Where is the fashion industry headed with so many designers trying to make their mark, asks designer REHANE

There is so much talent floating around but, frankly speaking, there’s hardly any one person you can single out. Youngsters join the profession without realising where they are headed or what they want out of it.

Without passion, you cannot sustain it. If you don’t love what you are doing, you will never go the distance. Some have clarity but there is no passion; others who have passion lack resources or clarity. I feel the lack of clarity in youngsters is what, in all probability, leads to failure.

I began working in this industry almost 15 years ago. In 1996, there were hardly any players in the market and practically no competition. But that did not mean things were easy. I needed to work that much more to establish myself, make a mark and be known. I can say that I had a fire in my belly to stay put and carve my own niche.

Today that’s what youngsters lack. They are not ambitious enough and are easily satisfied. There is no formula to make it big in the industry. While luck plays a big role it’s also one’s ‘smart’ work that gives one an edge over the others.

Carving your own niche is the need to be unique but there aren’t too many options left. The bold, edgy, country, wuirky looks have all been used and re-used and so there’s very little you can do. The only option then left is to reinvent.

Youngsters can give it a try and, if you are talented, you can churn out something. I agree that there is a lot of risk involved. What you term as creative may sometimes never be appreciated. I have often seen work by designers from the North, which is not what I would term creative. But that brings us to the reality check we need to make.

They are marketing and tech savvy and know much more about what makes fashion tick and other stuff like accounting, the nitty-grittys of running a business and so on.

One of the main reasons youngsters move on from plan A to plan B is because they are unable to sustain themselves in the industry. It’s sad to see so many shut shop and find newer options. The truth is: if you are looking only for a pot of gold and not really concentrating on creating a brand, this is what will happen. We all need a reality check…which business will yield return within three years? There is a gestation period and, like any other set-up, this too will have teething problems. While all this is happening on the side, you should — as an aspiring designer — put in the best of your work. It’s only what you invest that will eventually make you who you want to become.


Designing their futureOctober 3, 2012