New Delhi (NVI): Kirti Oram is an Accessory Design alumnus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Ministry of Textile, Government of India, with two decades of experience. She is the Co-Founder, Director of Mélange Design Pvt. Ltd. – a multidisciplinary design firm creating unified design experiences – across industries and platforms.
Oram is a visionary team leader and has been instrumental in steering the growth of the company over the past two decades, with the conviction that each product, service or offering has a story to tell. Since the company’s inception, she has been responsible for diverse areas such as design, business development, marketing, and human resource management.
Excerpts from an interview with Dwijendra Kumar, the fashion Journalist.
1. What is Accessory Designing?
Accessories are everyday personal objects that define the individual concept, style, or aesthetics of a person. Accessories can be both fashion and lifestyle-related. For example jewelry, footwear, bags, home accessories, craft, furniture, interiors, and even in the realm of designing experiences.
2. Role of Design in creating Good Accessories?
Good accessories not only look good but also serve a purpose…a function. Design plays a vital role in the creation of good accessories as the process of design involves market/user research, sound knowledge of materials and processes, aesthetics, and innovation. A fine amalgamation of all these elements creates beautiful and meaningful accessories.
3. Job responsibilities of an Accessory Designer?
An Accessory designer’s job begins with the research of international fashion trends, both of the current and upcoming seasons. This research guides the designer and helps him/her to decide on the accessories’ collection’s themes, colors, materials, finishes, and silhouettes.
The design ideas and concepts are then represented and presented via sketches or computer-aided design (CAD) 2D or 3D illustrations. Accessory designers are also expected to participate in the prototyping or sampling phase to enable the correct transformation of ideas into tangible products. In this stage, they may also guide the sample maker and make suitable modifications to the samples before the samples go into pilot production. Some modifications may also be made after the pilot production.
In certain cases, designers may also decide or be expected to participate in the marketing of the designed products and help organize shows, cater to a specific clientele, or work with advertisers.
4. Job prospects in the field of Accessory Designing?
Job prospects for accessory designers are aplenty, both domestically and globally. Apart from being placed in niche fashion industries like jewelry, bags, footwear, etc., the designers also work for export houses and buying houses.
As Accessory designers have a clear understanding of the broader cultural and social context of design, they are also able to explore and collaborate with other mediums of design like graphics and special design, etc. and become successful entrepreneurs.
Many accessory designers have also made a mark in the craft sector and are engaged in the upcycling of dying crafts by reinventing their context for the present users and the market.
Of late, there has also been a trend to capture the potential of emerging markets such as user interface and experience (UI/UX) design, smart wearables, consumer interface design and product design, and online market channels.
5. What are the skills required for success in the field?
Apart from being intuitively creative, one must possess a will to observe, learn and adapt. Needless to say, the basic skill required for success in this field is not only to visualize a concept but also to represent the same via hand sketches, to begin with. Additional knowledge of CAD will be a plus. Sound knowledge of materials and production processes will help bring the conceptualized designs to life. Good interpersonal skills will help in team-building and co-ordination with production partners.
6. Name few training institutes in the field?
There are many training institutes in India and abroad offering Accessory Design as a course.
Following are a few top institutes in India and abroad:
· National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)
· National Institute of Design (NID)
· Pearl Academy of Fashion
· United World Institute of Design (UID) Karnavati University
· Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), USA
· Fashion Institute of Design (FID)