The ever present appeal of accessorising one’s fashion to look glitzy and glamorous has given accessory designing the fillip it needed to emerge as a lucrative career option. Shailaja Mukherjee reports
Responsible for creating designs of jewellery pieces, handbags, hats, belts and other accessories to compliment clothing apparel; a common career move most accessory design professionals make, is to start from home. Mainly because it does not require much capital to get the business underway. Young starters use internet marketing and advertising to manage their own accessory line. One can also work under a big design company or become a freelancer. Having your own accessory line is also one of the favoured moves, as both online and offline accessory studios are popping up every day.
The growing interest of people in the world of fashion and it’s dynamic nature makes accessory designing a very challenging and competitive field. You have to be able to constantly think and create new ideas to be able to sustain your brand. The job demands versatility, tremendous creative skills and the ability to experiment with unusual ideas. You can either work in a generalised fashion environment or can focus on a particular design area which includes costumes, jewellery, leather goods, hand bags and other accessories. Ever-changing fashion trends generally guarantee continuous and lucrative job opportunities.
The income range varies depending on the designer’s field of expertise, educational background and experience. As for those who are just starting out, the initial pay-off may be slight; but once established, one can earn from a few thousands upto a few lakh rupees per accessory.
Training and Advancement
Aspirants can enroll for a certificate course and learn about the basics. While those who want to undergo extensive training should opt for either a two year or four year degree programme. Dhiraj Kumar, Head of Department (HOD) Jewellery Designing, Pearl Academy of Fashion says, “As the technologies and industries are converging, more skilled people are required. For example, footwear making is no longer a traditional cobbler’s job but has emerged as a hi-tech field with the use of high-end CAD, CAM to laser cutters, plotters and lasting machines.” He specifies that those who study this formally are well-versed with the wide spectrum of design and can comfortably extend one sector’s competencies to another.
Accessory design, as a career, has a blossoming future in India. The industry is certainly headed in the right direction. With centuries of history inspiring rich designs, and a wealth of knowledge about jewellery making, Indian culture allows accessory design to flourish as a career. I wish aspiring designers the best of luck in their pursuits! -Amrita Singh, Amrita Singh Jewellery & Accessories, New York.
- National Institute of Fashion Technology
- Apeejay Institute of Design, Delhi
- Jewellery Design & Technology Institute, Noida
- ARCH Academy of Fashion Art Design, Jaipur
- Jewellery Product Development Centre, Mumbai
- Sir J J Institute of Applied Art (JJIAA), Mumbai
- Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore
- Small Industries Service Institute, Chennai.