Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Career Options for students in Fashion Styling and Image Design

Career Options for students in Fashion Styling and Image Design

Do you want to take up fashion styling or become an image consultant? It’s a glamorous profession from the outside but involves immense hard work and creativity, backed by training from a fashion styling school or an image consultant institute.

Working as a fashion stylist or image consultant is not as different as it sounds. Both involve helping a person put their best foot forward by creating an image that works in the public eye. It accentuates their best points and presents it in a setting that works. One may have a natural knack for fashion styling, but doing a course or getting a fashion styling degree helps you get that edge in your career. When you work with models, designers, advertising agencies or corporate clients as a fashion stylist or image consultant, there is no room for making a wrong move.

The world of fashion styling is about helping in putting together a look by picking the right outfits and accessories for events, creating ideas for photoshoots and films. Many fashion stylists and image consultants work freelance for advertising agencies and fashion glossies, but they can also get employed by publishing houses, modelling and advertising agencies, events management companies, fashion labels and shopping malls.

Stylists provide a range of specific services, starting with personal styling, by advising clients to enhance their image by choosing outfits that complement their complexion and lifestyle. This can include taking the client on shopping excursions and to the hair and beauty clinic, giving them tips on self-esteem. It gets into the areas of Image Consulting and Personal Shopping as well. Editorial styling involves conceptualizing photo shoots for magazines, keeping fashion trends in mind. There’s also Wardrobe styling, which happens usually on a film or television set or even a theatre production, calling for developing a look keeping a particular character in mind. Commercial styling involves location scouting, sourcing models, makeup artists and coordinating with photographers. Corporate styling demands you advise companies on whether their uniform is working for then, grooming tips and more.

As you grow in the profession, you may even be required to take overseas trips to catch the lasts action on international runways to keep up with trends.

It helps to get a degree in fashion styling or attend an image consultant institute so that you get the right grounding, which enables you to spread your wings and fly unhindered. A course also trains you to spot trends and use them in your shoots and pitching concepts to your clients. To have a successful career as a fashion or image consultant, you need to be passionate about your job, enjoy artistic activities, have good communication skills, be well-groomed, work well under pressure and, of course, love fashion!

Being a fashion stylist or image consultant has a little bit of everything; you end up being an event manager, a fashion editor, beauty therapist, set designer and coach! But, we promise, it’ll be fun!

As an image consultant, you teach your client to go out there and win, whether it’s getting a promotion, promote her book or speak at a seminar. It’s all about self-branding.

 

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Designers thinking to co-create a shared future

Designers thinking to co-create a shared future

Working for a better society seems to be an emerging trend among designers who are now coming forward to create a better society. Many designers are tying up with citizen groups and striving to create communities that can improve human conditions. Youth empowerment is high on the list of such designers.

This is the underlying theme of the research paper ‘Design Thinking to Co-create a Shared Future’ submitted by Ramneek Majithia, Vice President, Product Management, which has been accepted by the Cumulus Conference to be held next April 2016 in Nottingham.

The paper is a take off from an initiative of Indiafrica, which aims at engaging multiple stakeholders in India and Africa through contests, fellowships, discussions, events, collaborative projects and cultural exchanges. It is designed to help young entrepreneurs from Africa and India discover common ground through intercultural exchanges, forge profitable partnerships and together build a shared vision for the future. This kind of collaborative innovation can lead to easier problem solving, involve well informed action and enable better business success. It enables participants to design new things as equal partners. The key to co-creation lies in engaging, working with, and empowering people to generate ideas and to collaboratively create concepts.

Under this initiative, a set of five ‘Design Thinking’ workshops, a unique people-to-people venture, were conducted at different locations in and around Johannesburg with the vision of empowering the youth. These workshops were conducted in townships with community centres offering different courses to unemployed school drop outs and youth centres rehabilitating the gangster community with digital media courses. It also involved students pursuing higher education in management and leadership courses. The key idea here is that innovation can come from anyone, not just the experts.

During the course of the workshops, it was seen that overcoming the geographical, cultural and language barriers is not that difficult and once it is overcome by simple gestures, the interactions and resulting motivation that follows can positively influence the future. Participants were able to get insights into each other’s cultures and ideas, share their experiences and understand the ground realities of being an entrepreneur. They share stories of what works in work and life for them and they imagine and co-create better futures. They shape and bring into existence a new future that has more meaning and purpose to it.

Co-creation is a form of collaborative creativity that enables innovation. It is a rich mix of innovation, knowledge and group decision-making. It thrives on the exchange of ideas and creativity. It leads to wider and richer experiences and opens the door to a whole new experience.

