The Desizn Circle helps young minds prepare for a career in design

Sumit Saurabh, Director,  The Desizn Circle, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
Sumit Saurabh, Director, The Desizn Circle, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi

A quick chat with the founder of this organization reveals insights about the world of fashion. Sumit Saurabh, Founder & Creative Head of The Desizn Circle, began with just 6 students to teach at his coaching centre in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi. Since 2008, the centre has grown fabulously and has achieved a 99% success rate for its students in the entrance examinations to design colleges.

Q 1. What brought you into the world of fashion?

A. Though I was never good in academics, I had an inherently creative and innovative bent of mind. Also, I didn’t specifically want to become a fashion designer. I wanted to do something in the field of design. I was fortunate in that my parents, both professors, were very supportive. They motivated me to join NIFT, where I completed my graduation in textile designing.

Q 2. What do you think about the fashion scene in India, particularly with regard to fashion education?

A. Fashion is a vibrantly proactive industry. India is a huge & diverse country, with a history in textile designing and colors. As a result, fashion is now not limited to the bigger cities. Instead, it is alive & kicking in the smaller cities and towns as well. However, it is yet to touch its peak but I think it is going to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Q 3. What is the average cost of 1 year, 2 years and 3 years courses in fashion?

A. It depends from college to college and course to course. If you are going to a government college like NIFT and NID , it will cost you something between Rs 2-3 lakhs per annum and in the private colleges, the cost will be between Rs 4-7 lakh annually.

Q 4. What is the scope of fashion education? What are the various fields in which students can build their career?

A. There is no doubt that Fashion Designing is still one of the most sort-after courses in India but in the last 4 years, we have seen a lot of change. Now students are also showing a lot of interest in related career options like Communication design, Film making, Interior design, Textile design, Knitwear design, Leather design, Product design, Industrial design, Transportation design, Film/Photography courses, etc. Having said that, Fashion design is quite a popular course in India and students all across the country go for this course in various colleges. I have myself been mentoring around 1500 kids every year and a majority of them dream of becoming a fashion designer.

Q 5. Besides being creative, what other skills are required to make it big in the field of fashion?

A. Creativity is the key to being successful in this industry but apart from that general awareness, dedication, time management and an eye for creativity is everything! You don’t need to be an artist but you need to be surely brave enough to dare the world to bring a change. That is how it’s happening now. For instance, sustainable fashion is the next big idea in the world of fashion. Designers are adopting ‘reuse & recycle’ approach towards their work, which is changing the fashion industry as well as supporting our environment at the same time. Another example would be the use of leather. It has become an old thing now. Designers are not just bringing in alternate fabrics but products that are less polluting or not polluting at all.

Q 6. What kind of preparation is necessary before pursuing a career in fashion design?

A. The present India is a hub of fashion and design colleges. The most popular choices for aspiring designers are NIFT, NID, Pearl Academy, ISDI, UID, IIAD, The Design Village, UPES, Istituto Marongini, ITM Mumbai, etc. Generally, these colleges and institutes have their own entrance examination while a few may also have personal interviews as well as portfolio reviews. Since the demand for this career has been going up, the competition to get in has also become tougher with each passing day. In this scenario, your drawing skills, knowledge of English language, current affairs, Maths and reasoning must be up to the mark. These are the important subjects, for which you need to give answers in the examination.

Q 7. How is Desizn Circle different from other institutes? What are its advantages?

A. At Desizn Circle, we believe that a healthy mind is an important accessory to become a good designer. Our main focus is to make better human beings, rather than rank-holders. We provide a beautiful and friendly learning environment to our budding designers. Students come to Desizn Circle, not just to learn drawing or maths but to get overall training to become a good designer.

Q 8. What are your future plans regarding Desizn Circle?

A. As such there are no immediate plans of expansion. For now, we are focusing on our centers at Hauz Khas, Delhi and Noida locations. But I believe that to continually evolve oneself is a perpetual challenge. We aspire to keep abreast of the latest technologies and stay ahead of the changing times. Recently, we have also started online classes by the name of ‘Kochh’, where we are trying to take our initiative pan-India. We are also preparing our students for further studies at foreign colleges in countries like the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, Italy & Singapore. We have a brilliant team of young, highly qualified faculty, which includes my wife Ankita, herself an NIFT Postgraduate. Ankita teaches and mentors students keen to make a career in the fashion industry and/or styling, especially outside India. The faculty imparts the best education to our students.

Q 9. Apart from fashion, what are your hobbies or passions?

A. I am myself a textile designer, who also loves photography and film-making. I have made a short film, “Two Shots Too Late” and represented India in Hollywood. I am also a full time photographer and I have exhibited my work in Delhi and other cities of India. I also run photography camps to help and promote budding photographers. In future, I would like to continue making short films and take my work to different film festivals.

10. What would be your message for a 10th or 12th std. students wanting to become a fashion designer?

A. Yes, of course! I would really wish all the best to aspiring students for a career in design. Try to be a good observer, always carry a scrap file. Make it a habit to depict the world in your own way in a diary. Regularly read newspapers, books, etc., to keep yourself aware of the changing trends in the design industry.

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