get an opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of the fashion industry because there one can get a practical experience and build a strong foundation necessary for further working in this field.

A student has the right to choose whether to obtain a two-year Associate in Art degree or a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in the field of fashion. It depends on the kind of a fashion merchandising college you are going to visit. Besides, you are also welcome to unite this education with classes or even a major or minor in a related specialty, for instance, fashion design or fashion marketing. Students in a fashion merchandising college learn how to manufacture, buy, promote, and sell fashion items, beginning from clothing and jewelry to cosmetics and furniture. They also learn about textiles (fabrics and the fibers used to make them).

One should choose his or her future merchandising college very thoroughly. Depending upon the fashion merchandising college you are going to attend a sort of the necessary courses in your degree course will greatly vary. The most preferable courses include subjects like accounting principles, business law, salesmanship, fashion sketching, merchandising math, merchandising, publicity and promotions, fashion development, trend-spotting, and the history of fashion. You are certain to like those subjects, besides, they will give you the fundamental knowledge of the fashion industry.

Studying at a fashion merchandising college is not like studying at any other educational establishment. Many core courses in fashion merchandising are hands-on and involve a great amount of project work. Professors tend to rely more on their life experiences than on textbooks. If you are going to become a student expect to take a lot of field trips and listen to many guest speakers. You may visit a fashion magazine or large clothing company. You might even swing by a fashion show or two.

Having the profession of a fashion merchandiser is very interesting. It involves much communication with other people. When a person gets the job of a fashion merchandiser he or she is going to spend all days long visiting various fashion shows, buying clothing and designs, speaking with designers, overseeing advertising and marketing campaigns necessary for successful selling of your products, and managing the stores within your business network. You are also expected to find yourself negotiating business agreements with manufacturers and suppliers. Besides, you are going to arrange your own store displays. The scope of your activity depends on the size of the business you have as well as on the level of practical work expected of you.

Beginning the fashion merchandising career you should always improve your skills and knowledge of fashion tendencies in the world, and the most important thing you will have to do is to perfect your ability of picking out the next big thing in fashion before anyone else does. This will guarantee your success. This ability carries the foundation of your new knowledge of past fashions and trends. It includes everything you will obtain by attending a fashion merchandising college, but further you should develop this trend adding your own good taste in clothing.

Summing up, it would be necessary to say that the career of a fashion merchandiser cooperates with many different fields of the fashion industry. That’s why if you are searching for a more interesting kind of activity, something that’s more than just designing clothes or visiting fashion shows, fashion merchandising may be your piece of cake. But be very attentive while choosing an appropriate fashion merchandising college, try to use your wisdom in this uneasy task, because it may define your future profession and even you life. You should do your research before entering the fashion merchandising college, and beforehand check whether the school or program you are going to attend is properly accredited.

Bubble-Up Effects of Subculture Fashion

The notion that trends in fashion take part in a phenomenon known as the trickle down effect has long been recognised by fashion pundits. A process of social emulation of society’s upper echelons by the subordinates provides myriad incentives for perpetual and incessant changes in fashion through a sequence of novelty and imitation. Dior’s ‘New Look’ of 1947 consisted of creations that were only affordable to a minority of affluent women of the time. Fashion was governed by haute-couture designers and presented to the masses to aspire toward. However, this traditional prospective has been vigorously challenged by many throughout the fashion world. Revisionist observations have introduced a paradoxical argument that fashion trends have, on numerous occasions, inadvertently emerged from the more obscure spheres of society onto the glamorous catwalks of high-fashion designers.

These styles can originate from a range of unorthodox sources, from leather-jacketed punks and dramatic Goths, the teddy boys of the 1950s, to ethnic minority cultures from all edges of the globe. Styles that emerge from the bottom of the social hierarchy are increasingly bubbling up to become the status of high fashion. There has been significant concern over the implications of this so-called bubble-up effect, such as the ambiguity between the notions of flattering imitation and outright exploitation of subcultures and minority groups. Democratization and globalisation of fashion has contributed to the abrasion of the authenticity and original identity of street-style culture. The inadvertent massification of maverick ideas undermines the ‘street value’ of the fashions for the very people who originally created them.

