Arguably two of the biggest shifts happening the world over are climate change and digitisation. Both affect industries, society and individuals in myriad of ways and impact how we live our lives. No truer is this than in the fashion industry. $400-billion worth of clothing ends up in landfills or incineration every year due to a lack of suitable end-of-life services, while technology has changed the way in which fashion is created, developed and marketed.
In response to these fundamental industry changes, Stadio School of Fashion has introduced three new online short courses that provide students with access to content that is relevant to today’s needs. They are Sustainable Fashion, Fashion Entrepreneurship and Adobe Illustrator Fashion for Beginners. Developed in partnership with industry experts, who conceptualise and present these courses online, each course equips students with information and insights that can be applied immediately to their chosen line of work in fashion.
“We have chosen these three courses specifically to respond to the demands of our time. Fashion is a highly evolved industry, and while we may reminisce about the days of design such as that epitomised in the Netflix series Halston times have changed and we aim to enrich our students with the most up-to-date knowledge and applications to apply in a world impacted by climate change and digitisation,” says Maryne Steenekamp, Head of Stadio School of Fashion.
Entrepreneurship in fashion has taken off in recent times, thanks in part to technology that allows new designers to market their products directly to their target audiences using social media, or online marketing. Many start their own brands initially as a side hustle, yet due to access to huge digital audiences, can turn a small start-up into a booming business. But a love for fashion alone does not make an entrepreneur and is why understanding how to run a business, from the financials to staff management, is critical in sustaining a brand. It is this that has driven the Fashion Entrepreneurship course development. Co-created with Shingai Nyagweta of DSGN Native, and a Branson of Entrepreneurship fellow, the invaluable tools taught in this course can propel start-up brands towards success.
Part of running a fashion business today is understanding the role it plays in the environmental ecosystem, and is the impetus behind Stadio’s Sustainable Fashion course. Produced in partnership with sustainability consultants Sarah Botha and Laura Llonch, the 12-week course tackles sustainable design and production processes for South African fashion designers and retailers. Globally, the fashion and textile industry generates approximately 4% of the world’s waste so a shift towards more sustainable fashion design is an imperative.
“While some international brands have moved towards eco-collections, it is a practice that needs to be adopted by the entire supply chain, and there’s a clear need to upskill industry players with a deeper understanding of environment and social issues. Fortunately, there’s a global demand for sustainability expertise to help the fashion industry reduce its carbon footprint by 2030 and cut Greenhouse Gas emissions by 1,1 billion metric tons of CO2, and is why a career in this exciting new field holds promise,” says Steenekamp.
No fashion design is complete without the actual artwork, and as architects have moved away from drawing boards to sophisticated technology, fashion designers need to upskill themselves with the latest digital design tools. The Adobe Illustrator Fashion for Beginners course fulfils this need and provides students with techniques to develop flats and other technical drawings by being able to e.g. create vector artwork, manipulate lines and shapes with nodes and bezier handles, combine shapes and apply fills and strokes and create impressive fashion flats for portfolio pieces and presentations. Taking place over 12-weeks, the course is presented by Dominique Le Grange. Part of the fashion world as a designer and pattern maker since 2001, Dominique has worked for several local and international labels and has shown many collections at SAFW.
All three short courses will be presented from October 2021. Ideal for self-study, students can move at their own pace, and access materials when they can. This is beneficial to those already working in the field who wish to upskill or supplement their current careers or boost the employability of recent graduates. The courses can also be offered to larger groups with a focus on staff training. Regardless of circumstance, learner’s skills acquired through the courses will be on-trend and relevant to today’s changing world of fashion.