Investing in Fashionable You!

Posted: Feb 18 2016




Today's blog is all about inspiring you to invest in your Fashionable self and take your Art to the next level!  When I work with and mentor young designers, I let them know that although you may have talent and passion, not having a degree in fashion or some sort of certificate that says you are vested and on a journey to get a higher understanding of fashion, will leave you stagnant and hinder your growth. Listen, street CRED is great but at the end of the day, do you have industry knowledge that makes you an industry expert in your field? I equate it to a computer programmer trying to write code. Can you stumble upon the right combinations that make up codes and figure it out? The answer is Absolutely, but wouldn't it be easier if you actually took computer programming and code writing classes that taught you how to write and test the codes properly. Think of how much more efficient and effect you would be as a computer programmer.

Okay, so Does that mean you have to go to a full-blown four-year college program? I'm a lover of learning and I say YES, but it may look a little different for you and honestly school is not for everyone. It may mean taking one fashion illustration or sewing class at a time.  We all have to start somewhere and it will give you good momentum.  If FASHION is your PASSION and you want to do this as your career, you have to get a certificate, an AA, BA or better yet a Masters degree in Fashion.  I firmly believe that you can do what ever you want from wherever you are including right here in Phoenix Arizona.  If you decided that you didn't want to get a degree from an  Art school such as the Art Institute of Phoenix, you could get a certificate or degree from one of the Maricopa Community Colleges. ASU even has a really wonderful new program that is around the fashion industry that you could explore. Or you could take classes online at the Academy of Art University like I did!  Going back to get my degree was the toughest decision I ever had to make!  I already had my bachelors degree in business marketing and a Masters degree in organizational management and the thought of going back to school with 19-year-olds when I was way past that age was daunting! But I bit the bullet and I made the decision that in order to be taken seriously in the fashion Industry, I needed to know the Fashion Industry inside and out. Thus began my journey and I am proud of the fact that today, I hold a Masters degree of fine arts in fashion design. It has opened up many wonderful doors for me and given me a better understanding of the other side, the artistic side of fashion that I so greatly desired. 

Now let's be clear, most art schools are for-profit schools. And they are not cheap!!! But it's all in how you look at it. Are you willing to invest in your future? If so, that's exactly what a Fashion school degree is, an investment in YOU!!! A short-term sacrifice that will yield long-term gains. Why not take your street CRED, combined with your God Given Artistic ability and overlay it with a Fashion Education, making you a triple threat and essentially, the complete package. If you want people to take you seriously in this business, then take yourself seriously. Plus taking classes will teach you how to speak and present yourself well which is a critical skill especially when talking to buyers, customers and the media.  It will teach you how to refine your artistic palette and if a designer, create a curated collection that is on trend, innovative and cohesiveness throughout. Best of Luck to you on this brave journey.

  Be Bold..
    Be Brave..
Be You..



  • Posted by Dr Angie Williams-McMichael on February 18, 2016

    Jo, what an amazingly threaded article! You inspire the inner designer in me. I look forward to reading more and perhaps taking at minimum a sewing class.

  • Posted by Liz on February 18, 2016

    Thank you for this wonderful article, Jo. As former Director of Education for Phoenix Fashion Week, and someone who spent her life in the industry, I couldn’t agree with you more. The road to success is filled with bumps, twists and turns. Building your strength by getting a good education early on, will help to smooth out the road and serve you well throughout that journey toward success.

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