The underlying definition of subculture, with regards to anthropology and sociology, is a group of people who differentiates from the larger prevailing culture surrounding them. Members of a subculture have their own shared values and conventions, tending to oppose mainstream culture, for example in fashion and music tastes. Gelder proposed several principal characteristics that subcultures portrayed in general: negative relations to work and class, association with their own territory, living in non-domestic habitats, profligate sense of stylistic exaggeration, and stubborn refusal of massification. Hebdige emphasised that the opposition by subcultures to conform to standard societal values has been slated as a negative trait, where in fact the misunderstood groups are only attempting to find their own identity and meaning. The divergence away from social normalcy has unsurprisingly proliferated new ideas and styles, and this can be distinctly observed through the existence of fashion diversity. Ethnicity, race, class and gender can be physical distinctions of subcultures. Furthermore, qualities which determine a subculture may be aesthetic, linguistic, sexual, political, religious, or a mixture of these factors.

Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays investigated the drivers of social control and the engineering of consent. Their psychological theories provide insight into the causes of deviation, by members of a subculture, from social norms. They highlighted the irrationality of human beings and discovered that by tapping into their deepest desires, it is possible to manipulate unconscious minds in order to manage society. Freud believed that stimulating the unconscious was crucial to creating desire, and therefore is conducive to economic progress and mass democracy. Bernays argued that individual freedom was unattainable because it would be “too dangerous to allow human beings to truly express themselves”. Through various methods of advertising, a distinctive ‘majority’ can be created in society, where a person belonging to this group is perceived to be normal, conventional and conformist. By using techniques to satisfy people’s inner desires, the rise of widespread consumerism plays a part in the organized manipulation of the masses. However, through the unleashing of certain uncontrolled aggressive instincts, occasional irrationality emerged in groups, and this repudiation of the banalities of ordinary life is believed to be a key factor in the generation of subcultures.

The expansion of youth styles from subcultures into the fashion market is a real network or infrastructure of new kinds of commercial and economic institutions. The creation of new and startling styles will be inextricably linked to a process of production and publicity inevitably leading to the diffusion and spread of the subversive subculture trends. For example, both mod and punk innovations have become incorporated into high and mainstream fashion after the initial low-key emergence of such styles. The complexities of society perpetuate continuous change in style and taste, with different classes or groups prevailing during certain periods of time. To deal with the question of which is the most influential source of fashion, it is necessary to consider distribution of power. It is not the same for all classes to have access to the means by which ideas are disseminated in our society, principally the mass media. In history, the elites have had greater power to prescribe meaning and dictate what is to be defined as normality.

Trickling down to shape the views of the substantial passive parts of the population, designers from high places were able to set trends that diffused from the upper to lower spectrum of society. Subcultures, it was suggested, go against nature and are subject to abhorrence and disapproval by followers of mainstream trends. Regrettably, criminal gangs, homeless subcultures and reckless skateboarders, among other ‘negative’ portrayals of subcultures have been accused of dragging down the image of other ‘positive’ subcultures which demonstrate creativity and inspiration. There is an unstable relationship between socialising and de-socialising forces. Nevertheless, German philosopher Kant observed that actual social life should and always will consist of in some way its own opposite asocial life, which he described as “unsociable sociality”.

Without doubt, fashion exhibits a dichotomy of conformity and differentiation, with contradictory groups aspiring to fit in and stand out from a crowd. Previously, the pace of change that fashion went through has spawned social emulation, a phenomenon whereby subordinate groups follow a process of imitation of the fashion tastes adopted by the upper echelons of society. Veblen, a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist, criticized in detail the rise of consumerism, especially the notion of conspicuous consumption, initiated by people of high status. Another influential sociologist Georg Simmel, classified two basic human instincts – the impetus to imitate one’s neighbours, and conversely, the individualistic behaviour of distinguishing oneself.

Simmel indicated the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change. Indeed, to elucidate Simmel’s theory of distinction versus imitation, the distinctiveness of subcultures in the early stages of a set fashion assures for its destruction as the fashion spreads. An idea or a custom has its optimal innovative intensity when it is constrained to a small clandestine group. After the original symbolic value of the idea has been exploited by commercialisation and accepted as a part of mass culture, the balance will have a tendency to tip towards imitation over distinction. An example of the imitation of a distinctive subculture is the evolution of blue jeans, which originating from humble American cowboys and gold-miners, demonstrate a bubble-up effect of a subculture. On a larger scale, it can be said that Western style dressing ‘bubbled-up’ from 19th Century Quaker’s attire, rather than ‘trickling down’ from the styles of Court aristocracy.

