If you have a sense of style and love to match accessories with what you wear, you can be a bag designer, says Purnima Goswami Sharma
Earlier, if one was creatively inclined in India, one could work only as a fashion or jewelry designer. But now, you can make a career as a bag/ purse designer. Bags and purses are a status symbol of today, accessories that complement ones’ personality and so bags designers have good career opportunities as there is more demand for stylish bags.
Meera Mahadevia, the well known designer whose creations are sold in international fashion capitals says, “To be a bag designer one must possess knowledge of designing, stitching, fabrics, visual imagination, creative skills, a sense of colour and an eye for detail. Although most young people see designing as a glamorous profession, it involves hard work.”
the most desirable skills are sketching and product visualisation,
pattern cutting. This gets aided by a variety of other skills like
knowledge of metalwork, embroidery and embellishment techniques,” says
Meera a qualified textile designer who has also studied Indian
“Design, pattern-making, fabric and construction are the four elements of bag making. A sense of design and colour is essential and some knowledge on material would be an additional benefit. Anybody who starts off with a basic degree in fashion could be well equipped to understand the aesthetics of bag making. It’s all about coordinating the accessory to the overall look and hence aesthetics is key,” says Bhumika Agarwal lead designer with ‘Baggit’. “There are both basic and advanced methods of pattern making. Having an idea of the various kinds of stitches, appliqués and patterns could be a distinct advantage,” adds Agarwal.
“Just be original, innovative and unique with designs and creations and ensure that each piece is perfect. Never compromise on finesse. If your end product is good then it will definitely sell. So always aim for perfection. As a designer, you need to continuously upgrade your skills. Excellent communication skills are needed to ensure that ideas are interpreted correctly. One has to constantly keep coming up with new ideas,” states Mahadevia whose bags have been showcased in ‘The Newark Museum Newark, USA’. One must always stay in touch not only with trends, but also with apparel and fabric markets, in order to react and create pieces that complement the new styles in the market.
“A degree or a diploma is always useful for any field as it helps you to channel your development with easily attainable objective, wherein you also have sufficient professional guidance. However, sadly there are no certified courses in India on bag making specifically” says Mahadevia.
“One bag is a necessity, while a bag for each occasion is indulgence. A bag designer has to understand the specific necessity that the bag caters to; the specific occasion its being made for; understand all commercials aspects involved and create a masterpiece.
There are many brands and unorganised players entering this category; therefore there is huge competition. At the same time there is huge demand as well. This definitely increases the pressure on designers to attract a share of spend towards their brand,” says Nina Lekhi, MD, Baggit.
One can also opt for a regular fashion or textile designing course and take up accessory designing as a career. Initially you may have to work under someone to gain experience, before starting out on your own. Today, owning an accessory line is probably one of the most favorable moves to become a part of the flourishing and rapidly growing fashion industry.
Lekhi says, “Bag designers can of course start boutique labels of their own or associate with brand like ours. International brands are also looking for bag designers. An established bag designer can also move on to related fields like purchase and visual merchandising as they understand what sells and how it should be displayed.”