Design Studies: Summer Studies in Global Fashion Business 2022
This summer 2022 I decided to take part in a multidisplinary summer studies in Global Fashion Business at Hamk (Häme University of Applied Sciences) where design and business students come together to learn about the global fashion business through a series of lectures, field trips and a client project. Here are most of everything you need to know about what happened durign the studies.
On the whole, the Global Fashion Business studies includes three courses:
From Idea to Product Concept in Fashion Business, 5 credits
Sustainable Supply Chains in Fashion, 5 credits
International Fashion Branding And Marketing, 5 credits
You could complite all of the three courses (which is preferable) or choose one or two if that was what you wished. Personally, I only complited the "International Fashion Branding And Marketing" course which was my intention from the beginning.
Within the "International Fashion Branding And Marketing" course I learned about brand building, digital marketing and fashion marketing phenomena as well as discoursed about green washing, influencers in the fashion industry, metaverse, NFT collections and innovative marketing campaings. On the whole it was interesting to learn about these topics, especially, metaverse, NFT collections and green washing because I wasn't too familiar with these terms before hand. In my opinion, this branding and marketing course was also a great way for design students especially to get some insights into fashion industry from a different perspective.
During the Global Fashion Business studies we had a wonderful opportunity to take part in lectures where professionals from the fashion industry shared their knowledge with us students. These were the lectures we got to participate in this year:
Gabriele Moschin gave us a lecture about how you can apply semiotics in fashion business, analyze brands through creating archetypes and how to use a three dimentional business model that utilises archetypes in order to study businesses, fashion objects, fashion icons or create new ideas. His lecture was called "From Archetypes to Ideas, And Back: A Semiotic Approach to Fashion Business".
Sofia Järnefelt's lecture was about "The Future of Fashion Design" where she pin pointed the things that need to change and are already changing in design and how we approach it. She also talked about trend forecasting and explained the process that takes place when creating trend forecasts.
In his lecture Karri Jalkanen from Fashion Finland focused on "The Global Change of Fashion Business". He talked about the challenges fashion businesses face and what they need to do in order to survive. For example sustainability, the commercialisation of sustainability, digitalisation and the importance of embrasing change were the core topics of his presentation.
Nina Lindström's lecture named "Building a Career in the Global Fashion Business" delt with the complexity of fashion business landscape, how to navigate fashion business from a buyers perspective and why combining creativity and science is important for running successful businesses. She also gave some tips on how to build and plan a career in global fashion industry.
Sari Kanti-Paul, the co-founder of a Finnish sustainable sunglass company Shadeshares, shared in her lecture a fascinating story of the journey of Shadeshares. Mainly, she talked about the many struggles of setting up a sustainable and fair business in Kenya where Shadeshare sunglasses are produced. All in all, Sari's message was to believe in your ideas and not to give up on sustainability even when everything seems to be against it.
FIELD TRIP TO STOCKHOLM
In the beginning of June the GFB students and teachers visited Stockholm for two reasons. First, we were meeting up with Wendy Heijne from Studio Heijne who was the client in this year's GFB studies. Basically, we visited the Studio Heijne's store in Kammakargatan 27 and had a chace to ask questions and get to know our client better.
Visit Studio Heijne's online store here.
Secondly, our task was to go around Stockholm investigating different retail experiences the local and global brands had to offer and perhaps gain some inspiration from their concepts. Here you can see some pictures I took during my investigations in Stockholm.
RETAIL EXPERIENCE FOR STUDIO HEIJNE
As mentioned Studio Heijne, a clothing brand specializing in custom sized, custom designed and made-to-order garments, was the client in our group project during GFB studies. Heijne's brief for us was to design a retail experience that fits the Studio Heijne universe.
These things Studio Heijne wanted us to consider in this retail experience project:
Merging the digital and physical stores
Customer needs: clothing try-ons and feeling the fabrics
Company needs: area for measuring or fitting, visualization of customized garments and how the final order is documented
Possible store locations
Clothing repair area
Suitable design expression for Studio Heijne
A customer journey map of the retail experience
This assignment was to be done in groups that mixed both design and business students in order for us students to gain a better understanding on how work will be in future when we enter different positions within the global fashion industry. So the project was all about co-operation, respecting each other's talents and different point of views as well as finding the best solutions for our client together.
The final results of our group work were presented to Wendy Heijne on 19th of August when we not only saw what other groups had been doing but also got some feedback on our own group's work. It was certainly interesting to see how differently each group had approach the assignment and retail experience. Needless to say, that it was worth all the work to hear Wendy's comments on our ideas.
Finally, many thanks to Wendy from Studio Heijne for giving us this interesting and challenging assignment as well as being so lovely and positive throughout the whole process. We wish all the best for you!
Thank you also to my team, group 5 (Pami, Laura, Mari and myself) as we were known during this project. It was a pleasure to work with you. Best of luck for your remaining studies! I hope we will meet again someday.
Last but not least, thank you for our teacher at Hamk for putting together this interesting course and providing help and support during the client project. I was very impressed by the program you had put together and all the people you had managed to get to lecture for us students. Keep up the good work!