“At the stroke of today’s midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”
– Jawahar Lal Nehru (15th August 1947)
“Freedom”, what does Freedom actually mean?
As we are nearing our 69th yearly celebration of Indian independence, the School of Creative Business at Pearl Academy took the opportunity to paint the picture of freedom of today’s India, through creative installations. Before I proceed to dig deeper into some of these installations, I can safely highlight the fact that these installations are made by young India. The part of India that is shaping itself in today’s global scenario.
Even after almost seven decades of the so-called independence, is the country still truly free? Is the country still free of social stigmas and taboos? Freedom is when no one is victimized. Everyone is free to nurture opinions and thoughts. Freedom is when societal frame is free from coercion of religion, caste, gender or economic background, and most importantly freedom of speech and expression.
Women are the derivation of any society. They are the nurturing source of our great nation at the base level but are they safe and liberated? Youth of this nation senses the demeaned condition of our country’s women. Our sorrows of Nirbhaya chapter in the capital city of this nation have barely lessened. The nation lost a daughter and its pride. A victimized woman has to go through levels of torture in order to get justice. Our independent India has its women tied in shackles of desolation and menace.
Surely our women are fighting for their liberation and brave men have joined this cause. Self-governing nation of India needs to be prompt towards elevating its code of law that can grant swift and adequate justice.
In one such installation, students of Pearl Academy expressed intensely the state of freedom of LGBT community in India.
Pearl Academy is known for its revolutionary thinking and radical outlook. Students are taught to speak their minds and follow their instincts. School of Creative Business at Pearl Academy grooms its business students for the challenges of tomorrow. Students are sensitized towards trends of the business world like Sustainability and Impact Entrepreneurship. Nurturing Youth is the core philosophy at Pearl Academy. The youth of our nation today is sensitive towards environmental issues, societal waves, children welfare, and women empowerment. If young India wants to expand its wings then the boundaries of suppression will fade, cages of traditions would break, and the shackles of narrow thinking would break open. India is not only a nation but an idea, a philosophy, a lifestyle and so it can’t have boundaries. It’s bound to be free. Jai Hind.
By E Kukreja, Student of Professional Diploma in PR & Events
While the whole lot of our generation is obsessed with traveling and travel photography, there are very few who can inspire many with their stories and experiences. Shekhar Rawat, a freelance photographer from Delhi, recently shared his adventures with the world through photographs that captured the nuances of his experience as well demonstrated the mastery of his skill.
Shekhar with his team climbed up the Gaumukh, the snout of the Gangotri Glacier, one of the most challenging climbing routes across the world. The trek wasn’t only literally challenging but also denoted the challenges and trials faced by Shekhar in his career. But the climb up at the top also became one of the top defining moments in Shekhar’s life. His enthusiasm for the story and pictures he made while on the trek soon transformed into the feeling of elation and achievement as the story found its place in the National Geographic Magazine. The story named as ‘Fleeting Beauty’ featured in the 50th-anniversary edition of National Geographic Travel India Magazine which came out in August and has already reached a wide audience.
Ecstatic at the turn of the events, Shekhar said, “The Best Way to predict the future is to create it”. Reminiscing on his journey, Shekhar talks about his Professional Photography Diploma from Pearl Academy. He acknowledges the guidance of his teachers with a special mention of Rohit Dhingra who helped him in learning the precision and vision required by photographers.
Gaurav Mandal, Faculty – Delhi NCR (East) Centre, has made us proud by winning 2 national awards from Indian Handloom Brand Contest by Ministry of Textiles Government of India. He bagged the first prize in Indian Men’s wear and Indo western women wear. Gaurav emerged winner amongst some serious competition, 1500 Designers who participated in 1st round out of which 450 were selected for 2nd round. Gaurav Mandal won ‘Best Design’ in both the categories.
Commenting on this achievement, Gaurav said “This is a tribute to our national treasure- handloom. The holistic look, including accessories have been rendered with handloom fabrics sourced from different states of India. With a titillate color palate of Black red and white, the look was created by combination of modern silhouettes with Indian classical drapes.
The journey of making this collection had been very enriching. Sourcing, travelling and connecting with artisans to infuse the core of this Indian handloom in myself. From beautiful weaver cluster of Mahesh wari, Madhya Pradesh to the very artistic tailor community in Pili hit district, Uttar Pradesh.”
A lot has happened post panel discussion. I seem to be having a lot of conversations with myself trying to understand what is it that makes violence against women happen in the first place, how can we stop it?
