The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parisian chic
Mod’Art India, Mumbai

When the Rama Gulab Knowledge Institute planned a knowledge centre in Pune that would offer courses in fashion, architecture, automobile engineering, medicine and hospitality, little did they know that they would kick-start their venture in India’s fashion centre, Mumbai.

“We were looking for international tie-ups when I met Theresa Vejda of Mod’Art International, Paris. Many of my friends are fashion designers and they suggested that I actively look for collaboration with one of the fashion schools in Paris. So I made up my mind to set up the first ever Indian branch of one of the finest Parisian fashion schools,” recounts twenty-three-year-old Nishant Joshi, chief managing director of Mod’Art India.

The fact that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is emerging as a prominent player in the field of fashion made it easier for Joshi to strike a deal with the Parisian fashion institute. “With the fashion industry experiencing a phenomenal growth, it is necessary to have a specialised teaching programme with an international background so that design graduates are equipped for an exciting career. It is this need for more rounded fashion designers that Mod’Art tries to fulfil,” says Belinda Randhawa, head of fashion department, Mod’Art India.

Mod’ Art India — a sister organisation of Mod’ Art International — is banking on the famous French knowledge of fashion to hone Indian designers who will fuel the growth of the indigenous industry. “The use of educational techniques from Mod’Art Paris will turn our Indian students into skilled and creative designers,” confirms Joshi. Launched just last December, the institute is making big promises to students. With people like Patrice de Place, former vice-president Christian Dior for Asia Pacific, as its director and mentors like Jacques Bahbout (chairman of Tivoli Group), Agnès Barret (artistic director, Martin Margiela) and Pascal Perrier (vice-president, Gucci Group) it looks like the institute will be able to deliver on its promises.

Mod’Art India is located in the sylvan Vile Parle East, the hub of the arts scene where a variety of independent fashion designers have their studios and many young artists display their works. “We chose Mumbai as the Indian centre for Mod’Art as here Indian traditions co-exist with symbols of the country’s growing adoption of the arts and culture of the West,” says Randhawa. The institute has a flexible syllabus, which will change every year as per the existing fashion trend. “This will help students to adapt to the fast moving and ever-changing creative and technical aspects of the field. The faculty members are all industry professionals so the knowledge being imparted will always be up-to-date,” stresses Joshi.

A designer needs to be well versed with the different facets of the industry and, at the same time, be able to create clothes that sell like hot cakes. If a designer is smart enough to make optimum use of his skills, he can make a mark in both the luxury and the retail market. “To deliver apparel with the best fit, a designer needs to know that he is not a pattern-maker but a dressmaker whose primary concern is to create the best designed dress with the best fitting. And for that he needs to know the technical requirements of making up his garments right from draping or flat cutting to creating shapes and usage of fabrics as well as how to sketch his models,” says Vandana Nayak, the apparel construction teacher at Mod’Art India.

The institute offers a three-year course in fashion management with a degree from Paris. Students keen on getting hands-on experience in Paris can opt for an additional year, during which he or she gets a chance to study in the mother organisation. He or she also gets a two-month internship with fashion houses such as Agnès B., Balenciaga, Corinne Cobson, Chloé, Céline, Gucci, Lanvin, Marithé & François Girbaud, Bill Tornade, Stella Cadente, Gaspard Yurkievich, l'Appart, Jacadi, Jean-Paul Knott, Promo Styl, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Manfield and Vogue Italie.

However, students opting for the three-year course need not worry as the institute has forged collaborations with Pantaloons, Raymonds, Reid and Taylor and several Indian designers. So they can choose to do their internship at one of these places. “We will be providing students regular internships in all three semesters. Every year, after eight months of theoretical classes, they will have to work with either retail companies or fashion designers as interns for two months,” informs Randawa.

The institute has made special arrangements for students from outside the city. “Such students can opt to stay in apartments provided by us in posh localities with the required medical and emergency facilities. We will also provide such students with homemade food,” informs Randawa.

“The first batch will not be getting any scholarships but the institute may offer some sort of assistance to its future students,” informs Joshi. Aspirants should remember that nothing comes for free. The better the opportunity, the more you’ve got to pay.

And now, with Mod’Art stepping into India, we can be sure that future Indian designers will make it big on the global fashion stage.

Vital Statistics

WHAT IS IT? A fashion management school.

WHO’S THE BOSS? Nishant Joshi is the chief managing director of Mod’Art India.

Where to stay? Small groups of students from other cities are accommodated in apartments provided by the institute where they also get homemade food.

What about jobs? Though the institute is new, it has made arrangements for internships with the best in the fashion industry and promises 100 per cent placement.

Where is it located? Rama Gulab Apartment, Subhash Road, Vile Parle (E), Mumbai-400057. Phone: 022-26827778 Website:

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