Teaching Business to aspiring fashion designers and start-ups
There is a growing debate happening in the global fashion industry. You might think the debate is around topics like green manufacturing, sustainability, diversity and the portrayal of beauty and the ideal body image…you will be surprised. The subject that is starting to make the rounds is whether or not fashion-related university students need to know the fundamentals of business. You know, things like the marketing mix, cash flow planning, industry research, creating a business strategy, integrated marketing and professional conduct.
Enter The Haute House Design Studio
Taneshia Camillo-Sheffey, the owner & founder of the premier eRetail company The Haute House Design Studio, has been signing and mentoring some of the best global private designer brands, and fashion design graduates to her studio. It quickly became apparent that her new designers didn’t have business knowledge and lacked an understanding of how the business side of the fashion industry actually worked. During the course of her mentoring, these designers quickly came to understand that this knowledge was crucial to the development of their designer brands. 9 out of 10 start-ups failing within the first 18 months. Taneshia was committed to ensuring that her designers would be among the success stories and not the failures in this statistic.
Taneshia realized there was a gap in the fashion education marketplace and quickly set about addressing it.
Enter The Haute House University
Taneshia wanted to re-format her mentoring program from a one-to-one “in-house” approach to a more formalized educational setting. She teamed up with the British-American Integrated Marketing professional and academic, Alex di Savoia. As program Leader, Alex developed a bespoke, robust and engaging online learning platform using Joomla. The site supports a variety of learning styles and has been built with ‘on the go’ learning in mind. Students can learn anywhere, any time on any device. Technology also allows module leaders to provide summative (on-the-go) and formative (final) feedback to students.
The site’s technology allows module tutors to interact with students either in real time via online teleconferencing or via forums and system emails. Students can communicate and collaborate with each cohort can also interact online via various site and online tools. Whether it’s mind mapping, interactive canvases, scenario activities, SWOT analysis or event planning – the practical learning activities are reflective-learning intensive and crafted using online tools. Students not only learn the business side of fashion through this process. They also pick up digital and online skills that make them even more competitive in the marketplace.
Working In Synergy
The two sides of the company work in synergy. The Haute House is in the business of developing fashion businesses. The Haute House Design Studio focuses on the creative side of the industry, building tomorrows brands today via its online boutique. The Haute House University is the Edtech / “software as service” arm teaching the business side of the fashion industry to aspiring designers. Together, both strive to reduce the number of fashion-related start-ups.
The use of technology in educating designers about the business side of fashion is core to the company achieving its objectives.