Pearl Academy has extended its support to United Nations’ “Orange Label Project” by hosting a panel discussion, I was invited by school of fashion, styling and textiles to moderate the panel on “Fashion says NO to Violence against women” at Mumbai campus on 26th July 2016. I thought as a modern, progressive and educated woman I knew most about an act of violence and how to curb it. Somewhere at the back of my mind I was also in denial about the harsh realities as I believe I live in a secured environment where “something like this” will not happen to me, an illusion which most of us carry, this illusion was broken very soon for most of us when Pearl Academy alumna Pragya Prasun Singh’s (acid attack victim and founder of NGO Atijeevan) recorded interview was played for all of us to hear her story. Twelve days after her marriage on her way to campus interview, Pragya thought she had her life sorted. Her dreams came shattering down when a suitor ten years her senior whom she had said no to for marriage threw acid on her. He got ONLY FOUR YEARS of imprisonment, while Pragya is scarred for life!
Violence against women takes many forms, from domestic abuse to rape, sexual abuse and harmful cultural practices ranging from genital mutilation and honor crimes to premature marriage. It is not only the most widespread example of a human rights violation, but probably the least evident, going largely unpunished or like in Pragya’s case getting back to their normal life after minimum punishment. I wonder if increasing the duration of punishment to life time and help it become the toughest punishment will help reduce crime rate?
Audrey D’Mello, Project director at Majlis said,” every woman knows when she is subjected to violence; emotional, physical or psychological but she chooses to ignore or accept this violence for various reasons, in most cases the reasons are responsibility of children and no financial support”.
We as outsider viewing the plight of a violence victim normally sympathize with her as “poor weak woman”, weak woman? The one who musters all this courage to let violence happen to her because she has responsibility of a child? Her “kanyadaan” has been done by her parents with an advice that now you will leave your husband’s home only on “chaar kandha” (after death for last rites). The next question framed itself in my mind, “Is our social system capable of supporting women in such situations, if the system did support will there be more women saying no to these acts of violence”?
Ummul Ranalvi, a social activist whose initiative WWIN is working hard to curb violence against women, was on the panel too. She as founding member of the platform “Speak out on FGM” works especially in the area of female genital mutilation (FGM). Ummul aims at stopping this practice, still prevalent in certain communities but is surprised at the mindset of community’s complete denial of this practice as an act of violence. This revelation on her part ran a sharp shiver down my spine and popped the next question, “Is the act of violence against a woman and outcome or a process (spanning generations) by itself”?
The panel discussion which was originally scheduled to last one hour went on for next three hours with various facts about what is happening around us and why “violence against women is not only a challenge for us in India but all across the globe”. I sat there amazed at the knowledge that came pouring out, the passion filled speeches and the one mantra each of these women on the panel kept repeating, “You are the change maker”. In the audience we had our young students, girls and boys equally in awe of these five women; Audrey D’Mello-Project director-Majlis, Ummul Ranalvi, social activist and founding member-speak out on FGM, Indira Satyanarayan, social activist and a freelance journalist, Insia Dariwala; Award winning film-maker and reformist and also an activist working against FGM and Nicole D’Lima, young dynamic professional who through her current portfolio at EdelGive foundation focuses on identifying opportunities and connecting grant makers with recipient NGOs.
These powerful change makers had no inhibition about sharing their stories, realities, flaws in our societies and changes required but what stuck a deep chord was that each one believed that the change needs to start at an individual level and in homes-inside homes because that is where the first form of violence starts. Victims and culprits are a result of violence which usually starts at home. Audrey shared that 80% of the rapes are by someone in the family of the victim. My next questions, “As a society are we doing something right or something really wrong”?
Ms Indira Satyanarayan, the award winning journalist and our panelist brought to notice an astonishing hard fact; a study conducted by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that nearly 35 per cent of women across the globe have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. This instantly took my thoughts back to Nirbhaya incident which had shaken the world with horrific reality of rising sexual aggression among youth-On a December evening in 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was beaten and brutally raped by five men and a youth in an off-duty bus in the Indian capital, New Delhi. The injuries she sustained were so severe that she succumbed to them 13 days later, setting off protests in India and around the world for ending the scourge of violence against women.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) was among the many voices that called for immediate reform of the sexual harassment laws in India, where a study conducted by the agency and the Government showed that nearly 54 per cent of women and 69 per cent of men who see women getting harassed prefer not to get involved. (Reference: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52775#.V5hhKfl97rc)
My question is, “why do we not prefer to get involved, is it the fear of being out casted from the community or the fear of some harm coming to us or is it total lack of trust in law, social systems and community support”?
