TREASURE CINDI: Career Life Post Fashion School, The Non-Graduate Dishes
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Which institution did you attend?
Durban University of Technology
What year did you graduate?
I did not graduate because of lack of funding, therefore I did not complete my studies.
Which degree were you enrolled for?
Clothing Management (now called Clothing Technology)
What is your occupation or career now?
I am working for myself under my own label,”TREASURE CINDI”. Specialising in evening and bridal wear
How vital is fashion school for someone who wants to work in the fashion industry?
It is quite important to go to (fashion) school or/and to have an academic foundation in this industry, one of the reasons is that it will help you with the understanding of the human body (shapes, proportions etc). Fashion school will teach you the understanding of pattern work. The creation components, manipulation and the knowledge of fabrics and their properties. These are some of the important factors that you are first taught in school which will serve as the foundation for the rest of your career. Yes, you will learn a few thing on your own in the long run but these are some of the fundamental basics.
What is that one thing (some things) fashion school will teach you?
Understanding shapes and body proportions and dimensions.
What’s one thing you would tell fashion students to expect in the real world?
There is no glitz and glam!!! work hard (very hard) and do not do this if you are in it for the fame, do this (career in fashion industry) because you have a passion for it.
Which subject(s) you wish your institution offered whilst you were a student there?
We only had 4 Major modules in my course but they were divided into so many sub-modules, they were:
- Production Technology (Theory and Practicals) – and that included the history of clothing, theory of patterns, theory of sewing, textiles, introduction to pattern making (first year) and introduction to sewing (also first year)
- Production Organisation – this was only theory and covered mainly how the organization (clothing company) should operate ideally, it included sub-modules like work study, planning and layouts of a production floor or atelier, quality standards, pricing and costing to list a few.
- Management – the introduction to management and leadership
- Business Studies – at the end of the day one must make a living out of this right? so this was basically to teach us about the business of this industry and how we can run successful fashion businesses. with all of that being said I don’t think I would have added any other subject onto my course, I feel that it covered most.
Which subject(s) would you add to all fashion school qualifications and why?
I wouldn’t add any subject but I would expand the business studies module to that it is more in-depth and really covers the Business of Fashion.
As someone who studied a fashion qualification and works within the field. What do you think needs to be done for the South African fashion industry to commercially grow exponentially?
I have seen that a lot of graduates go and start their own fashion or clothing businesses after graduating. There is nothing wrong with that but what I have seen is that most of them do not have enough industry experience to stand on their own. Yes, you can learn a lot at fashion school but you also need industry experience to balance your knowledge. when I was still in varsity during our holiday breaks we were given assignments to go and intern at various clothing production companies and write a report on our experience while working there. This helped me so much because while interning at companies like DB apparels (Playtex) I learnt more and I had a deeper understanding about lingerie and corsetry.
I also worked as a junior designer at Zarth, while there I learnt about the art of doing bespoke dresses. With that being said, fashion institutions need to link the students and/ graduates with clothing or fashion companies so that they learn more about the real fashion world. In order for them to learn what to expect when they have completed their studies. Also, the more skilled our graduates will contribute to boosting our industry and we can then compete in the global markets with our quality craftsmanship.
ICYM: Gert-Johan Coetzee’s Career Life Post Fashion School, The Graduate Dishes. You can read it HERE