In South Africa, a career in fashion is not really popular with parents due to its unclear monetary gain. Most parents do not know the likes of David Tlale and Thula Sindi who are in front of the fashion industry which makes it quite difficult to accept their children to pursue this career. It’s not all gloom and bloom, they won’t stop you from chasing your dreams but will by all means persuade you to pursue something else, let’s say medicine.
I for one do not blame parents who do such to an extent. Let’s be real, it’s not all parents who do not understand this supposed glamorous career. But today, we are focusing on those who do not. However, let us leave out those that want to revive their dreams through their children. I find this disturbing and disgusting. Let children be, as a parent, you had your turn. It might not have worked because of various challenges that we will not dare undermine.
The fashion industry paints a glamorous picture as a whole clearly on magazines, fashion shows and award shows. I believe if you go into it with this glamorous picture in mind minus passion for it, you might not succeed. There are dozens of varsities and fashion schools in South Africa and abroad ready to accept anyone interested in fashion design every year. It would be nice if there were also eager to focus less on putting together student fashion shows and more on employing methodologies that address real life challenges.
There are certain skills a school will never teach you or should I say a textbook. It is much better to learn as they happen in real life. I am not undermining the importance of education as it is a key to a better future, however highlighting the obvious.
I like to think if they start by making students intern at two different fashion houses, one upcoming and another established before they get their qualification – let’s say in the final year, it will be beneficial to the student. I am not talking two months but a year split into two between the two houses. Education coupled with real world works better for me.
Let’s continue this conversation on twitter or facebook.