Simmel describes fashion as a process by which the society consolidates itself by reintegrating what disrupts it. The existence of fashion requires that some members of society must be perceived as superior or inferior. From economist Harvey Leibenstein’s perspective, fashion is a market constituted of ‘snobs’. The phenomenon of ‘snob-demand’ depicts consumers as snobs who will stop buying a product when the price drops too much. The trickle down effect has been related to a ‘band-wagon effect’ where the turnovers of a product are particularly high as a result of imitation. Every economic choice is bound not only to the pure computational rationality of individuals, but is influenced by irrational factors, such social imitation, contrary to what Simmel calls the ‘need for distinction’. However, a ‘reverse bandwagon effect’ acts as an opposing force when a snobbish consumer stops buying a product because too many others are buying it as well. The resultant force depends on the relative intensity of the two forces.

Subcultures have often endured a less than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation. This often leads to the demise or evolution of a particular subculture once the originally novel ideas have been commercially popularised to an extent where the ideologies of the subculture have lost their fundamental connotations. The insatiable commercial hunger for new trends instigated the counterfeiting of subculture fashion, unjustifiably used on the sophisticated catwalks in fashion dictatorships of Paris, Milan and New York. It is not purely sartorial fashion but also music subcultures that are particularly vulnerable to the massification process. Certain types of music like jazz, punk, hip hop and rave were only listened to by minority groups at the initial stages of its history.

Events in history have had substantial impacts on the rise, development and evolution of subcultures. The First World War had an impact on men’s hairstyles as lice and fleas were ubiquitous in wartime trenches. Those with shaved heads were presumed to have served at the Front while those with long hair were branded cowards, deserters, and pacifists. During the 1920s, standard social etiquettes were discarded by certain youth subcultures, as drink, drugs and jazz infiltrated America, intensified by the alcohol prohibition of the time. A crime subculture emerged as smugglers discovered profit opportunities with Mexican and Cuban drug plantations. The Great Depression of the late 20s in North America caused pervasive poverty and unemployment. Consequently, a significant number of adolescents discovered identity and expression through urban youth gangs, such as the ‘dead end kids’.

Existentialists like Camus and Sartre also played a significant part in influencing the subcultures of the 1950s and 60s. Emphasis on freedom of the individual created a version of existential bohemianism resembling the beat generation. This subculture represented a version of bohemian hedonism; McClure declares that “non-conformity and spontaneous creativity were crucial”. In literature, Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” depicted the economic hardship of these times. Initially burned and banned to American citizens, condemned as communist propaganda, this book was given the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. It only took a few decades for the previously socially unacceptable book to diffuse into mainstream culture.

The popularisation of folk and cowboy songs led to their unique underlying patterns being mixed with elements of jazz, blues and soul, creating a new subculture of western swing. Technological progress facilitated “instantaneous mass media creating large subcultures from the ideas of a range of smaller subcultures”. Accordingly, a bubble-up effect can be seen where, through a process of innovation and diffusion, original ideas can spread into mass culture.

The process of integration has a potential to lead to the polarisation of warring subcultures, contributing to social disorganization. Shaw and Mckay assessed that although their data is not sufficient to determine “the extent to which membership in delinquent gangs produces delinquency”, membership is probably a contributing factor. They use the term ‘differential social organisation’ to depict how subculture formation is a result of broader economic and demographic forces that undermine conventional local institutions of control.

The institution of the family is weakened by these forces, and as a result, alternatives to the traditional family have arisen as various subcultures. Ethan Watters elucidated this social trend in his book defining urban tribes as “groups of never-married’s between the ages of 25 and 45 who gather in common-interest groups and enjoy an urban lifestyle”. Analysis of the long term perspective of street trends reveal that youth trends bubble-up every five to ten years, and that individualism, anarchy and self-realization, are universal in these trends.

In the process of bubbling up, there are two important concepts to consider, that of ‘diffusion’ and ‘defusion’. Fashion diffusion focuses on the individual and the crowd, particularly in this case the spreading of fashion in a systematic way from small scale to large scale institutions. It highlights the idea that fashion innovation and creativity drawn from subcultures are integrated into mass culture. In the process, non-conformist fashion may be subject to defusion, a diluting of the fundamental intrinsic meaning of the original subculture. The commercialisation of fashion is especially central to the danger of decontextualisation of trend origins. For example, the wearing of ripped jeans, an accepted form of attire nowadays, does not necessarily relate to the image of ‘hippies’ in modern times. The concept of identity and its modifications and transformations after a period of time should be carefully considered.

