They want you to stop. Don’t believe them. Those seemingly…
I’ve often received several mails from young readers asking me about my journey this far and the right way to break into the fashion industry. Having started with zero contacts and my share of doubts and insecurities, it’s easy to step into their shoes and empathise with where they stand. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t see myself doing what I am doing today half a decade ago but truth be told, it was more about taking a leap of faith to follow my gut than having a well paved path to tread on. As far as my educational background is concerned, I have never studied fashion formally (I graduated with a degree in English Literature!) and not being a fashion student meant putting in that extra effort (reading up on every possible piece of fashion and a gazillion internships when still in college) from the very start to try and match up to the ones I looked up to.
I still remember spending hours online, during my final year of graduation, making a directory of the best colleges offering PG courses in fashion. To my extreme disappointment almost all the names I’d made a note of would take me to London, Paris or Milan. There was then not a single college in India offering PG courses, pertaining to my interest, in fashion. While I’d started working on my applications for LCF for a PG degree in Fashion Journalism, one thing led to another and I landed my first job as the Fashion and Beauty Editor of an online portal simply on the merit of my blog immediately after my graduation. The PG applications were put on hold and then there was no looking back.
After a year long stint as a full-time employee generating fashion and beauty driven editorial content on a daily basis, I dared to quit my job to take yet another plunge as a freelance fashion writer and stylist besides heartily embracing the role of a full time blogger and since then it’s been quite a ride. Streak Hue Fall has managed to become what I could only dream of once with several collaborations with some of the biggest brands in the country and I’ve had the opportunity to style for various cover and editorial pages besides regularly contributing articles for leading magazines and tabloids. It’s not been easy but has definitely worth the many risks and there’s still a very long way to go. So why am I sharing this here today? Well, I recently visited the ISDI Parsons Mumbai campus (sprawled across 8 floors!) and couldn’t help but realise the plethora of opportunities that the college holds for students ambitious about making a mark in fashion. Also, I couldn’t stop gaping at the tastefully done interiors of the school with an eye for detail. (If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen this already.) With separate classrooms for every faculty and a pedagogy comprising of experts, ISDI has managed to bring international standards of fashion and design to the shores of Bombay. What impressed me most was the vast course options offered by the college. However, it’s the PG degree in Fashion Business Management and Creative Entrepreneurship that steal the limelight as that’s rightly got its pulse on the current industry requirements.
From learning about the fashion system orientation, the framing of the fashion industry and evolution and expansion of fashion markets to eventually emerge as industry leaders of the field under the Fashion Business Management (FBM) programme to nurturing the skills of visionary entrepreneurs and providing them with a strong foundation to eventually soar with their business ideas under the Creative Entrepreneurship programme – ISDI offers everything I wish I had at my disposal four years ago. While I have had no formal training in fashion, a visit to this school makes me wonder how different things could have been if only.
So if you are on the verge of making your next career move in this field or have been looking out for similar academic options to hone your skills, I suggest you drop by at the ISDI campus and see what the school has to offer for yourself.
P.s – ISDI is holding Dialogues on Design with designer Nachiket Barve and Karan Berry and Leon Vaz of Karleo fame on understanding the business of fashion on 8th Aug. You can register here. See you there!