Volkswagen launched a dress redesign competition which was conducted for students of 2020 Fashion Design Batch of NIFT Institute across the country. The initiative provided a collaborative platform for young talents to showcase and implement their design skill in creating a refreshed and visually appealing dress code for VW sales professionals.

The registrations started from 22nd September, where the participants submitted their designs in a digital format. The finalists were selected by NIFT and VW panels in the first week of October, later the winners were announced on the basis of prototypes of the designs. The competition encouraged the young talent to reinvent, re-design and create a forward-looking design theme and also include monetary gratification for the winners.

Find out more about the competition through the following Interview with the Company spokesperson, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India.

1. What is the selection procedure and criteria for design selection? Is this competition across all NIFT or only for one centre?

The ‘Dress up VW challenge’ was eligible for the students of 2020 Fashion Design Batch of NIFT across the country. The competition comprised of four categories where students were asked to submit dress designs for both male and female staff of Volkswagen (Hostess, Sales Consultant/ Service Advisors, Sales/Service Manager and Specialist).One of the most important criteria for selection was the resemblance of attire designs with Volkswagen’s new brand philosophy that expresses the new attitude of Volkswagen of being more modern, human, flexible, colourful and authentic. Along with this the designs were required to suit the professional setting, to be visually appealing, comfortable and convenient for employees to wear and carry.

Post receiving over 45 registrations for the competition, the semi-final round had 10 contestants who were selected through a jury panel, basis the entries submitted in the form of hand illustrated designs and digital copies of design. The selection process continued with the shortlisting of top-6 finalists who were then chosen to create and present a prototype of their design for male and female version of Sales Consultant and Service Advisor, including only wear-on for Sales/Service Manager. Lastly, the winner, runner-up and third runner-up were announced basis the final submissions and awarded a prize money of INR 50,000, INR 30,000 and INR 10,000 (respectively) from the brand. The entire competition was judged by a 7-member jury which included NIFT faculty and experts from Volkswagen India.

2. What was the need for this competition?

Early this year, Volkswagen announced its new brand language for the Indian market. With the philosophy of being more accessible, human, modern, agile and vibrant for its customer. The idea is to build strong customer connections and be flexible in our approach with customers. Our network staff is the first interface between the brand and customer, their personality defines brand Volkswagen, which must communicate aspirations and premium-ness.

The rationale for choosing NIFT and the batch of 2020 for designing our network staff uniforms is to view the brand Volkswagen from the millennials and younger talent perspectives. As they are the future prospective customers of Volkswagen.

3. Are Niftians skilled for corporate wear designs?

Yes, Niftians are skilled for corporate wear designs and are prepared for the real competitive world. NIFT is one of the best institutes in India for fashion education, that is pioneering thought leadership in design. The institutes offer the highest standard of learning experience in fashion pertaining to design, technology and management and encourages the creative student body, to draw inspiration from India’s textiles and crafts, while focusing on emerging global trends.The participants showcased in-depth understanding of the fabric, design language and fabric comfort while designing the outfits.

4. Please share the winners details.

The winner is Shivani Priya from NIFT Mumbai.

5. Number of entries the competition has received?

The competition received an overwhelming response from the students, marking over 45 registrations.

6. What are the corporate wear trends and opportunities for upcoming designers? 

Over the past decade, corporate wear has become a vivacious sector, representing an enormous market globally. Organizations are paying more attention towards corporate wear as it’s the first connection point between the brand and the customer. It’s also a reflection of the brands’ identity and personality they’d like to carry.

Today, corporate wear is a lot about appearing professional by wearing breathable fabrics. That enable movement, look stylish, reduced creases and are comfortable for employees. It’s about feeling confident in a business attire whether it’s a dress, shirt & trousers, shirts & chinos, jackets or skirts.

There is a tremendous opportunity in India for all the upcoming designers, as the fashion industry continues to grow at an exponential rate. With rapid advancements in technology& fabric creation, upcoming designers can create a niche for themselves, especially with sustainable fashion options.

Dress Up Volkswagen – Winner Group from NIFT Mumbai

Volkswagen and NIFT personnel awarding Shivani Priya