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Question & Answers: Garments and fashion

Question

My daughter is 18 years and doing her BBA. She is more inclined towards the field of garments and fashion. Someday she would like to set up her own business, exporting garments to other countries. Can you guide us as to what course (eg. Import export short term course or any other courses / diplomas) that would help her and some well-recognized institutes that will help her. She also intends to work under some company in this related field to gain experience. Can you please guide her as to which companies she should apply to gain experience? In future, she intends to visit countries like china and other Far East countries to get samples of the clothes and then supply to retail channels in GCC and other countries. As a parent, I am concerned if she has selected the right career and if this career is suitable for a woman as I believe this is a male dominant field.

Answer

Fashion Management seems like a suitable option for your daughter as it blends creativity with business and entrepreneurship. A relatively new discipline within the larger fashion and retail industry, professionals are trained in aspects of marketing, merchandising, managing production facilities along with garment retailing. The National Institute of Fashion Technology, India offers a Masters degree in Fashion Management. Like any fashion management programme, she will be taught the dynamics of the market including promotion and development of the product, identification of territories etc all of which will help, should she want to start her own business.

Other options would be to pursue a course in Fashion & luxury brand management at Istituto Marangoni, (Milan, Paris, and London) where she will also learn different strategies of how to penetrate the market and research methodologies.  Another option would be The School of Fashion Technology, India offers an 18 month intensive Postgraduate Diploma in Apparel Production and Merchandising Management. Postgraduate programmes in fashion merchandising, fashion retail and fashion marketing are offered in many institutes, including University of Arts London- London College of Fashion in the UK and SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology in the US. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising are well popular and available in different cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

These programs offer a  platform for those wishing to pursue careers in International Marketing, Fashion Merchandising, Brand Management, Retail Buying and Global Sourcing, Product Development, Retail Management, Visual Merchandising, Export Merchandising, etc.

During her studies, it would be a good idea for her to gain experience at different fashion houses either in India or overseas. This experience will expose her to current trends and prepare her for the vibrant and challenging business world. Working at a textile import-export house will also help her understand the textile industry and get the necessary experience and exposure to start her own business.

The fashion/textile industry does not seem to show any signs of slow down and I am confident that should your daughter compliment her current qualifications with a post graduate degree or diploma in any of the above-suggested disciplines there is no reason for her not to succeed in her career. As a parent be confident she is on the right track and encourage her to pursue her passion.

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