A trendy busi­ness

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Course Focus -

IN Malaysia, fash­ion is quite sub­jec­tive with how it is de­pen­dent on West­ern in­flu­ences and lo­cal de­sign­ers’ abil­i­ties to adapt to evolv­ing fash­ion trends.

Cour­ses in fash­ion to­day in­cor­po­rate mod­ules on run­ning a busi­ness and open­ing a re­tail line. Thus, be­sides de­sign­ing, stu­dents are equipped with the abil­ity to tackle fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing, re­tail­ing and busi­ness man­age­ment.

Even though the fash­ion world is much denser now than when es­teemed lo­cal de­signer Datuk Bernard Chandran en­tered the mar­ket in 1993, the fact that newer brands such as Ar­dana Haran are flour­ish­ing to­day means that there is am­ple space for as­pir­ing fash­ion in­flu­encers to make their mark in the in­dus­try.

To be a well-rounded in­di­vid­ual in to­day’s fash­ion world, you need to do more than just de­sign an eye­catch­ing out­fit. You need to know how to pack­age, mar­ket and sell your prod­uct in a way that has mass ap­peal.

There are sev­eral cour­ses that in­cor­po­rate the tech­ni­cal and prac­ti­cal as­pects of fash­ion with sub­jects that cover busi­ness stud­ies, trend fore­cast­ing, so­cio-geo­graphic stud­ies, eco­nom­ics, pub­lic re­la­tions and brand man­age­ment.

Other sub­jects di­rectly rel­e­vant to fash­ion de­sign aim to de­velop stu­dents’ cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tive­ness.

Some cour­ses even in­clude ways to re­search in­come de­mog­ra­phy or psy­chog­ra­phy of an in­tended au­di­ence. The rea­son be­hind this is to not limit a fash­ion stu­dent’s ca­reer choices to the area of de­sign­ing.

With an ed­u­ca­tion that is both cre­ative and prac­ti­cal, a fash­ion stu­dent can con­sider ca­reers in la­bel man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing and model man­age­ment in­stead of just fash­ion de­sign.

These skills are also ben­e­fi­cial for peo­ple who have their hearts set on be­ing de­sign­ers, as they will have the knowl­edge and abil­ity to run their own brand in the fu­ture.

For in­stance, fash­ion mer­chan­dis­ing is an area that stu­dents can look into. This job is suited to those who see po­ten­tial in oth­ers’ de­signs and have the mar­ket­ing, au­di­ence and sales know-how to ad­ver­tise de­signs and gen­er­ate ex­po­sure for a brand.

An­other pop­u­lar area in fash­ion is styling. When you see your favourite ac­tress on the red car­pet dressed in a taste­ful ex­plo­sion of tulle out­lined with hand­stitched em­broi­dery and wear­ing con­trast­ing jew­els as ac­ces­sories, do you know that the look is the re­sult of a fash­ion stylist’s hard work? This stylist at­tends var­i­ous fash­ion shows and scouts de­signer bou­tiques to as­sem­ble the per­fect out­fits for his clients, who are of­ten high-pro­file celebri­ties.

If peo­ple com­pli­ment you on your fash­ion taste, it is an in­di­ca­tion of your tal­ent in the area and it would be re­miss to not turn it into a ca­reer. A fash­ion course can aid you in de­vel­op­ing knowl­edge about ma­te­rial com­pat­i­bil­ity, pat­tern mak­ing, colour the­ory and co­or­di­na­tion. Most fash­ion de­sign cour­ses of­fered by ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions pre­pare as­pir­ing fash­ion in­flu­encers for a wide range of ca­reer op­tions.

The best ways to de­cide which course is suited to your as­pi­ra­tions are to dis­cuss your op­tions with a ca­reer guid­ance coun­sel­lor at your in­sti­tu­tion of choice, at­tend ed­u­ca­tion fairs or talk to fash­ion course grad­u­ates.

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