Self taught Fashion Designer?

A certificate cannot define your talent unless you have skills to sell it, says Manis Joshi (21),

during an interview. He's an aspiring and young Indian fashion designer and he believed the same when he was at the point of initiating his career in fashion designing. (see this interview  at


Here is what he explains about his very young career


I believe a certificate should not determine the proficiency that I have in me. I would rather want my effort and my designs to speak at their best and be my recognition,” said Joshi.

A high-school graduate, it has been about two years that Joshi has started working as a professional designer, exploring, learning and dealing with newer circumstances throughout his struggling journey.

Fashion, art and experimentation

For him, fashion connotes as a form of art and self-expression. It moreover defines the state of mind that he is in. “If I find myself in a happy mood, I feel like wearing bright funky clothes. Similarly, when I am rebellious, I will probably experiment with my clothes and go for some unconventional styles that make people question,” added Joshi.

As an artist, he tries his best to incorporate fashion and some artistic elements like hand-painted floral abstract, silhouette and small handcrafted details. “The themes and motifs really vary with what inspires me and what runs on the back of my head during the design development process,” he added.

His journey to the fashion world

From an early age, Joshi liked to illustrate and explore different areas. As a kid studying in eighth grade; he had realised that fashion designing was something he wanted to pursue in the future. And now with experiencing his skills in the field, it has grown something more than just a work.

The entire process of designing is quite challenging and exciting. From illustrating an idea to tracing it and preparing sketches then applying on to a fabric and crafting it to wearable clothes is what makes me feel enthralled satisfied and happy,” he added further. He has always been fascinated by the avant-garde fashion and the rise of Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen has inspired and motivated him to establish something of his own as a designer.

His vision of fashion

As being a part of ‘Danfe’, a social enterprise where he has been working as a designer, he is happy to lead his career to a progressive path. Having surrounded by wonderful and inspiring team striving for the betterment of the girls further motivates him. Besides that, he along with other 40 designers had the chance to design dresses for Beauty pageant, Miss Little Idol 2014 where the dress he had made also won the Best Designer’s Award. Believing to the idea that designer should be versatile he makes his efforts on various styles and designs and tries to keep his designs simple yet contemporary.

Working for ‘Danfe, Joshi and his team have initiated this new concept ‘all size or no size’ by launching this new collection where people can purchase or order clothes from size zero to plus sizes. With his attempts on fashion designing, he looks forward to establishing his own fashion house where he can have his own set of collections.


Fashion Design diploma or not?

Can Joshi's fashion design young career be an example for aspiring fashion designers? I, personally think the answer is Yes but I'd like to qualify one key point about learning fashion design or not. The bad new is whatever your education, you'll have to learn a lot. The good new is you have plenty of time to do it because you never stop learning!

Why should I attend a fashion design course in a traditional school or online?

Self-taught and successful fashion designers are not that many. The point is self-taught doesn't mean they don't need to learn, The reality is they are always learning from others, from life and from their failures. As silly as it can appear to be, schooled and successful fashion designers are doing exactly the same. 

A proper education about fashion design, in a real school or a virtual one, will give you all the tools and skills you will need so you will save a precious time, avoid many issues and gain self-confidence. But this education will not replace motivation, experience and what fashion designers call "an eye". Unless you want to find a job in a large clothing company, the thing is your diploma won't help you that much to launch your career. And Joshi is right when he speaks about the absolute necessity to get skills to sell your clothes anyway.

What is the "fashion designer winning package"?

It's more a mix of education, training, motivation, hard work and determination. All this is a matter of will and passion. What fashion designers call "an eye" instead is a gift: the capacity to find, enhance and express one's style in a combination of shape, volume, colors and fabrics. I use the word style because the word beauty is too judgemental, as a matter of fact, what a designer finds beautiful can seem totally ugly to someone else.

After many years of fashion design, I think the "fashion design winning package" for success is a strong sense of style (hence the "eye"), an undying passion for fashion and enough persistence, even a good amount of stubbornness, to keep on going, ever.

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