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Future of Fashion Consumption

Future of Fashion Consumption

Pearl Academy shone on the third day of the Amazon India Fashion Week with their panel discussion on ‘What’s Next in Fashion: The Future of Fashion Consumption’. The panellists were eminent personalities from different walks of life yet related in some way to the fashion industry. Phyllida Jay, Narendra Kumar, David Abraham, Nonita Kalra, Manou and Ganesh Subramanian graced the occasion by their presence as panellists.

Anthropologist Phyllida Jay, who specialises in Indian fashion, luxury and sustainability, chose the topic, Maximilism vs Minimalism: Negotiating Consumer Desire, Aesthetics and Ethics. She raised some pertinent points and questions like what does this debate tell us? How can it help us navigate complex consumer markets? According to her, “Fashion is all about a cycle of actions and reactions.” She sees a lot of historical influences on Indian fashion. Speaking on Indian minimalism, she says, “It has its own unique version of minimalism. It has dynamic design tensions.”

Technology plays an important role in the industry and this was highlighted by Ganesh Subramanian, ex-COO, Myntra, who has since started his own his own venture called Stylumia Intelligence Technology. This is a data-driven technology to analyse various fashion trends in the retail and eRetail space. He said that technology will change the way fashion propositions reach consumers and how they consume. His company is developing technology that will make sense of real world images, texts and videos. Today, almost half of the clothes manufactured are sold at a discount. This is due to disconnect between demand and the forecast demand. His company is working on how to help a fashion professional take an informed decision using intelligence. “If companies determine the trend early, they will be able to increase revenue and profits,” he said.
According to Subramanian “Technology is very inclusive.” He says that the use of Artificial Intelligence for decoding fashion DNA is already in the offing. According to him, AI technology will soon solve some of the key challenges in the fashion industry. It will be possible to give a fashion and lifestyle forecast 12 months in advance. With this technology, speculation on what consumers want will soon be a thing of the past. Technology will address the three big questions of the fashion industry – what to buy, what is working real time and where and whom to sell it to. His company is developing a search engine that understands fashion. “Technology can be used to decode fashion sense of individuals,” he says.
Speaking on the occasion, NID amlumni and fashion designer David Abraham stressed on sustainability by saying that consumption is a beast and we need to control it and not allow it to take control over us. “Who we are, what we are is what we wear and buy. We need to look at the small market, villages and craftsmen.” He advocated the necessity of mindful consumption and design. He exhorted people to reinvent the wheel as opposed to keeping it going.

Democracy and anarchy of communication in fashion consumption was explained by veteran journalist Nonita Kalra. She raised the question, “Is consumption going to be the lowest common denominator?” According to her, the demigods era has ended. Today anybody with talent can succeed. She spoke on the anarchy of fashion communication and consumption and its effects

Photo blogger Manou spoke at length on consumption across classes, the digital space and role of blogs. He gave a wonderful pictorial evidence of clothing across geographically diverse places and classes. “Consumption is need based, it is culture based and very personal,” he said.

When it comes to the topic of mass consumption, brands, India Modern and rise of brands, Amazon’s Narendra Kumar is often the best person to speak on the subject. He took the audience back to 1991 when the economic liberalisation happened. He enthralled everyone by elaborating on how the country moved towards consumption. There was a seminal movement in contemporary fashion and brands came in. “This was the phase of entrepreneurship,” he said. According to him, fashion reaches a very miniscule part of the country. Today, lifestyle has changed and there is a lot of partying and clubbing. But where’s the supply? He envisions a future where people will be living in the moment and they will be able to buy what they want to wear every day at reasonable prices.

After an interactive question and answer session, the event was brought to an end by Claudio Moderini, the Head of Academics at Pearl Academy, who summed up the discussions by saying that this was is an opportunity for the audience to get a 360 degrees’ view on fashion consumption.

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Pearl Academy shines at AIFW with Be Somebody

The second day of the Amazon India Fashion Week, 2016, saw around 600 students and would-be-students congregating on the grounds. This created a record as this was the first time in the history of India Fashion Week that saw such a gathering. The occasion was Pearl Academy’s Be Somebody event. Sunil Seth set the tone for the proceedings by giving his welcome note where he announced, ‘Today, I am Gucci, today I am Adidas…. I can be anybody I want to be…’

There was an impressive line-up of eminent speakers from the world of fashion, Anju Modi, Suket Dhir and Rahul Mishra, who struck an instant chord with the audience. They inspired, motivated and got the show under way.

8The programme started with designer Anju Modi, who has recently won accolades for her work in Bajirao Mastani. She has come a long way from a one room tenement and just one ‘Masterji’ to working on projects involving millions of rupees. She spoke about her journey and how she overcame every obstacle that came in her way. According to her, “Passion, energy and talent and the conviction to follow one’s heart is all that is needed to stand out in today’s world.”

