Career in Fashion Design: Blend your creativity with skills
Jasleen Kaur Taneja, 14 Feb 2017, #NIFT Entrance Exam
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Hindustan University : UG Admissions
Pearl Academy Admissions 2019

Still confused about choosing a career? Do you have a creative mind and a flair for sketching? Don’t get worried. Pursuing a career in fashion designing will satisfy your creative urge and also give you a chance to make a name for yourself in the glamorous world of fashion design. Besides a degree in fashion designing, you would need certain qualities to succeed in this professional domain.


Natural skills

You need to be creative and artistic. As you will be designing clothes, one quality you just cannot do without is creativity and artistic sense. You need to turn raw materials into beautiful costumes and accessories. This requires a lot of detailing and creativity.


You also need to have an eye for detail. It is very important for a fashion designer to come out with some basic designs and then add detailing to them. Most of the times it is the detail which makes the clothes stand out.


You need to have a good understanding of colour, texture and fabric quality. You also need to have an understanding of the raw materials that you are working with. Analyse beforehand as to what design will look good with a certain fabric, how can you use it, which colours you can mix with it and so on. These small details will help in making your designs and costumes look good and make a mark for yourself later on.


Acquired skills

Acquired skills refer to the qualification from a recognised fashion institute. You can enrol for Diploma, Bachelor’s, Master’s, PG Diploma, BSc, MSc or PhD in fashion. Students usually take up UG courses after 10+2. They equip you with technical and creative thinking skills that will come handy when you enter the profession.


As Prof. Alana Savant, Head of Department Fashion Design, MAEERS’s MIT Institute of Design, Pune puts it, “A fashion design aspirant should possess general awareness, should have an aptitude for sketching and visualisation, and should also possess a little knowledge of fabric wherein he/she can differentiate between cotton, woollen etc.” So, just as in any other profession, it’s your skills that matter the most.


Top institutes in India 

There are plenty of renowned colleges in India offering bachelor’s and master’s, diplomas and PhD courses in Fashion Design. Institutes like NIFT, Pearl Academy, Symbiosis Institute of Design etc. (See Listing) provide quality education and has churned out successful fashion designers, consultants, fashion stylists and many more who have made a mark in the industry.

Antonio MaurizioAntonio Maurizio
Area Head (Fashion Design & Textile)
Pearl Academy, Delhi


We have a very strong industry connection. Being part of the FDCI, we offer our students exclusive platforms like Amazon Fashion Week, NABA Fashion Show in Milan amongst many others to showcase their collection. We have senior fashion designers coming to our campuses once a month for lectures exposing our students to the industry from the very beginning.

Diploma in Fashion Design

A diploma in Fashion Design allows students to discover their innate qualities related to fashion and designing, and take their passion for fashion to the next level. It aims to combine creativity of artistic minds with technical proficiency. An integrated approach towards creative applications is provided through theoretical classes and practical trainings. Students are taught about colours, compositions, pattern making, cutting and everything that it takes to become an accomplished designer. It also gives them a deep understanding of current market trends and potential strategies to sail through. The eligibility for Diploma in fashion Design is 10+2 or its equivalent. The duration of the course is usually one to two years.


B.Des Fashion Design

Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design is an undergraduate fashion design course involving the study of creating original designs in garments, footwear, jewellery, luggage and also a study of the ever-changing trends in the fashion industry and market. The programme includes converting artistic talent and creativity in creating products like clothing, textiles, jewellery, footwear and other accessories. It involves the detailed study of the market trends and related fashion. The duration of the course is usually four years. Students also undergo internship programmes that give them an exposure to production, marketing and designing. The basic eligibility is 10+2 or equivalent examination in any stream from a recognised board.


M.Des Fashion Design

Masters of Design in Fashion Design is a postgraduate fashion design course. The duration of the course is usually two years but it may vary from institute to institute. The course, on its successful completion opens varied employment options for designers. The eligibility is Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with Fashion Designing subjects with 50 percent marks or above. The eligibility criteria varies from one University to another. Many colleges and Universities conduct their own entrance exams and personal interviews to select students.


PhD in Fashion Design

Doctoral programmes in Fashion Design can be your next step for an exciting and creative career, either in India or abroad. You could pursue roles in fashion design, clothing or textile technology, visual merchandising, and other areas of the fashion world. As per guidelines, of the UGC, the duration for Ph.D in India is seven years. The eligibility will be postgraduate degree in the relevant area of Design, Management or Technology (or) equivalent qualification from an institute/ university of national/international repute with 55% in aggregate (of all the years/semesters) where marks are awarded in the postgraduate degree. The programme is designed to create original knowledge for use in academia, industry, for policy-makers and other stakeholders.



The cost of a programme in fashion varies from one institute to another. However, on an average you would have to dish out anything between Rs.85,000-4,50,000 per semester to complete a course in Fashion Design from a reputed institution in India. Apart from the fee, a separate budget needs to be maintained for books, room and board, material fee and your regular living expenses.


Preparing for NIFT entrance

To prepare for admission to undergraduate courses at NIFT, one must go through the syllabus and questions papers of previous exams. According to Lavanya Joshi, a second-year student of Fashion Communication at NIFT-Chennai, “One should possess a basic knowledge of sketching, colouring and subjects like English, GK and Maths. As I was from a Humanities background, I had to take coaching for preparation of entrance exam which provided me with additional coaching for material handling and making 3D models. These skills are required to clear the second round of interview.”


