On the contribution of education to the growth of fashion, panelists at the Producing Fashion: Made in Vietnam event stressed the importance of connecting industry and academia.
“We’ve got a model developing internationally where students can go and work in the industry, taking a year out from their programs…and they can get credit towards achieving a degree,” said Dr Angela Finn, Deputy Head Learning and Teaching in the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT Melbourne.
The panel – on day three of the conference – examined how education can foster a more innovative, dynamic and sustainable fashion industry in Vietnam and abroad.
“I think another really important contribution to the industry is to lead projects that are important to the goals of industry and which also offer students an opportunity to learn,” Dr Finn added.
Providing an example of this concept, Lottie Delamain, Senior Creative Manager of L’Usine Space, cited her experience of working with RMIT Vietnam students who designed and dressed her store’s windows for Lunar New Year.
“We worked on designs we thought would fit L’Usine and designs we were inspired by,” she said.
“I think it was a huge success.”
Helping students to be confident and knowledgeable about the industry was another important theme during the panel discussion.
Photo: Senior Educator Rebecca Morris (centre in black) led the panel discussion consisting of academic and industry experts.
Vu Quan Nguyen, RMIT Vietnam Lecturer and Head of Strategy at Rice Creative, noted that coaching and mentoring can bring out the confidence in students.
“They [teachers at RMIT Vietnam] are very supportive of students and shape their confidence to be decisive,” Mr Nguyen said.
RMIT Vietnam Senior Educator Rebecca Morris added that presentations are important in boosting confidence and preparing students for real-life situations.
“In the workplace, you’ll have to do that with your team,” she said.
“I’ve seen a big difference between first year and third year students on the confidence level.”
Nguyen Huu Kien, Manager at Thuy Design House, said students do not always have the right understanding of the fashion industry.
“Students are quite confused and ill-prepared so they are easy to get stressed and disappointed when they actually get to work,” he said.
“So this colloquia, I think, is an important step for students to know how the industry is going, what we lack of and what we need to improve on.”
Jo Cramer, Program Manager at the School of Fashion and Textiles in RMIT Melbourne, added: “Perhaps as educators what we need to do is to really foster innovation and to encourage students to take on those challenges and opportunities.”
“I hope the students can really embrace what they can get done here. As educators we foster that for them.”
Also on the panel was Dr Mathews Nkhoma, RMIT Vietnam’s Head of Business Information Systems.
Story: Hai Yen