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Suket Dhir is an accidental designer. By his own admission, he was never good at academics and he has had a chequered career. After working for a multimedia company, he joined a call centre. After a year, he realised he was not going anywhere in this line of work and decided to take a break. He joined a 3 year course in NIFT and the rest is history. His advice to the students is to be smart about what they want to do. “It has to be very close to your heart.” He exhorted everybody to take competition very seriously and assured them that dreams do come true. According to him, one should take time instead of jumping into a career. A period of 5 to 7 years is hardly anything if one wants to make a mark in this world. He gave his own example as to how he jumped from one thing to another before he found his calling in NIFT.

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Following Dhir on the stage, Rahul Mishra was welcomed enthusiastically by the students. An NID alumnus, Mishra needed no introduction. He spoke about his experience in the fashion industry and admitted that when he started out, he had no experience. He also stated that he felt he started out too early. After 2 seasons at the Lakme India Fashion Week, he went to Milan to study. While there, he was fascinated by the designs surrounding him. He saw and observed everything and this, he feels, moulded him into what he is today. He exhorted students to soak in everything around them like a sponge and be themselves and not try to fit into somebody else’s shoes. He also reiterated the importance of having the right idols. According to him, “Success is not about talent, it is about persistence. It is about the right attitude.”

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Towards the end of the show, there was a question and answer session where the audience participated enthusiastically. The mood was upbeat and the vibes energetic.

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Steps to become an interior designer

Steps to become an interior designer

So, you want to be an interior designer? Well, there are designers and then there are professional designers. What separates the two is training in an interior design school or taking an architecture course. You can make a living as a decorator, but if you want to be taken seriously, it will be wise to join an interior design institute and study interior design and all its intricacies.

First of all, of course, you must have great taste in interiors, but it’s not just about the feel of the right fabric for your upholstery or having fun with colour. An interior design course teaches you the technical aspects of design and gives you a strong foundation for your career ahead. There are several interior design courses in Mumbai, Delhi and other cities in India and abroad. Once you decide on your academic path, browse through their course structure and get started.

An interior design course sets you up with the skills and knowhow to design, homes, farmhouses, offices, hotels, buildings, a child’s nursery or just about any living space. You will be working with homeowners, builders, architects, government agencies, among others. It’s a profession that showcases great creativity and talent. An interior design college gives you grounding in design history, building structure, ergonomics, spatial concepts, computer-aided drawing (CAD) and more.

Being an interior designer is an art form, except that the spaces and furniture you create have to be functional and practical. You always have to keep the client in mind when designing a space. Remember, it’s not your home, but theirs that you are designing. You also have to look into mundane aspects like the plumbing, electric wiring, installing beams, making sure the structure is strong and resilient. An interior design institute makes sure you never go wrong in these essential factors. Didn’t we tell you it’s not all fun and games?

Becoming an interior designer also calls for being a people-friendly person. You have to wear your best smile and put your best foot forward at all times to inspire confidence in the client. While some people are very sure of what they want their home to finally look like, others expect you to lead them, but all are equally finicky. As an interior designer, you have to learn to walk the tightrope between their dream and your own vision for their project, whether it’s a home or an office complex. Your interior design and architecture course teaches you to work with look-books and make complex plans look easy on paper. Being well-versed in various streams of architecture and interiors allows you to experiment with various options.

If you’re sure you want to become an interior designer, it’s time to start applying to an interior design institute or a course in architecture. Learn your skills, develop your portfolio and make your mark!

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Power your fashion business through e-commerce

Power your fashion business through e-commerce

So, we all know that a brand doesn’t really exist unless it’s present virtually, in the ecommerce space. Getting mastery over ecommerce is a given when it comes to management of a fashion lifestyle business. It requires a certain expertise, which comes from taking an ecommerce or digital course. You can, of course, take up a digital profit course at any stage of your career, but there’s nothing better than learning the ropes of ecommerce at the entry level.

Do you find yourself clicking on an ad when it pops up in the corner of your browser, when it announces “First purchase free”? We all do. And, do you also end up telling all your friends about it? Well, that’s the power of ecommerce and the tools that an effective ecommerce training course can hand you on a platter. A course in fashion lifestyle business management brings traditional tricks like word-of-mouth to the ecommerce domain, tugging at your purse-strings through great deals and offers.

An ecommerce training course empowers you to create a powerful fashion brand by combing through reams of data, identifying your customer base and ensuring they stick with you in the long and short run. An ecommerce expert has to wear several hats, working with designers and developers to creative a website that serves your brand’s needs, besides analyzing the traffic and developing promotional strategies. You have to be creative, have the power to crunch numbers, learn marketing tools and, generally, be on top of every problem to create a business with sustainable profits. An ecommerce universe or training institute will also acquaint you with the unique challenges of running a fashion ecommerce business, understanding buying behavior to create a globally competitive brand presence.

