The fashion industry is growing by leaps and bounds, with thousands of young creative minds training to become fashion designers each year. Sadly, a majority of these professionally trained youngsters are competent only in designing outfits for regular-sized people. This is despite the fact that the number of plus-sized individuals across the globe has increased by a significant margin over the past several decades. This has created a huge market potential for plus-sized fashion solutions that the graduates from only a handful of best fashion designing institutes in India are able to cater to. This naturally makes people wonder why learning design for only tall, slim, and standard size forms a part of the regular curriculum of fashion design students.
Understanding The Reasons Behind This Oversight
According to a report, by the end of 2020, the plus-size fashion market is expected to be worth $24 billion. Hence, it is really surprising that fashion designing institutes are not training their students to exploit the opportunities of such a vast market, which in all likelihood is sure to expand and grow even further in the coming years. Discussed below are some common reasons offered by industry experts to justify this oversight.
To Maintain The Industry’s Definition Of Beauty
For as long as people remember, the fashion industry has defined beauty by a specific set of standards with respect to the body dimensions of an individual. By training their students to design only for individuals meeting these standards, fashion design institutions try to uphold the industry’s definition of beauty.
Lack Of Appropriately Experienced Trainers
Another common yet lesser-known reason behind the budding fashion designers not being trained in plus-sized designing is the lack of appropriate trainers for the same. A majority of designing educators can’t teach their students this much-in-demand skill as they themselves don’t know how to do it. Most of these trainers have never even considered designing for plus-sized individuals, thereby leaving little scope for the development of this important skill.
Budget Constraints Faced By The Design Institutions
Most fashion designing colleges in Gurgaon and across other parts of the country have set an allotted budget for procuring the various supplies for their students. However, the supplies required for teaching the students to design for plus-sized individuals are far more expensive than those required for standard size designing. That is why most fashion schools avoid teaching this vital skill to their students and focus more on enhancing their competence in designing for standard sizes.
Making The Necessary Changes
Making fashion education size inclusive holds the key to ensuring that the fashion industry is able to truly reflect on the wide diversity of its customers. Furthermore, this initiative is essential for preparing the next generation of designers for whom inclusive designing is an integral part of their everyday working. However, like every major change, ensuring that plus-sized designing is included in the fashion school curriculum would require the tie and effort of everyone associated with the issue. This would include encouraging students to express their interest in this form of designing, thereby helping the trainers to meet the needs of their students by providing a well-rounded education. Most importantly, established fashion brands along with leading fashion designers also need to start designing clothes for every body type to inspire the change at the grassroots level.
Benefits Of Size-Inclusive Fashion Training
Most people feel that making size-inclusive designing a part of the fashion school curriculum can prove beneficial only in terms of catering to the needs of this rapidly expanding market. However, there are other benefits to be gained by training young fashion designers to create design solutions for people of varying body shapes and sizes. The most important of these benefits are listed as follows.
- It helps in redefining beauty as something that is not dependent only on the physical appearance of an individual and restores the sense of confidence and self-worth in plus-sized people.
- It helps in enhancing the competence and versatility of fashion design students by providing them with the opportunity to explore their creativity while designing the most stylish attire for people with different body shapes.
- It can help in changing the perception of fashion designing amongst the masses from being totally cosmetic and something driven by pop culture to something that is truly realistic and intended for everyone irrespective of the body types of individual users.