Analysis of street style is another fundamental aspect in determining the extent of a bubble-up effect in fashion. It is an idea that opposes the view that high fashion has given way to popular culture. Polhemus proposed that “styles which start life on the street corner have a way of ending up on the backs of top models on the world’s most prestigious fashion catwalks”. Prior to this new train of thought, the predominant view was that new looks began with couture and ‘trickle down’ to the mass market mainline fashion industry. Polhemus suggested that the evidence he found gave insight to a chain of events; initially genuine street innovation appears, followed by the featuring in mass media, such as magazines or television programmes, of street kids. In time, the ritzy version of the original idea makes an appearance, as a part of a top designer’s collection.

Polhemus identified two basic street-styles involving dressing up or dressing down. Those from a relatively affluent sector of society, such as the Beatniks and Hippies developed a penchant for the latter, preferring to descend down the socio-economic ladder in the interest of authenticity. Nowadays, the variety of attire seen on streets and nightclubs show that culture is no longer only a prerogative of the upper class. Although, the creatively democratic society that we progress towards optimizes fashion innovation, cynics of the bubble-up effect, such as Johnny Stuart, condemned in his book on rockers, “the fancy fashionable versions of the Perfecto which you see all over the place, dilute the significance, taking away its original magic, castrating it”.

Social crises of the 1950s and 1970s brought about new ideological constructions in response to the worsening economy, scarcity of jobs, loss of community, and the failure of consumerism to satisfy real needs. Racism became a solution to the problems of working-class life. Such periods of social turmoil resulted in fashion defusion, with many subcultures becoming increasingly detached from their foundation symbolisms. The connotations of the attire of the teddy boys during the 1970s bore little resemblance to the style of 1956. The original narcissistic upper-class style was somewhat irrevocably lost in a wave of ‘second generation teds’ that preferred fidelity to the classic ‘bad-boy’ stereotypes. The concept of specificity, subcultures responding to circumstances at distinctive moments in history, is depicted as vital to the study of subcultures.

Therefore the resultant mass-consumed item may draw distance from the emblem of the original subculture, attainable to all who can afford it. The loss of identity may prove to be a serious problem as subcultures may feel exploited, estranged and meaningless without a sense of belonging. Subcultures established a sense of community to certain individuals during a new post-war age that witnessed the deterioration of traditional social groupings. Polhemus claims that subcultures like Teddy Boys, Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Rockabillies, Hipsters, Surfers, Hippies, Rastafarians, Headbangers, Goths, etc, as “social phenomenon style tribes cannot be dismissed as something transitory”. Known as the Kogal phenomenon, a subculture emerged where groups of young girls between the ages of 15 and 18 appeared on the streets of Tokyo with long dyed-brown or bleached-blond hair, tanned skin, heavy makeup, brightly coloured miniskirts or short pants that flare out at the bottom, and high platform boots.

‘Field’ has become more appropriate in the analysis of fashion changes. People engaged in similar lifestyles with intrinsically similar cultural capital, i.e. nationality, profession, family and friends form group identities interacting with others in the same ‘field’. This has been an important contributing factor to the birth of subcultures.The anachronistic belief that class was a determinant of fashion has reduced significantly, as confirmed by Bauman, who proposed the idea of ‘liquid society’, where fashion exists in a more flexible and malleable state.

A particular phenomenon of recent times, subject to both a trickle-down and a bubble-up effect of varying degrees, is the democratization and globalization of fashion. There has been an emergence of ‘prêt-a-porter’ invented by John Claude Weill in 1949. This development has increased the speed and diffusion of fashion trends across the world, which amplified the culture of fast fashion, massification and global standardisation. Standardised factory-made prêt-a-porter clothes, of which ‘wearability’ is crucial, sometimes descend from places of high fashion, for example inspired from couture. Designers such as Poiret, Dior and Lacroix produce a ready-to-wear line alongside their haute couture collection to take advantage of a wider market. Nevertheless, its mass-produced industrial nature detracts away from the exclusivity of traditional couture.

