“Fashion is one of the most cutthroat industries and to become successful you need to have some luck, good education, and a lot of talent, especially creative talent,” says Prof. Zulaika Asif. The Assistant Professor at JDSD has proven her own talent through her industry roles and as an entrepreneur with I Girl Fashion Boutique. She talks about the BSs Fashion And Apparel Design program at the institute, and how it fulfils the crucial part of training and mentoring budding talents to help them achieve their career goals.
Prof. Asif is a seasoned academic with years of experience behind her. Having imparted knowledge and shared her experience with students at various institutions, she understands what JD School o Design truly has to offer. “JDSD stands for perfection. It gives a bigger platform to students to showcase their collections as designers and get recognition for their work. The idea is to enable them to think out of the box and facilitate platforms to help them express their creativity,” she asserts. After all, she believes being a naturally creative person and loving fashion is crucial for success.
But Prof. Asif is also mindful of the fact that this talent needs to be moulded, which is where training and experience comes into the picture. According to her, the practical experience required for students is often completely different from the traditional university syllabus. “At JD we focus on the round growth of students through participation in quizzes and competitions. We organize industrial visits, conduct workshops, seminars in collaboration with the best in the business. This helps them understand how the industry functions,” she explains.
These are opportunities for students to also identify their forte and understand what is expected of them in the industry when they turn professionals. Students are also coached to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Prof. Asif understands the challenges of being an entrepreneur after working on her own venture. “As an entrepreneur, it is very important to stay organized. Time management, discipline, optimistic approach, empathy, and good public relations are crucial to your success as an entrepreneur,” she offers insights.
It’s not difficult to see value in those attributes, especially in today’s times when fashion industry is going through a sea change. Prof. Asif admits that there is a growing focus on sustainability and ethical practices today, which is a welcome change in the industry. “The future of fashion will see us moving away from using new fabrics to focus on upcycled materials that will minimize our carbon footprint and reduce waste. The use of dead stock will hopefully become a norm. At JD students are mentored keeping sustainability as the focus of their design collections,” she concludes reminding us that the institute is always geared up to shape leaders for the future.