Veteran fashion consultant and Educationist
Exclusive interview with MS. RAJU BHATIA
She has been contributing to the fashion industry for more than 50 years With her immense background of experience as creator, advisor, consultant and educationist, she gives a glimpse of the changes the industry is going through highlighting the conscious consumers and how manufacturers are ecologically trying to make changes to contribute to a better tomorrow.
Tell us about your educational and professional journey.
Over the past two decades, I have been successfully leading the Fashion Department at B. D. Somani Institute of Art & Fashion Technology. I have sacrificially committed 50 sublime years in the dynamic field of Fashion and Fashion Education.
After my graduation, from JJ school of Arts, I effectively and successfully created award winning campaigns for a lot of Mega Brands at her spell at prestigious Advertising Agency – Lintas.
In the late 70s, I started my own unit in Mumbai. I have been creating styles for over 26 years now and also exporting to other countries, especially the Middle East and the US.
I have been and am a guide for some Labels as Design and Brand advisor and also functioning as Fashion and Textile trend consultant to a lot of manufacturers across India, firmly promoting the ‘Make in India’ ideology from over 10 years.
I have worked intimately with the National School for the Blind and the Rehabilitation of the physically handicapped.
I am currently working with OM CREATIONS and MBA FOUNDATION- both NGO’s working with Children and Adults across inabilities.
Presently associated with the following-
- Member – Advisory Board – CIAE
- Member – Local Committee – ATDC
- Trustee – Trustee Board of India – The Society of Dyers and Colourists – U.K.
- (awarded the SDC Bronze Medal for contribution in the Fashion Industry)
- Member – Steering Committee – Consortium of Green Fashion
- Best Educationist Awards – International Institute of Education & Management, New Delhi
- Awarded the Women of Dignity – International Award 2018
- Corporate Mentor and Academic Supervisor – Podar World College – IMBA
Being an educationist, how has your journey unfolded ?
As an academician, every day is a learning platform. I am equally excited each day to go into the study hall and gain some new useful knowledge from my new group. Each age group, each youngster has added to my own development as an educationist. In the wake of heading BD Somani Institute for recent years and tutoring such a significant number of establishments and understudies, I think we are continually learning and unlearning. At my Age, it’s significant and essential for me to adjust and develop with times. Style and fashion is continually moving very fast paced and it’s important that we figure its moves as educationist and discover approaches to instil in our prompt condition.
As a Mentor, what qualities and capabilities you admire in students and the companies you work with?
As a mentor, it’s imperative to treat everything from students and work ventures with same warmth as a parent. Development of the organization and youngster brings enormous joy to me. Everybody for me is brought into the world with some ability and talent, What I center around is to channelize their energies right way for prompt and productive outcomes. Progressively troublesome the task all the more testing and interesting it is to for me to shape their future. The most significant thing I would search for in the youngster is the Passion for the Profession picked and the Perseverance to Achieve.
How do you think the fashion industry has evolved In the last few years?
Style advances each fortnight and that is what is constant about it. Past decade has been amalgation of Technology, Fast design and debilitating recoveries of Trends on one side and on the opposite side we have seen a magnificent rush of Green and Eco Conscious Consumption. Individuals are getting increasingly more mindful about worldly issues and they like different things. Consumers are likewise getting progressively taught about the green message by activists and NGOs. I am very hopeful about the future generation being more aware and conscious about the earth.
Is sustainable fashion/ Sustainability really followed by consumer or industry? What are your thoughts about it ?
Sustainability is no longer a brownie point any longer , it’s no longer a privilege. Its The NEED of the hour and our industry is going through this revolutionary change internally to have a responsible and transparent supply chain. Consumers are moreover demanding fair trade and environmentally sensitive fashion. It’s at a nascent but a very active stage. I hope and can foresee sustainability becoming a habit and a crucial pratice even at the basic level. Our grassroots systems and cottage industry : Think Hand-looms, Hand embroidery, Natural Dyes, etc have always been sustainable and with Made in India and vocal for local being mantra of modern times, Sustainability is the New Normal.
What are the latest trends in the industry?
With COVID-19 scenario, we are at a major introspective point. All seasonal patterns and trends influencing factors are thrown out of the window. New lifestyle and crumbling global economy will definitely affect our choice making and purchase making decisions. I think people will look inwards now and this will lead to promotion of Local Made, Locally Sourced ATMANIRBHAR products. Made in India is the New Trend.
How do you think the industries are responding to the green movement that has been going around the world?
Eco sensitive consumption, renewal n alternative sources of energy and stricter global trade standards are helping us big to reduce the carbon footprint. At the very micro level of our supply chain this ecological reformation is being adapted and I think right from pigments of dyes to manufacturing methods .Right from material used for press invites to printing of look books, every aspect from Production to Promotion is getting re-analyzed to make fashion environmentally responsible.
Interview taken by Ms. Sukanya Kandarkar and edited by Ms. Prachi Gehlot.