Insia Dariwala, director of Candy Man and Cock-Tale stated that if a victim speaks up and shares her story many others too will be motivated to speak up and this helps form a strong chain and change starts, initially through small actions which later become movements. She shared her experience of how sharing of her own story as a victim of violence made her help women to come out and talk to her about their stories. Her movement is truly inspiring and I wonder if each of us could spend some time off from our busy digital lives to talk and share our stories, maybe we can make a more dependable support system.
Nicole D’Lima from EdelGive foundation added that from her experience of working with various NGO and women help group she has realized that most of the women especially in rural environment do not have the scope of sharing their plight with anyone due to the stigma of being blamed for the violence by family, elders and community.
I close on yet another question, “How do we map the intensity of violence, is there a clarity on the definition of violence and who decides what the violence is”?
Keeping true to its values of maintaining Gender Equality and contributing towards ending all forms of violence against women, Pearl Academy has recently joined hands with the London College of Fashion. The two colleges have come together to commemorate the 20th anniversary United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF) in 2016, under the umbrella of the ‘ORANGE LABEL’ project organized by University of Arts, London.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each month as “Orange Day”, a day to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls, for the UNiTE Campaign.
On 26th July, Pearl Academy hosted a series of panel discussions across its Campuses- Delhi West, Delhi East and Mumbai. The event was centred on bringing about the stories and anecdotes narrated by the panellists themselves and initiating an atmosphere of dialogue with the young minds. The discussion invited questions and observations from the audience who showed ample interest and concern towards the issue.
The series commenced with the Delhi West campus on 26th morning and witnessed attendance from the diverse set of panellists: Ms. Monica Dhawan- Head of India Vision Foundation, Ms. Jaya Bharti- Psychiatrist, Mr. Dhrupad Krwa- Co-Founder & CEO of HaikuJam, Ms. Megha Mishra- NGO Atijeevan Foundation, Ms. Nidhi Mittal- Designer, and Ms. Nina Sangma- Quint Journalist.
The panellists shared insights on the position of women vis-à-vis society. That how women themselves have been participating in their own exploitation by succumbing to the status quo set by their male counter parts. And hence, becoming the inevitable part of the hegemony persistent in the society for centuries. The discussion went on to highlight ‘Education’ as a source of emancipation, underlining the importance of developing the faculty of reasoning and training them with the skill sets so as to enable them to gain financial independence.
The discussion also touched upon the importance of art, literature, performing arts, etc in acting as a medium through which the victims or survivors of different types of violence could vent their fury and anxiety. That how artistic expressions can be used in channelize anger into creating creative communications that can be shared with the world.
The panel discussion culminated with the thought provoking insight by eminent panellist Megha Mishra, that the world needs little deeds of niceties in our everyday lives to curb many small and big acts of violence. Students also shared how fashion and design bring along responsibility and that art can be used to create awareness of equality in both men and women. And, that the onus lies firstly with the women (mothers) themselves to raise their sons properly and take the prime action to end violence against women and girls.
Stay tuned to read more on the panel discussions from Delhi East and Mumbai…
India has a culture of beauty that spans ages and a large, upward moving population.
Indian consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about beauty and personal care.
According to research, India’s retail beauty and cosmetics industry is expected to grow to USD 2.68 billion by 2020. The industry is booming, thanks in part to the growing desire among both men and women to look good and stand out amongst the crowd.
From being satisfied with a black kohl pencil and a simple pink lipstick (or brown, red or maroon – take your pick), Indians have started to demand the whole package – with products ranging from a foundation with an inbuilt sunscreen to shampoos that not only cleanse the hair but also make it thicker.
Over the last few years, there has been an influx of many international cosmetic brands. This can be attributed to the growing demand of branded products amongst consumers due to aggressive marketing strategies employed by these players; and also to global influence. Companies are also trying to stay ahead of the game by launching new products that cater to specific consumer requirements, further fuelling the industry’s growth.
The above factors, along with the emergence of technology has given rise to a new breed of professionals – that of beauty, makeup and lifestyle bloggers. This has been made possible due to the explosion of social media – YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine etc. A small but growing tribe of ‘influencers’ is quick to buy the trending eyeliner or foundation and review it online, for the benefit of their followers. Brands seize this opportunity to reach out to prospective customers, potentially saving lakhs of their marketing moolah which is better spent elsewhere.
Brands are pulling out all stops to extract the most out of blogger tie-ups. From offering free special promotions (to the bloggers’ audience), to making certain coveted items on sale for limited periods to even offering a trip to Paris to a lucky few, different strategies are deployed to test an avenue that is still in its nascent stage in India.
An estimated ten to twelve million weddings take place in India every year. The estimated cost of a wedding could be anywhere between Rs. 5 lakhs to, well, there is no upper limit really. Several ancillary markets benefit from this boom – jewelry, apparels, décor and makeup.