By 1930, couturiers like Schiaparelli, Delauney, and Patou began to design their own ready-to-wear boutiques, understanding the new emerging system of fashion whereby the moment that people stop copying you, it means that you are no longer any good. The democratization of couture disallowed it to sustain its elitist nature and therefore haute couture was beginning to accept that fashion was about emulation. Nevertheless, attire was not entirely uniform and equalised. Subtle nuances continued to mark social distinctions but mitigated the upper class penchant for conspicuous consumption.

Democratising fashion came hand in hand with a ‘disunification’ of feminine attire, which varied more in form and became less homogeneous. The fundamental attraction of making profit inspired innovation in styles and a perpetual search for lower costs through efficient industrial manufacturing. Institutions were evolving to an extent that the pretentious elitist sectors diminished in favour of universal mass production. The end of the Second World War brought about increased demand for fashion, encouraged by films and magazines of the time and the take off of global advertising campaigns, i.e. Levi’s, Rodier, Benetton, Naf-Naf, etc, highlighting the need for high standards of living, well-being and hedonistic mass culture. It is the globalisation and rapidity of fashion movements, as Kawamura amply discussed, that underline the fact that “fast-changing tastes of consumers are matched only by the cleverness of the department store that identifies trendsetters among young consumers and feeds their knowledge into the production cycle”.

It is impossible to conduct discourse in fashion without associating it with change, unpredictability and a high degree of uncertainty. It is very difficult to distinguish which goods will be adorned by the mass population and which trends will be instantaneously rejected. In general, industries need economic capital and political solidarity to function but these institutions are particularly difficult to uphold in the aesthetic industry. A paradox exists in that while on a superficial level everyone associates fashion with change, the underlying forces value stability. They argue that it is not possible to speak of one single fashion, but rather of different fashions existing at the same time. This is especially the case for an intrinsically fast-paced, competitive and fragmented industry. A bubble-up effect is inherent to a globalised fashion world, and the upward flow of fashion stemming from various subcultures contributes abundantly to this process.

All About Fashion and Fashion Week

Fashion is the general style or custom of clothing worn at any given time. The word “fashion” comes from the years when people described a woman who was well dressed as a “fashion plate”.

Whether or not it had a name, fashion has always been important to women. Now it seems to be almost as important to men. Beau Brummell is probably the most well known and talked about male fashion plate in history. His colorful clothing and accessories were copied by men all over Europe.

Couturiers with famous names such as Worth, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel had famous fashion houses in Paris. These were the haute couture designers that every other fashion designer since has aspired to become. In spite of Prêt a Porter (French for ready made or off the rack) the world still looks to Paris first when fashion is concerned. Today, although fashion designers and models come from all over the world, fashion week in Paris is still the most exciting event of the year.

Fashion changes nearly instantly. Each season welcomes in a different style, color, hem length, and designer. Today the person who follows fashion like a slave is called a fashionista. Some fashionistas look ridiculous in the new styles but they wear them anyway.

The media is very important to fashion and can rightly take credit for the spread of each new style and trend over the world map. Fashion blogs are the newest manner of communicating the newest fashion. Prior to blogs there were fashion web sites, columns in newspapers and magazines, fashion magazines. One of the most famous fashion magazines is Vogue. It was founded in 1892 and it is the longest lasting fashion magazine in the world with versions being published in England, France, Italy, Germany and other countries. Vogue’s influence grew after W.W. II. Ready to wear designers and perfume companies were their largest advertisers. In the 50′, 60’s 70’s television was featured on television shows such as Today and other morning shows.

A few years ago, Project Runway became one of the most watched reality shows on television. Each season a new designer is launched with his/her own fashion line. The show is sponsored by a well known department store, hair care company, and make-up company. The judges are a model, a fashion magazine editor, a famous designer and a weekly guest. This program watches a group of people who want to become fashion designers go through each stage of the competition. At the end, the three remaining designers compete with a line they put together in a month or two. This is presented at Mercedes Benz fashion week in Bryant Park, N.Y. The winner gets a large check to work at producing his/her own line which will be carried at the major department store.

