Career in Fashion Design: Challenges and failures are just a part of the journey, says Rahul Mishra
Jasleen Kaur Taneja, 20 Feb 2017
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Careers360 interviews Rahul Mishra who shares his journey in the fashion domain. In this interview, Rahul speaks on fashion as a career domain and its emergence as the other professional domains. Rahul is the only Indian recipient to win the international Woolmark Prize talks on entry in the fashion designing domain and the challenges and awards associated with it.


Read the interview of Rahul Mishra to know more on fashion design industry.


Interview of Rahul Mishra


Careers360: How come fashion is emerging as a better career option over other professions like engineering, medicine or law?
Rahul Mishra:
People do not join fashion industry just for pay cheques but because they are passionate about fashion and the personal satisfaction it brings along. This is why, nowadays, fashion is emerging as a career option in the same lines as medical, engineering and is also favoured by many. As a fashion designer, you can also explore entrepreneurial option and launch your own brand by starting own setup if you have machines, tailors etc. This industry is very democratic if you have serious talent and are committed to work hard. There should be large appetite for learning and create something new.


Careers360: Is there any new trend emerging in fashion education?
Rahul Mishra
I’ve seen a great new emergence of Indian fashion with institutes displaying the hunger to be among the globalized competitive fashion institutes with faculty and directors being hired from Italy, Europe and various other parts of the world to bring global outlook into India. Institutes also send their interns to work with big designers and gain experience. We also see many global brands like ZARA and MANGO entering India. So why Indian brands shouldn’t gain prominence abroad? All such initiatives to make Indian students global in their reach reflect the progress of Indian fashion studies over the last few years.


Careers360: Can you enter fashion industry without any formal degree?
Rahul Mishra: Yes, those entering this industry without any formal degree have either financial backing or they have a keen interest in clothing from the day they were born or they might be affluent to hire good brains. However, every fashion label has a super bunch of highly qualified individuals involving a team of tailors, assistant designers, stylists etc. Looking at today’s competitive world, education is one ongoing thing where colleges ignite that hunger to learn and then students have to continue learning.


Careers360: How does fashion design industry treat its newcomers?
Rahul Mishra: Fashion industry is very open and democratic in terms of welcoming new individuals. The industry always value new age ideas, young minds unlike any other industry. There are many challenges and failures one has to go through but they are all a part of the journey. It is fairly easy to make a mark for yourself in this industry.


Careers360: Could you highlight your career journey so far and the challenges faced by you?
Rahul Mishra: I graduated from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. I got a chance to showcase my collection at Lakme Fashion Week in my second year in 2006. Thereafter, I got a scholarship to study in Milan at Istituto Marangoni. Many people advised me to stay back in India, stop studying and start working as a designer but I chose to finish my course in Milan, and got a chance to work with big European designers and after coming back to India in 2008, I started my company in Mumbai. Thereafter, I started participating in all big fashion shows like Wills Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week et al and won many awards like International Woolmark Prize in 2014. One of the most important reasons that I am able to build a successful career as a designer is due to my education.


Careers360: In your opinion, what is it that one requires to crack a fashion design entrance examination?
Rahul Mishra: One must possess general aptitude and creative aptitude for fashion. One needs to have a perspective to see things that otherwise gets unnoticed, that is, they got to read between the lines. Many people do go for coaching which is not a bad idea, as a lot of time it gives you proper direction. No one is born with this talent but it’s just interest which needs to be garnered. It requires perseverance, hard work and interest to make a mark in this field.


Careers360: Do you accept applications from students from institutes like NIFT for internships and placements? What do you look for in students before hiring them?
Rahul Mishra: We accept students not only from India but all over the world. Many interns join us every year from institutes like Pearl Academy, NIFT and there are students getting placed with us from not only India but Japan, France and other countries too. I think it is our duty towards society, to train students and we are completely open with our work and provide them the best training. We only look for the eagerness of students to work with us.


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