Entrance exam pattern

The NIFT entrance exam includes two parts, namely Creative Ability Test and General Ability Test. The Creative Ability Test focuses on judging intuition skill, power of observation, innovation in development of a concept and design ability of the candidate. An important aspect of the test is the creative and innovative use of colour and illustration skills.


The General Ability Test examines your Quantitative Ability, Communication Ability, English Comprehension, Analytical Ability and General Knowledge and Current Affairs. The number of questions for each section have been revised (visit the institute’s website for revised structure). There will be a situation test for the admission of undergraduate courses and a Group Discussion followed by interview for admission to postgraduate courses.


Job prospects

Purva Khurana, Associate Professor, NIFT Delhi, says, “After graduating with a degree in fashion, students usually begin as Assistant Designer, as a stylist doing styling for movies and TV shows. Many opt for starting with an entrepreneurial venture and merchandising. We have our seniors being placed as Head Visual Merchandiser and working in Export house, buying house and retail house.”


Those who have completed their course and possess creative ability and determination to create new and original designs can get a head-start in:

  • Fashion houses run by top fashion designers like JJ Valaya, Ritu Beri, Neeta Lulla, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Sandip Khosla, Ritu Kumar, Rina Dhaka and so on.

  • Top-notch garment and textile export houses

  • Textile and fabric manufacturing unit

  • Exclusive and branded fashion showrooms

Pay package

Salary is not exactly a constraint in this hugely creative domain. A fresher who graduates in fashion would earn anything upwards of Rs.15,000 per month. With experience in designing skills, your salary would rise to Rs.50,000-60,000 per month, or more. If you become a reputed designer, you could demand the world. The average annual package of students at Pearl Academy in 2015 was Rs. 6.5 lakhs. Great fashion designers’ salary always shows an upward trend. However, hard work, passion and a conscious effort to stay updated with the latest trends in the fashion industry are imperative to reach that level. 


Select institutions offering courses in fashion design




National Institute of Fashion Technology
(Delhi plus 15 locations)

B.Des./M.Des. (with multiple specialisation); B.F.Tech.
(Apparel Production); M.F.M.(Master of Fashion Management); M.Ftech (Master of Fashion Technology)

Pearl Academy (Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur)

Diploma in Fashion Design (with multiple specialisations)

Symbiosis Institute of Design (SID), Pune

B.Des (Fashion Design/Communication)

Srishti School of Design, Bengaluru

B.Design (Fashion Design)

Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur

Diploma in Fashion Design

MAEERs MIT Institute of design, Pune

B.Des (Fashion Design/Communication);
MBA Fashion Management & Marketing

Raffles Design international, Mumbai

Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design;
Advanced Diploma in Fashion Marketing

Northern India Institute of Fashion technology, (Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar)

B.Sc Fashion Design/Textile Design

School of Fashion Technology, Pune

B.Des. (Fashion Design/Fashion Communication/Textile Design)

Apeejay Stya University (School of design and visual arts), Gurugram

B.Des/M.Des (Fashion Design)

Indian Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore

B.Sc (Fashion Technology and Management/
Fashion and Apparel Design)

Amity School of Fashion Technology, Noida

B. Des. (Multiple Specialisation)/ BA. Fashion- International;
MA (Fashion Retail Management/Fashion & Textile Merchandising);M. Design (Fashion & Textiles)

J. D. Birla Institute (Departments of Sciences And Commerce), Kolkata

B.Sc (H) in Textile science/Clothing and Fashion Studies;
M.Sc Textiles & Clothing

DSK Supinfocom International Campus, Pune

Fashion Photography & Journalism; Fashion Styling;
Visual merchandising


Vandana-NarangExpert Interview

It’s only one percent glamour and 99 percent hard work, says Prof. Vandana Narang, Director, NIFT Delhi


Careers360: How does a degree help in crafting a career in fashion design?
Prof. Narang: To be a successful designer, you need to understand the pulse of a customer. You have to know what the customer wants before he/she realises his/her need because when you go to the market and make up your mind to spend money, it should be on something which is worthwhile. You are only as good as the last collection you designed. Designers read the psyche of consumers long before people know it. Thus, a degree in Fashion Designing equips you with such knowledge.


Careers360: What point of advice would you like to give to students who aspire to study at NIFT?
Prof. Narang: Students should be passionate about doing well. They should be willing to work hard because it’s only one percent glamour and 99 percent sheer hard work. The students work here from 9 in the morning to 9 at night. There is no holiday and nobody runs with a whip behind you warning you to finish your work. If you’re really not passionate about it, it’ll show in your work. The best medal that we as a faculty get is when our students are successful or are launching their own label.


Careers360: Could you tell us something about the placement scenario?
Prof. Narang: We hold a placement week where students sit for placements. There are many students who do not sit for placements as they want to become entrepreneurs. We do an all-India placement for all our campuses. Students are free to go to any of the 5 campuses where placements are held and sit for them. Last year, over 500 companies visited our campuses and we had 80 percent placement in the first week and then queries keep coming over as even after so many decades, hiring decisions in fashion are taken by the top management in India.


Careers360: Share a few points for NIFT entrance exam aspirants.
Prof. Narang: While preparing for our entrance exam, you should practice some sketching. There is absolutely no need for joining any coaching classes as we look out for your natural talent. We do not look out for people who have the best sketch, as you’re going to learn to make them here but you must have a flair for it. So prepare for it as you would do for any other exam, which is, read up what would be coming. Indian education system involves a lot of rote learning and does not offer any place for creativity but studies in fashion would test your creative minds.

Stay tuned to for more articles and updates on Fashion Design

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