For instance, it has been observed that customized recommendations help convert browsers into customers. Learning to analyze buying habits in the ecommerce space also helps you predict and anticipate a customer’s choices, gently nudging them towards suitable products. And a happy customer means great word-of-mouth and more sales. An ecommerce expert also learns to tie up with influencers online for endorsements, such as popular bloggers and celebrities, using the power of social media to make their popularity work in your favour. A digital profit course is all about learning to be out there, winning followers though posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via YouTube vloggers. A short video that communicates your brand values or a latest product launch goes a long way in earning brand recall.

An ecommerce course trains you to take your brand to new heights by generating a loyal presence and buzz offline.

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Your 30’s and 40’s is what you decided in 20’s

Your 30’s and 40’s is what you decided in 20’s

Decision making is an art of choosing the options that you have.
Each one of us has faced a handful of decisions in life that are absolute game changers. We make our decisions. Then, decisions make us.

My daughter asked me, that, she has two options: to go to Germany or Thailand for a study exchange. Both options seemed equally good to her. I could have made the decision for her. But, instead asked her to get more details about each country, and the courses. And then I told her to “ASK YOURSELF – WHY  you want to go, where you want to go”. That moment she could match option with her own purpose. Her answer to “why” helped her decide.

Asking “WHY” leads to clarity of PURPOSE of that decision that you chose eventually.

But many twentysomethings do not decide by asking ‘why’.

I find many youngsters taking decisions based on what their peers are doing, or on what’s popular or what their mentors (parents, elder ‘bro’‎, a role model in family etc) TELL them to do. Yes, we need to direct the boat of our children’s path to a certain point of their life. But once you are sure that they are not mentally challenged, they should be allowed to think and take own decisions.

In fact, we hardly teach our youngsters to “think about thinking”. (Do you think about thinking?)

Those of us who have lived at least four decades on this planet, like me, know that today we are reaping gains (or pains) what we did in our twenties.What we did in our teens, shaped our education opportunities  and career gates in our twenties‎. And how we spent our time in college and used (or wasted) opportunities therein, molded our early professional life.

One of the hard lessons in life that I learned is that one bad decision usually leads to another. Then, over a course of time, the sum of many single decisions build a direction that eventually determines the quality of our life. One small decision will not make a significant difference in life. However, add four to ten more decisions and then, these decisions build up irreversible outcome and path.
Teach youngsters to think, to learn from experiences, of elders and other peers, and then decide on options – wisely.

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Union Budget 2016: Highlights for Education, Employment and Skill Development

Union Budget 2016: Highlights for Education, Employment and Skill Development

The Union Budget, presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday, has concentrated on key areas of growth while creating employment within an overall context of fiscal discipline. Education has been listed among the ‘9 pillars’ of this year’s budget.

The priorities of higher education and skill development are both welcome in developing the human capital necessary in fuelling growth. In this year’s budget, the FM announced an allocation of Rs 72,394 crore compared to Rs 68,963 crore for last year, which is a 4.9 per cent increase in the education budget. In this budget, Rs 43,554 crore (approximately 3 per cent increase) is allocated for school education and Rs 28,840 crore (approximately 7.3 per cent increase) is allocated for higher education.

Skills development and entrepreneurship

The budget focuses on skills development and entrepreneurship with allocation of Rs 1,700 crore for the setting up of 1500 multi-skill development institutes across the country to consolidate skill initiatives spread across several ministries, target of skilling 1 crore youth in the next 3 years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojna and allocation of Rs 500 crore for promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ST. A national SC/ST hub is to be set up in MSME Ministry, providing professional help.

Entrepreneurship training is to be provided across schools, colleges and massive online courses and incentives will be put in place to encourage employers to employ skilled and unskilled labour.

Literacy for rural India

The Digital Literacy Mission for rural India was announced and it targets to cover 6 crore new households within the next 3 years. If this scheme is implemented successfully, it can play an important role in increasing literacy in rural areas. The government’s effective use of technology for imparting education in remote areas can be a game changer for a large country like India.

Focus on quality education

The proposed opening 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide quality education will help in increasing enrolments in Navodaya Vidyalayas. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will increase focus on quality of education. The budget envisions a Senior Secondary School within a 5 km reach of every child, while improving quality of education and learning outcomes. A student Financial Aid Authority has been proposed to administer, monitor and front-end all scholarship, as well as Educational Loan Schemes, through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram.

In his budget speech, the finance minister said the government will strive to make 10 private and 10 public institutions become world class. The proposed establishment of the Digital Repository of Academic Records is a timely move towards curbing forgeries in the educational credentials of job seekers. This will be a one-stop place for all education related e-certificates.

Creation of a Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has been announced with an initial fund of Rs 1,000 crore.  The goal of this agency is to bring the quality of education and research at par with the international arena. HEFA will be a not-for-profit organisation that will leverage funds from the market and supplement them with donations and CSR funds. These funds will be used to finance improvement in infrastructure in top institutions and will be serviced through internal accruals.

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