Shraddha Nigam vividly remembers what prompted her and Mayank Anand to give up their lucrative careers as television actors. “In 2010, we realised that we wanted to look beyond the television industry to pursue something we liked and would give us the opportunity to learn more. We found our answer in fashion,” says Nigam, who launched an Indian wear clothing line along with Anand, now also her husband. The success encouraged them to have their own organic wear label and another one for resortwear.
Much like Nigam and Anand, there are several others who have not let their lack of formal education in fashion come in the way of pursuing what they are passionate about. Guided by their instinct and on-the-job training, they have been eyeing fashion as a career option.
A debut collection of breezy, feminine evening wear, recently launched at Atosa, is the culmination of Elton Fernandez’s longstanding dream. With a degree in world history, political science and literature, he initially worked for a bank and a search engine company before dabbling in art. “Soon enough, I moved to hair and make-up where faces became my canvas. This successful shift encouraged me to pursue my dream of designing a clothing line,”
For Nikhil Thampi, it was a fortuitous brush with fashion that made him realise his true calling. The 26-year-old psychology student, while helping a designer friend put together a show in 2008, realised he could translate his emotions on to clothing. Thampi’s creations are popular with several Bollywood’s leading ladies, such as Kareena Kapoor, Chitrangda Singh, Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma.
Instead of moving on from their background and starting all over, these designers are using their experience to their advantage. For instance, designer Dhruv Kapoor chose to study economics instead of fashion so he could understand how to run a business. “Having worked in retail, I knew being a designer is not just about creativity but also about running a successful business. It made sense to get a degree at the London School of Economics — it has helped me with the financial aspects of my