From CAREER FOCUS MAGAZINE
Do you have an eye for style? Are you always on the cutting edge of fashion?
Do you have the burning desire to turn your love affair with fashion into a lucrative profession?
A career in fashion industry may be the right choice for you, and San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC) has a program you’ll love!
In the highly competitive fashion industry, formal training is the best way to ensure you stand out from all the rest. According to the Employment Development Department of California (EDD), the fashion design industry is projected to grow over 36 percent through 2008. That means that there will be plenty of positions for those who are prepared.
The good news is that you can learn the skills to enter this exciting industry in your own backyard. SJDC will provide you with the knowledge and hands on training needed to jump into the fashion industry or prepare you for transfer to a four-year college or a fashion institute.
Jennavave Barbero graduated from Delta and moved into a highly accredited four-year fashion program in San Francisco. “My experience at Delta College was critical to the success I’ve experienced in the fashion industry. The program at Delta gave me an edge that resulted in full scholarships to a highly accredited 4 year BFA Program in Fashion Design. The foundation built from Delta’s program continues to serve me after working in the industry in New York as a designer for the past 8 years. There are times that I realize that I would not be the designer I am without the comprehensive education I gained at Delta.”
SJDC’s fashion program combines creativity and technical skills in an innovative course sequence that offers students a choice of certificate programs in both Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising, as well as Associate of Arts Degrees in both areas.
Artistic talent is also crucial in the fashion industry. Individuals need a good sense of line, color, form, a sense of balance and proportion, and an eye for detail. The industry is heavily influenced by many factors, including seasons, trends, cultures and fabrics. The evolving curriculum for this program is poised to respond strategically to those changes, keeping the program parallel with the industry and supply and demand.
Instructor Leslie Asfour is focused on making sure students are learning real world skills. “I work hard”, she says “to make sure that the fashion curriculum reflects the real time needs of the industry. Our students hit the ground running….”
This sentiment is echoed by Lisa Sysombath, a student in the Fashion Program. “To me fashion is a way to express myself and my uniqueness, but also to put my talents to work in a job that I love. It’s important that the skills I learn here are valued when I hit the job market”
The SJDC student fashion club is an active player in the life of a Delta fashion student. Members are encouraged to contribute to the future success of the program by participating in a variety of events, while in turn receiving valuable industry experience through the events. Club activities include a semi-annual “nearly new” sale. This trendy event is a major fundraiser for the fashion club. It assists students with the costs for field trips and fashion industry tours. Students work hard all year to source out inventory from local and national retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. They price inventory then merchandise and display it for sale the day of the event. Marketing materials are developed months prior to the sale and distributed throughout the community. Students learn the retail side of the business and create their “Nearly New” store. They stock it, sell to customers, market, advertise and develop skills in sourcing, pricing and selling. It provides students with an invaluable learning experience that is in line with what they will do in the business.
According to Asfour, industry leaders feel that community colleges provide better preparation than four-year institutions because they are closely allied with the garment industry. “Students prosper from the personal attention, hands-on education and the intimate class sizes,” she says, “as well as the industry field trips, including San Francisco, New York, Paris and London.”
Course offerings for the program include buying and merchandising, promotion and coordination, fashion selection, textile fibers and fabrics, sewing, pattern design, fashion sketching, apparel line production, computer fashion illustration, display merchandising, manufacturing and grading, quality analysis, fashion portfolio development, and much more.
Certificates in fashion can prepare students for careers as fashion designers and assistants, theatre costuming designers, design room assistants, retail store managers, quality control technicians, production managers, fashion buyers and apparel pattern makers, as well as boutique owners or designers of a clothing line. The average annual wage for fashion designers is $57,678, depending on size of the firm and fashion industry niche.
Graduates from the program have moved forward in their careers with lucrative designers, department stores, the entertainment industry and as boutique owners, including: Banana Republic, BCBG, Guess, Ellen Tracy, Dillard’s, Planet Funk, Gump’s SF, Surface Magazine,
“The bottom line is…”our students are prepared to meet the challenges and reap the rewards that the fashion industry has to offer.