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Teaching fashion design

Fashion design offers a range of teaching opportunities and career paths for individuals.

Fashion design offers a range of teaching opportunities and career paths for individuals with appropriate skills, relevant experience, and accomplished communication skills.

Taking account of the diverse job roles and career paths that exist across the fashion industry, it is important to understand contemporary practices in relation to one or more specialist fashion subject areas. This might include teaching students the link between design and research or practical skills, including how to cut or drape patterns in a sample room to create prototype samples.

The level of teaching will also vary and might include teaching fashion design to students at different levels of their study. It is important to be able to recognize the level of the student in order to fully prepare and deliver teaching instruction. In most institutions, the link between teaching and learning is recognized through curricula that progressively build from set projects and learning skills towards more self-directed and independent projects. Fashion instructors might combine teaching with maintaining their own research or professional practice. In this way, some instructors maintain and reinforce their links with the fashion industry. This helps to keep their practice contemporary and industry-relevant while informing their teaching practice for the benefit of the students. Teaching fashion design requires a high level of planning and organizational skills to support and nurture individual student talent and ambition.

Working as part of a team, a fashion design educator’s contribution will be defined through a teaching schedule or timetable. Student groups will vary in size and, dependent upon access to physical equipment and resources, including sample room facilities, will be well maintained and supported through a program of investment.

Teaching activities might include:

  • preparing a structured syllabus over a defined number of weeks with learning and teaching objectives set at an appropriate level for the student group
  • planning and writing relevant projects. This might include collaborative projects with external contacts or professional bodies
  • planning and delivering a series of practical workshops or studio-based activities
  • planning and delivering presentations or lectures to student groups
  • organizing a study visit to an appropriate destination. This might include a visit to an exhibition or trade event
  • arranging for guest speakers or industry contacts to support teaching sessions, projects, or workshops
  • directly supervising and guiding students within an inclusive and supportive learning environment.

A group of graduates tossing their graduation caps into the air.

TEACHING FASHION DESIGN: Graduates from the University of the Arts London (UAL) wearing caps and gowns celebrate outside the Royal Festival Hall, London. UAL includes fashion design schools Central Saint Martins School of Art and the London College of Fashion. Credit: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis © Getty Images.
INDUSTRY CONTACTS: Sir Paul Smith visiting University Centre Colchester, UK to support a design project. Industry-facing projects and professional contacts offer valuable opportunities for fashion design and textile students to develop their professional skills. Credit: Valerie Jacobs.

Next, we’ll discuss the future of the fashion industry.

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Introduction to Careers in Fashion Design

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