Fashion Week is a big industry event. There is one held in each of the large fashion capitals. This week the biggest fashion houses and designers display their newest designs and styles. There is a fashion week in Paris, Milan, London, and New York. These weeks occur twice a year for autumn/winter fashions and spring/summer fashions. They are held many months in advance so that the buyers and the magazine editors can see the designs prior to ordering them for their venue. The first week of women’s wear is New York followed by London, Milan and Paris. The men’s wear lines are shown in between in Milan.

Fashion weeks are also held in other places for specific types of clothing such as swim wear and cruise wear in Miami. In fact, there are fashion weeks in many U.S. cities for several different types of clothing. You can probably find an alphabetical listing online if you want to go to one.

The Mistake: Not Taking Advantage of Fashion To Engage Consumers

Fashion and design partnerships are one of the strongest opportunities being leveraged by brands to market products to those cutting edge trendsetters and influencers that closely follow – and lead – today’s fashion trends.

Fashion partnerships result in an enhanced image and an overall sense of innovation and hipness to the brand. These partnerships are typically different enough to break through the clutter, gain consumer interest, attract press, and generate consumer buzz. In fact, fashion, like music, is globally one of the most popular categories in terms of online consumer interest as it too transcends culture and breaks down barriers.

No longer are fashion events and content limited to fashion brands – today you see brands of all types leveraging fashion, ranging from title-owning Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Subway’s runway dress made out of wrappers, Moët & Chandon on the Golden Globes Red Carpet to Intel and HP’s multi-year long partnership with fashion-themed television series Project Runway.

A fashion initiative has the ability to elevate the brand and provide the perception of appearing out-of-the box and cutting edge to consumers. It is important to remember that there needs to be a rhyme or reason behind the partnership. By looking at the core fundamentals of the brand’s objectives and messaging, a mutually beneficial campaign will result in success for both the brand and the partner when identifying the common ground in messaging.

For savvy brands and marketers of all types, opportunities are available at a wide range of fee levels (read: very affordable to quite hefty) to create noteworthy partnerships that will get noticed by both media and consumers, while also providing content to significantly drive social media conversations. Brands no longer need to go to Paris to find success with fashion, and almost any brand can create a successful and sales-impacting organic partnership through one of these four platforms.

• Partnering With Fashion Events

Fashion event opportunities exist with large scale events, such as the “official” partnerships with Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week to smaller Fashion Week offshoots that are often just as press worthy and impactful, including runway shows and celebrity gifting lounges. There are fashion weeks held in cities all over the world, the most prominent in the U.S. being New York Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week held twice a year, in February and September. Also included in the fashion event category are fashion designer showcases held at locations year round or celebrity driven award shows where the red carpet is often the highlight of the night.

Fashion events provide immense traffic and engagement in social media. Based on data gathered by Social Curation and Analytics company Curalate, it was found that during New York Fashion Week 2013, there were 100,000 related Twitter and Instagram shared by more than 33,000 unique users. On average, the top NYFW brand photos generated 37,448 interactions per photo, most of which were product-driven. Marketing campaigns are extremely effective when they take place in real-time, live at an event or location. Out of the 100K+ posts that drove the most engagement, 90% were taken on site at the NYFW.

As an example of this social success, Harman-Kardon created a NY Fashion Week partnership 3 day event to launch their fashion-friendly white headphones, based on their ‘beautiful sound’ platform. During and following the event, the brand’s social media traffic increased by 970%, and they received over 19 million social media impressions and 370 million national press impressions.

• Partnering with Fashion Designers

Whether brands want to establish themselves as risk-taking and groundbreaking, or more proven with long-standing character, custom alignments exist with fashion designers and events whose personality reflect those same valued traits. Celebrity and newly emerging designers offer opportunities to create endorsement partnerships and to liven up brand campaigns, trade events or event point of sale.

• Partnering With Fashion TV Series

Fashion in Television is a constant theme, with series devoted to covering and showcasing fashion trends. Networks such as Lifetime (Project Runway), E! (Fashion Police), Bravo (Rachel Zoe), NBC (Access Hollywood, Extra) all offer sponsorship opportunities as well as options to integrate brands directly into the content. Even daily talk shows typically have a fashion segment, which brands can creatively become part of. Additionally, scripted series can provide the basic storylines of fashion similar to the previous hit Sex In The City format. The targeted viewer is typically the coveted female demographic, with an average age 25 to 49.