As soon as a wedding date is fixed, finding a good makeup artist and hairstylist is one of the biggest priorities for a bride. After all, those pictures are going to stay for life! It is not unusual for established makeup artists to charge upwards of INR 20,000 to do hair and makeup for just one bridal event. More renowned names are said to charge INR 50,000 for the same offering. And customers are coming to them in droves.
At Pearl Academy, diploma courses are offered in Fashion Media Makeup and Styling & Grooming. The former program offers intensive conceptual and practical study for a career in fashion hair and make-up design, covering international hair and makeup trends. Employment opportunities can be found in advertising, television, cinema, events, fashion, weddings etc. The latter course is aimed at equipping learners with the ability to style themselves aesthetically, in order to meet the challenges of looking their best, whatever the occasion.
The extremely talented yet humble designer Rahul Mishra visited Pearl Academy, Delhi campus on 22nd June to initiate the series of talks between designers and Pearl Academy’s faculty in the Master Class. The session was attended by faculties across campuses through video conference wherein he initiated the talk by confessing that his visits to various Academic Institutes have helped him to learn and grow. He owes a lot of his learning to the conversations he had with the students, listening to their raw ideas and of course from the teachers, thus stressing on the need to grasp knowledge and continue the process of evolving the self through unceasing learning.
Rahul Mishra question the academicians if the current teaching system nurturing creativity in students and helping them build authentic thought process or is it pushing them to become mere participants in the rat race chasing the grades? Having raised the questioned, the internationally acclaimed designer opened the floor for the diverse audience to share their thoughts and drew attention to the lack of individuality in Indian designers today. While the Indian Designers are making a lot of money and winning even more laurels they ever did before, there is a lack of authentic thinking patterns. The students in India are just working in a mechanical manner with no scope of thinking outside the box.
Rahul also shared his insights gained by working in the Industry for years and asked the faculty to motivate the students by setting right examples for them, which are not limited to the field of design but could be from any discipline. Rahul used an anecdote to connect with the audience as he talked about how he drew inspiration from the “superhuman” Ernest Haeckel, who is not a designer but a biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, and much more, and his expertise over so many subjects is what motivated Rahul to expand his horizon and see himself as a biologist, wherein he is imbibing Haeckel’s learning in his designs by trying to find order and beauty in chaotic spaces.
The session was conceived as a platform wherein the Masters in the Academy don the role of the disciple and gain from the enriching experience of the Master Designer and facilitate a dialogue. Rahul shared few exercises with the faculty that would help them in revitalising the creative juices in the students and urge them to develop their emotional faculties, as the artist needs to be in tune with his/her emotional side to grasp the sensitivity and inspiration that the environment around us has to offer.
Rahul winded up the session by stressing on the importance of design in today’s times as he calls the designers ‘magicians’, because the designer has the capability to do strangest of the things as well as change the world through design.
2 year – Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Business (Marketing and Merchandising) offered by Pearl Academy is providing a great alternative to the talented youths by nurturing creative ideas into constructive new-age career paths.
The course is an amalgamation of various subjects like Economics, Advance Research, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Merchandising, Sourcing, Retail Management, Visual Merchandising, Organizational Behaviour, Consumer Behaviour, International Marketing, E-commerce, Integrated Marketing Communication, Digital Marketing, Internship, Overseas Exchange, Design Thinking and classes are conducted through face to face in classroom, online classes , industry visits and market/product surveys
This course makes a practical, experience-based approach in imparting skills and techniques in Post Graduate students coming from diverse backgrounds and makes them aware and aligns Creative Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation.
Here are some highlights of PG Fashion Business (Marketing and Merchandising) course:
1.Expert Faculties: Well-known faculties form the core part of the course team combining both Academics and Industry.
2.Industry Applied Curriculum: Course is designed and delivered based on the feedbacks from External Examiners and Industry Experts.
3.Master Class: Students get a chance to listen & interact with the Industry Movers.
4.Industry Visits: Practical aspect to the classroom learning.
5.Internationality: Overseas Exchange ensures Global exposure to the students
6.Global Competitions: Students get a chance to participate in Global competitions including James McGuire, ‘Here For Good’, WOBI (World Of Business Ideas), World Business Forum and others.
These initiatives ensure highly motivated and dedicated professionals ready to be part of the Industry.
Graduating students of this year have taken up jobs with Industry leaders including Bestseller, H&M, Shahi Exports,Li & Fung, Levi’s, FabIndia, Shopclues among others.In one of its first Ishaan Singhal and Sonakshi Bhasin went to London for training while interning with H&M in their 4th Semester Industry Project. Industry judged and voted for Manu Thomas for the ‘Best Overall Project’.
