Deepa Arya lives in Dehradun and works as the Head of Department of Fashion Designing, Dev Bhoomi Group of Institutions, Dehradun. She has more than 19+ years experience in the Fashion Industry which is utilized to train the students as per industry demands.
Tell us about your childhood, education and family background
As a child, I was quite fashion conscious. When I was in high school, I used to experiment with my looks, dresses, and accessories and my friends use to follow my style, that was the time when I knew what I want do in life. I belong to a well to do family. My father is a retired A class gazetted officer so everyone in the family is open-minded and motivated me to pursue my dreams. My mom has always been my support and Dad is my inspiration. I did not face much problem in convincing them for out-of-the-league profession. I have always been a good student so they only wanted that my grades must go higher coz I’m pursuing my dream career. I started my fashion education right after school with fashion designing and garment technology courses later did my specialization in Export Merchandising from NIFT followed by MBA in fashion.
Thereafter, I worked with export houses and buying offices, and as a freelancer for almost 14 years. 6 yrs back I decided to share my experience and knowledge with the fashion aspirants and give good professionals to the industry, so I joined academics.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I always had a great interest in fashion and styling at the same time I wanted to be part of the management team but never knew how to go about it. Nothing was clear because at that time there was not much awareness about the fashion field.
When did you decide to pursue a career as a designer?
Once I saw a newspaper ad of one short term (15 days) course in business management at that time I guess I was in XI standard. There I met one Lecturer Mr.V.K.Sarwariya (NIFT pass out and running his own garment export house) who turned out to be my mentor. That was the turning point of my life n now I knew my way and never looked back.
How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?
Previously most people were interested in tailor-made dresses and not at all aware of latest fashion trends. Due to the internet and social networking, things are more accessible and convenient to advertise. It’s easy to explore new things for getting inspired by our collections. Due to technological advancement, its production and distribution have become convenient and less time-consuming. Previously we were totally dependent on fashion magazines channels and fashion shows.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
It’s not possible for every designer to come up with a fashion show or to participate in fashion events to showcase their collection/work. Nowadays social media has bridged that gap and made it convenient to approach our target customers. Even social media made knowledge of fast-changing fashion available for all fashion followers.
You are working in Devbhoomi Group of Institution Dehradun, as HOD Fashion Design, how is your journey there so far?
My journey at DBGI is one of adventure. Each year, I encounter new students and become a part of their lives, just as they become members of our community. I’m a witness to their joys and their sorrows. I watch as they learn, grow, and mature, as well as when they falter, make mistakes and fail. I do my best to support, encourage, and inspire them to succeed.
What kind of challenges did you face in your initial days in DBGI?
When I joined DBGI I have been given the sole responsibility of establishing the Fashion Department. Our Chairman Mr. Sanjay Bansal showed his complete trust and gave me full freedom to design the fashion department that is best to provide state of art fashion education to our students. It was a tough job to procure different types of machines and equipment in Dehradun so we outsourced it to the vendors. All along the journey, our chairman Sir has always been supportive. The pressure was huge to make everything available within the campus and to create a fashion environment for my students.
What kind of exposure your institute provides to the students?
We at DBGI pretty well understand that what are the requirements of the fashion industry. So we prepare our students well to face the industry challenges after college. We are devoted to provide them best in class knowledge.
We don’t stick to classroom lectures only, rather we provide our students with industry exposure. We organize guest lectures by industry professionals who aware them with the latest industry scenario. We provide the platform to showcase their collections in designer shows, participation in such shows boost their confidence and aware them what other established designers are doing and we even organize shows for them where they learn backstage handling and working along with designing. Industry visits to take them from books to the real industry life.
You are trying hard to give exposure to students, do you think still something lacking?
Opportunities for fashion graduates are not much in our city.
What Makes Devbhoomi Institute of Fashion Design different from other institutes in Dehradun?
I don’t want to compare. All I can say is at DBGI we are more focused on developing better fashion professionals for the industry with the overall growth of our students. We are committed even after they leave college.
What is your favorite part about working in the Fashion Industry?
Freedom of expression. As a designer, I can freely express my ideology, my mood, my thoughts, my inspirations anything in a very creative way through my dresses. As an academician, I get opportunities to build a better future.
What motivates you to do so much of hard work?
Achieving goals and giving your child the life that you want them to have is very motivating. When it comes to centering that focus my daughter & son’s unconditional support keeps me focussed, without their support neither been easy for me.
what advice would you give to youngsters who are willing to make their career in Fashion?
Open your mind your thoughts and let your creativity do the wonders rather than copying or getting inspired by other designer’s work.