Over the last few years, the growth of fashion industry has been meteoric in the state. Not just only models, Odia designers have been winning plaudits nationally and internationally. The role of design institutes in this regard cannot be undermined. They play a vital role in shaping the dreams of youngsters into reality and help them get closer to their goals. One such institute that aspires to bring about a revolutionary change in the industry is International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Bhubaneswar. Though only five months old, the institute is already making waves for the right reasons. And the man at the helm of the institute Asutosh Panda (Director of INIFD Bhubaneswar) feels Bhubaneswar has a lot of potential and the institute will play a catalyst to promote fashion consciousness among the masses in Odisha. In this exclusive interview with our sub-editor Subhojit Panda, he speaks about the journey of INIFD Bhubaneswar, courses offered, future plans and more. The excerpts follow…
Take us through the journey of International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) Bhubaneswar.
Despite being an event manager by profession, I was always inclined towards the fashion industry. There was an urge to do something in the field of fashion. One fine day, one of my friends suggested me regarding INIFD. I was inquisitive to know about the brand and quickly went through their profile. Soon I had talks with the head office of INIFD to open up a branch in Bhubaneswar. Thus INIFD became a reality on 22 February 2018 at KananVihar, Patia, Bhubaneswar. The whole objective was to educate the young minds regarding various aspects of fashion and interior design and provide them a suitable platform where they can showcase their talent and potential.
What has been the response so far?
Quite overwhelming! We have been regularly receiving thousands of inquiries regarding the courses offered by our institute. There are, at present, over 70 talented students who are under the constant guidance of our experienced and qualified teaching and non-teaching staffs.
How are you positioning your brand among the target group?
We have taken the help of both electronic and print media to reach out to larger masses. Recently we had also organized a 9-day workshop for aspiring designers in a bid to create awareness among the youngsters on fashion and interior design. This had given us a lot of buzz in the market. Further, we are also active on social media and trying to constantly promote our brand there.
What were the initial hurdles?
Surprisingly people still think that fashion industry is all about ramp walk and modelling. This is a myth. Initially the only challenge for us was to convince them about the scores of opportunities that this field has to offer. We got constant queries on the placements of INIFD Bhubaneswar and its future prospects. We had to convince them that fashion and interior design industry is purely a creative industry where there is no limit to making money.
What is the USP of INIFD Bhubaneswar?
INIFD is a reputed brand with its campuses spread across the country and abroad as well. Being the largest global network of design institutes, INIFD not only boasts of over 5 lac student alumni but is also the official knowledge partner of India’s premier fashion and lifestyle event Lakme Fashion Week from the last 19 seasons and India’s biggest beauty pageant, Femina Miss India. This alone makes the brand special in many ways more than one.
Further, INIFD Bhubaneswar is strategically located at KananVihar with lush green campus and its infrastructure is at par with any national level institute of India. The institute offers WIFI, state-of-the-art practical labs, advanced theory classrooms, separate hostel facilities for both boys and girls, library, cafeteria and more. Students are exposed to online lectures from celebrity designers, most importantly, ace celebrity fashion designer Manish Malhotra is our online fashion mentor of INIFD for the current academic year.
Give us an insight regarding the placement facilities for the pass-out students.
INIFD has tie-ups with some of the top notch brands nationally and internationally. The best part is that INIFD is associated with London School of Trends, so our students have bright chances of getting internationally placed. Back home, the students are trained in such a way that by the end of their courses, they can even start their own fashion or interior design businesses in Bhubaneswar. INIFD Bhubaneswar will be soon tying up with the biggest fashion and interior design houses of the state where our students can be directly placed.
What are the courses offered by INIFD Bhubaneswar?
We offer degree, diploma and certification programmes in fashion designing and interior designing both with 10+2 (any stream) being the minimum criteria. There is also super specialization program with graduation (any stream) being the minimum criteria. All the courses are job-oriented ones and have been structurally designed according to the current market needs. Soft skill training is also imparted to make the students industry-ready. Industry visit, guest lectures and market research are an integral part of the courses. We are planning to start short-term courses on fashion photography and make-up artistry soon.
Why should students opt for fashion and interior-related courses?
Fashion and interior design industry is all about creativity and imagination. There is a strong need to deviate the students from going the traditional way and opting for something different and exciting. What differentiates this field from others is that the career opportunities for students are huge. There are fashion designers who earn much more than their counterparts in other fields. Such is the potential and beauty of this profession.
Today Bhubaneswar boasts of several fashion and interior design institutes of national and international repute. Are you fazed by the competition?
Honestly no! I truly welcome the competition in the market. Competition helps you to upgrade your skillsets and take a step forward. There is no denying the fact that we are only a few months old in Bhubaneswar but INIFD is already a brand in itself with several national and international associations. I believe our competition is with ourselves and not with others. We would strive hard to stay ahead of others in terms of quality education and placements.
What is your say on the changing fashion and interior design sensibilities of people in Bhubaneswar?
It is encouraging to see how Bhubaneswar has slowly turned into a fashion hub in the eastern part of India. The youngsters have become increasingly fashion conscious and have always welcome new trends and fashion here. Not just Bhubaneswar, there has been a sea change in the way fashion is seen by the people across the state. The fashion and interior design industry has a huge potential in Odisha. This has paved way for several ramp shows, opening of shopping and lifestyle malls and fashion design institutes among others. But there is still room for improvement and I am confident that fashion and interior design will reach out to the nook and corner of the state in the next two to three years.
Tell us about your future plans for INIFD Bhubaneswar.
I envision my institute emerging as the number one fashion and design centre across all the INIFD centres in India. But helping my students showcase their designs at the Lakme Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week remains my ultimate aim. We aim to organize many ramp shows and tie-up with reputed organizations and celebrities to provide better exposure to our students. Plans are afoot to open a bigger campus with more advanced courses and hostel facilities in the near future. There are plans to visit schools and colleges and conduct workshops, awareness camps and career counselling sessions among the students on fashion and interior design courses.
For more details on the courses offered, contact-
Lane No 4, KananVihar,
Beside St. Xavier International School
PH: 0674-2726085, 9090638543