Quotes from Graduating Students:
‘Pearl gave us exposure in the field of merchandising and retailing. Now we can relate the theoretical knowledge into practical experience’ wrote Raveena Mutreja, Asst. Category Account Manager
‘PEARL – I won’t call it a college, I shall choose to call it an experience!
From being unsure as of why I chose the course, to standing where I am right now, the college and the course have made me mature, given me career to work on, to be proud of!’ wrote Srishti Gupta, Management Trainee, H & M
‘This course is a perfect balance of content and exposure as we were literally given industry experience which made us realize our potentials in areas which were unknown’ , wrote Ishaan Singhal, Management Trainee, H & M
Current students feel that the course is molding them a new direction towards new age-career with more clarity and correct competencies.
Quotes from Present Students:
‘My journey at the Institute is nothing less than a Roller Coaster Ride. With the pressure and anxiety building up during submissions and excitement rising on to another level with events like Portfolio and Pearl Utsav, the Institute has provided me a memorable learning experience. Not only has there been value addition in terms of academics, I’ve also gained in terms of Personality development, Communication skills, and Leadership Quality. I’ve met some really nice people including faculty members and my fellow-mates.’ Wrote Gaurika Bubber, student 2nd Year PGFB-MM
Know more about the Course HERE
There are two kinds of people on this planet- one who use Apple Products, others who do not. But what these two groups have in common is the appreciation for the beauty and designing of Apple Products- the MacBooks , iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch and iOS. The celebrated man behind these pieces of beauty is Sir Jonathan Ive, the Chief Design Officer (CDO) of Apple Inc. All the glory that Apple enjoys today has a lot to do with the persistent endeavours and creativity of this man.
With the multitude of never-existed-before career choices available today for the youth, Product Design is one of the most interesting, challenging and well-paid profession. Traditionally understood as a mere art of creating beautiful artefacts, Product Design has grown into a strategic, specialised and systematic conception and development of the ideas that beautifully resolve the user’s need, the client’s brief by way of either improving existing products for the better or innovating and building new products.
Below are some of the most popular Product Designers from across the globe, creating a mark in the designing world, transforming not just how we see the products but gifting us and many more generations to come with some revolutionary products.
With the ever evolving market and consumer demands, product and technology innovation is the need of the hour. So, if you’re planning to consider Product Design as a career option then Pearl Academy offers four-year UG Course in Product Design, spread across four semester and one year of Foundation. The principal aim of this program in Product Design is to produce competent, creative and ethical product designers/entrepreneurs who are intellectually mature, ecologically sensitive and socially responsible.
The faculty at Pearl Academy is credited for matching steps with the Global standards. The Product Design faculty is multi-faceted and passionate professionals. Heading the course are- Ms. Srishti Bajaj and Mr. Hardik Gandhi. Ms. Bajaj with her M.A. in Product Design from Royal College of Art, London has been hailed as one of “The top 20 creative entrepreneur in India” by IIM and the British council. Mr. Gandhi, a post-graduate from NID (Ahmedabad) comes with an experience of over 10 years and has been recognised by the prestigious ELLE DECOR‘s Young Talent of the Year 2012-13, one of the many awards and honours he has won.
We as humans are opinionated and we like to categorize and are guilty of stereotyping. When it comes to Fashion & Design colleges we think all they can do is to only teach their apprentices just about designing and weaving “fashionable” clothes? You couldn’t be more wrong! Breaking these stereotypes over and over again is Pearl Academy. One of the best Fashion & Design institutes in India, Pearl Academy offers multi-disciplinary courses in the field of Design, Fashion, and Business, preparing thousands of students in these fields to optimally utilize their creative geniuses and contribute towards making society a better place.
Only recently, Pearl Academy held its annual graduation event ‘Portfolio’16’ that showcases the final projects of the students that are reaped after many years of toil and dedication. The event also offers Industry exposure to the students who are on the verge of entering the Real World. This year we saw many groundbreaking ideas executed impeccably, reiterating the fact that Pearlites are industry ready professionals, who are ready to take over the fast evolving world of Fashion and Business. We bring to you a fresh perspective on these students who are responsible citizens in the making with quirky and unique ideas to shape the future. Here are five of the most innovative and interesting projects displayed at the Portfolio’16.
Thinking of Lingerie the Indian way
An amusement park with a twist
Muting the Noise
Fiddling on the Roof
Art as Therapy
There are more ideas waiting to surprise you. Check them out Here.