Pilot Pen created a 4 month long digital partnership with NBC’s Fashion Star television series. A branded customized fashion trivia game was developed with a grand prize trip to NY Fashion Week, supported by ad units across the NBC platform along with the series website and print. Additionally social media drove conversations both from the show’s designers and the brand’s fan base. The partnership reached more than 14 million consumers, with website visits 184% over goal and sweepstakes entries 85% over goal.

• Partnering With Fashion Bloggers

Fashion bloggers provide a very strong platform to share brand fashion driven strategies, and can include consumer sampling and sweepstakes components.

Once upon a time, New York Fashion Week was only for a very exclusive group consisting of the fashion elite and insiders. Today, largely with the help of fashion bloggers – “everyday” girls who have managed to become big time influencers – everything is much more accessible with wider public appeal. In fact, fashion – above technology, food, sports, travel – is one of the most popular blog categories, with 3 million Google searches a day, second only to music.

The proper strategic alignment within the fashion world can elevate and solidify a brands image, while tapping into a following that is enthusiastic and eager to engage online. To create a partnership that is relevant and makes sense, it is important to work with industry experts who understand the landscape and what kind of opportunities are out there to identify and activate exactly how your brand can harmoniously and successfully partner with a fashion initiative.

Fashion Design Skills 101 – Skills That Fashion Schools Don’t Cover Nearly Enough

In fashion school, most of your time was spent learning to create fashion illustrations, draping, sewing, and flat patternmaking. While these are good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to create computerized flat sketches, develop garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards. And I know some of you are thinking “But I learned those things in school too!” To which I reply: You think you know, but you have no idea! Take it from experience: fashion schools don’t focus on those skills nearly enough to fully prepare you for your first design position. In this article I will discuss each skill and its importance in the fashion industry.

Draping and Patternmaking – Low Importance
While patternmaking and draping are valuable skills, they usually only come in handy when you deal with a lot of fits. However, fittings are usually conducted by technical design teams so if you got into fashion for creative reasons, you’ll most likely be miserable in this type of position. On the creative side of design, all you need is a basic understanding of what creates a good fit, and how to fix a bad one. In the majority of design positions, hands-on patternmaking skills are not necessary, unless you plan to enter Project Runway!

Sewing – Low Importance
On the creative side of design, sewing isn’t that relevant. Yes, it’s good to understand the general concepts of garment construction, but you don’t need to be a great seamstress. On the job, if you need to know how a certain garment is constructed, there are tons of references available: from clothes at the stores, to “how to” books and online articles. The point I’m trying to make is: if you’re sewing skills leave something to be desired, don’t stress over it.

Illustration – Almost Unnecessary
Sadly, fashion illustrations are a dying art in the industry – they are scarcely used by designers in the real world. The fashion illustration has been replaced with computer drawn stylized technical sketches (floats) or more accurate technical flats, which are faster to sketch and much more practical. Not only do they present a clear representation of design concept, but they are a must have for production. Flats can be turned into CADs and can be used in mood/presentation boards. Fashion schools have not followed this shift and still focus more heavily on illustrations, and not enough on flat sketching.

Computer Programs – Must Know
I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing popular computer applications for creating floats, flats and CADs. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel since they are relatively affordable in comparison to more industry specific software. Unfortunately, the coverage of Illustrator and Photoshop provided by fashion schools does not meet the actual demands of the fashion industry. Many companies are also requesting knowledge of WebPDM, so if your college offers a course in this program, it would be to your benefit to take it. If your school does not teach this program, find a school or venue that does offer this program and take it!

Flat Sketching – Must Know
While interviewing candidates for design positions, we’ve seen applicants’ portfolios filled with beautiful illustrations and then say “That’s nice, but can you flat sketch?” If flats are included in their portfolios, they are usually basic, lack important details, and are not visually appealing. If the candidates sketches are halfway decent; my next question is “do you know Illustrator and Photoshop? ” Almost everyone says yes, but it’s usually far from the truth.

A lot of fashion school grads seriously believe that they know these programs well, but what you learned in school isn’t enough – fashion schools don’t teach these skills well enough for entry level designers to be competent within the fashion industry. Schools just cover basics, which are usually forgotten without practice. Take the extra effort to practice and become comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and other programs beyond what schools teach: read books and take additional courses (offered in either classroom or online settings).

