Challenges

Fashion Futures

We can make many small changes but it is also good to step back and look first at why we are making the changes. Exactly what scenarios are we preparing our students for? What jobs will they applying for?

FUTURE OF FASHION (CAREERS)

My colleague and I used the Forum for the Future report ‘Fashion Futures 2025’ for internal ideas-building. It was interesting, fun and we will use it again as a brainstorm tool with our students to generate more ideas:

1. Democratised fashion, putting production back into the life of the individual (as a start we see H&M Hamburg store offers customization/repair), re-gain the clothing knowledge in society that has been lost across genders/ages.

2. Fashion design by big data, produced by AI means that human design/production becomes obselete.
3. Customized fashion design by end-user, produced by garment company (General Supply knit, Nike ID, 3D print etc).
4. New/Eco Luxury (Bethany Williams, Re-done etc - high value, highly crafted, expertly sourced).
5. Artisanal - puts focus on artisanal, hand-made ‘human’ products impossible to make by machine, ensures traditional crafts endure and add value within our communities.
6. Design by 'Us' - small independent designers and heritage companies, locally produced, small scale, just locally or globally available, helping us to commune and connect in a machine era.
7. Shared economy - clothes swapping, clothing libraries, clothing rental brands & stores, modular clothing is easily fixed/replaceable to ensure long-lasting (as with Fairphone).

 

https://www.forumforthefuture.org/fashion-futures-2025

 

 

Comments (5)

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How can this be improved?
Kate Rushton
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  • These are really good examples, Stephanie! How would you include this knowledge and these examples into fashion education?

    STEPHANIE LAWSON
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  • I am planning to introduce it as an addition to a fashion marketing 101 class tomorrow, whereby we look at global trends that shape marketing, fashion and business scopes. However one class is not really enough to make a thorough exploration. I think there would be much more value in using the idea for day-long workshops/collaborations/hackathons across disciplines/schools/cities/countries even, as has already been mentioned previously. On another note, I witnessed a sustainability hackathon across multiple disciplines here in Shanghai recently and it was extremely interesting. There have been some early discussions here to trial this format for fashion here in Shanghai this year. I think that could and should be a global event.

    How can this be improved?
    Ana Ramos
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  • Interesting point, Stephanie. Universities must keep up with the fast changing world, and do the best to provide the tools for future careers (careers of the future).

    I have no idea how universities in other countries work, but in Portugal, most uni courses have mandatory subjects and then some optional subjects: so, there's a list of subjects, and each semester you can choose one or two of that list, providing it amounts to the needed uni credits for that semester.
    So for example, on a graphic design course, students may choose as optional subjects: lettering, print screening, pre-press, photography, web-design... which is interesting, because it means each student ends with the same BA, but with optional subjects that cater for each student personal interests and professional aims.

    Indeed, in fashion design courses, universities could provide a range of optional subjects related to fashion futures such as Traditional Crafts or Fashion 3D printing.

    STEPHANIE LAWSON
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  • Yes with new disciplines such as wearable technology emerging from convergence of others, then it makes sense to continue to explore new 'hybrids' and option pathways. As you say each individual can explore according to their own aims, talents and goals. This also enhances the diversity of professionals and breadth of specializations available to companies later on. This article shows one example of such recognition:
    https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/education/polimoda-launches-…

    What can go wrong?
    Kate Rushton
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  • Interestingly! I know some tech and business guys that took part in a fashion hackathon. I used to attend lots of hackathons across discipline and they said that the approach everyone had was so different.