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  • IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section

    Topic

    What are the steps you follow and things you keep in mind while designing uniforms?

    Marry with brand ethos
    The way staff of a company is attired makes a far-reaching impact on customers and adds immense value to the image and branding of the organisation. Top designers of the country spoke to Fibre2Fashion about how they are adding their creative emphasis in styling of image.


    First, we need to understand the brand profile, philosophy and target audience. Based on the brief given by the CEO and the
    marketing team, looks are created in the form of colour illustrations, keeping in mind critical factors like durability and styles which work for most body types, and fabrics which are low maintenance. Above all, they have to look stylish and make a statement for the brand.

    Research plays an important part. We study their customer demographics and understand the brand positioning. Image is everything and therefore it is important to communicate the message of the brand through the language of the attire.

    Step one is to get the brief. Next, the idea is translated on paper, and after that a presentation is made, followed by submission of samples along with all the specifications.

    We understand the nature of business, location for weather conditions, job profile of the employees and finally the image that the client wants to project.

    There are several rounds of briefing meetings with hotel teams, owners and other stakeholders, each sharing their expectations and concerns. Often, site visits are required too to understand the layout, design aesthetic of the architecture and interiors and understand the cultural nuances.

    Often, our work begins before the hotel is operational, at a pre-opening stage. We work with the interior designers and brand consultants, along with the hotel pre-opening teams to create a design concept right from the beginning. We get a design brief from the owners and hotel teams and go into details of the brand and its ethos and philosophy. If it's a brand we have worked with in the past, then it's a matter of researching that particular property, the local culture and heritage, weather conditions, functional aspects of the architectural layout and other considerations like laundry facilities, distance, logistics, etc, which may need to be kept in mind. From an architecture and interior point of view, the vision of designers who have created the space need to connect with the uniform philosophy, and marry with the brand ethos."

    When designing ID apparel, I consider the end user and not the customer which is why I consult the employees who will be wearing it. Their requirements in terms of specifics which I may be unaware of are very helpful, and their response may be surprising.?

    The type of industry also has a big influence on how the design will turn out as a finished product. It's not the same to design ID apparel for a fine dine restaurant compared to a spa in the same property. The dressing (process) has to be smart and elegant. The fabrics used are all blended with cotton and polyester or viscose to enable comfort due to the tropical climes.

    It is important to know what colour shades-bright or sedate-to be used, appropriate fabrics, which can be sourced locally and internationally or have them programmed. This depends on the availability and number of pieces ordered and comfortable enough to be worn throughout the day or night depending on the shift and logo if any, and as to where it can be positioned.

    We look into the background of the company, its size, its place in the industry, the age group of staff, the kind of work involved-is it indoors (receptionist or executive) or outdoors (sales and marketing), factory, technical or laboratory, different levels of looks to be made by hierarchies of designation, the company philosophy, its logo, the colours they wish to be identified by, the image they wish to project, and the quantity they would require is researched.

    Keeping the Mumbai climate in mind, I select easy breathable wash-and-wear, crinkle-free fabrics that look fresh all the time. Normally, it is 70 per cent cotton blended with 30 per cent polyester for shirts and tops while it is gabardine twill for trousers, coats and jackets.

    The numbers play a vital role in designing uniforms-the nature of the job/designation and functionality amalgamated with a sharp design that depicts the motto of the company. We provide the sketches and prototypes, or either of the two (as needed).

    This article was first published in the?April 2021?edition of the print magazine.

    Published on: 02/06/2021

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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