Creating Specs in a Copycat Industry – Must Know
Knowing how to spec (measure and detail) a garment to create garment specifications, or “specs” is a fundamental skill. Many companies create their spec sheets using Excel. Although garment sizes and measurements vary from company to company, depending on different market segments and categories, if you know the principles, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the standards of any company. You don’t even need to know how to develop specs from scratch!

As a head designer, to set spec standards for a company, I usually went to different stores, found garments with a good fit and copied the basic measurements. This is quite common – the fashion industry is a copycat industry- most fashions hanging in the stores are knock-offs of another company. Once, during a shopping trip in London, a store salesperson noticed I was a fashion designer collecting style ideas. He mentioned that his store received a constant flow of American design companies such as Calvin Klein, whose designers come to knockoff their merchandise. That’s right – even top designer brands use knockoffs for their ready-to-wear collections. There are even official terms: a “knockoff” is when a style is copied and a “rub-off” is when patterns are copied.

Educate Yourself!
Many fashion schools such as FIT in New York (Fashion Institute of Technology) offer important classes like “flats and specs for the fashion industry”, but believe it or not, these courses are not required by the curriculum! Another handy course that should be taken is “creative fashion presentation.” Salespeople use presentations a lot as visual aids. In addition they create a good impression and convey creativity level. If you can make outstanding presentations you’ll be assigned to do them often, and believe me it’s more fun to make boards than do fits or send faxes and organize showrooms.

To sum up: in order to get a job before the rest of the entry level fashion design candidates, you need to focus on refining skills that are highly demanded in the industry. Become proficient with flat sketching, include flats in your portfolio, and be extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in Illustrator and Photoshop. Not only will you be ready with the skills you need to succeed in fashion, but discussing how you went the extra mile to keep up with industry standards will definitely impress any prospective employer!

For your reference and use, we have posted lots of industry standard flat sketches and CADs in JPEG and vector (Illustrator) formats on DesignersNexus.com. If you can improve your skills to reach the quality of those shown, you’ll be in a very good shape

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Evolution of Indian Fashion Over The Years

Indian fashion has changed with each passing era. The Indian fashion industry is rising by leaps and bounds, and every month one witnesses some new trend or the other. India’s economic growth also had a major impact on fashion trends. The ever increasing purchasing power of the middle class has brought fashion within easy reach of the commoner. Evolving work standards have also increased the scope of fashion in the country as there is a striking need for comfortable clothing during long working hours.

Indian Fashion Trends down the line

To understand how Indian fashion has changed over the years, let us go back to the last century. In the 50s and 60s, the fashion scenario in the country, though not colorless, was exciting, stylish and pretty graceful. Designers, models and fashion design labels were relatively unknown. Back then, the value of a garment was judged by the quality of its fabric and not by who made it.

In the 60s, ladies preferred wearing tight kurtas, high coiffures and churidars. Coated polyester fabric was in vogue during those days. The 70s saw bold colors and bell-bottoms adoring one’s wardrobe. Bell-bottoms were popularized by the leading actors of the generation like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna. By the end of 70s, the disco culture also started affecting Indian fashion.

The opening of the first fashion store Ravissant in Mumbai in the early 80s marked the dawn of a new era in fashion. The Indian population started identifying themselves with designers like Calvin Klein. More designer store options gave Indians a wide variety of choice.

In the 90s, one witnessed the evolution of models and fashion designers who came up with new designs every other day. Garments became more affordable and Indian fashion began to spread its wings globally. With leading ladies like Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai winning international beauty contests, Indian fashion was all set for a huge leap.

Since the last few years, international fashion brands have started tapping the huge potential of the Indian fashion market. Companies like Nike and Reebok have made a mark through their retail store chains in shopping malls. Shows such as Lakme India Fashion Week and Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week have provided a great platform to new designers to showcase their talent. In these two events, leading Indian fashion designers such as Manish Malhotra, Ritu Beri, Rohit Khosla and others charm the audience with their designs and introduce them to new trends in fashion for the upcoming season.

The west also influenced the evolution of fashion in India. Today, a teenager and an elderly can both be seen wearing a pair of denims. Designers returning after obtaining fashion degrees from abroad have brought a global perspective to the country’s fashion circle. They have also helped to introduce Indian fashion to the west. Indian designer labels are increasingly becoming popular among the global audience. At this rate of growth, the Indian fashion market will be a force to reckon with, on par with the fashion world in Paris if not more.