One of the things I am enjoying most about my classes on Fashion Entrepreneurship are the people. To be sitting in a room with people from various areas of fashion, of many age groups, & different life experiences has been truly amazing. I am surrounded by a wealth of knowledge. Everyone is so eager to share their experiences & dilemmas, and its so cool how we can all relate to it, and understand what its about. And even we haven’t been in that situation, we take away that lesson, and know what not to do.
I cannot speak for the international fashion industry, but I can speak from my experiences here in South Africa. I have encountered people, designers who are just not willing to help or even give advice to other people starting up in the industry. And yes, I do not believe that they have to do anything for me or anyone else, but at least send an email saying “NO!” It common decency, you know. And this is what I believed most people in fashion to be like until I started the Fashion entrepreneurship classes.
I have been so interested in designing swimwear for quite a while now, but I honestly didn’t know much about it. I had tried on numerous occasions to make contact with a swimwear designer here in Durban in the hopes for an internship or any sort of advice really, and nothing. No phone calls returned. No emails. Not even a facebook message. But you know what, its OK. I Googled. I watched youtube videos. And I am lucky enough to have a swimwear designer in my class every Saturday afternoon. To her its a few random tips, but to me, its some of the best words of advice Iv received, ever! And now, I am practising, trying to understand & perfect designing swimwear. And I am loving it!
So yes, for me its a happy ending, I am surrounded by people who are eager to share & help. But what about the people who not have the opportunity to be learning alongside these creative geniuses? I thinks its really sad that some people who have ‘made it’ just don’t care to help or advise the next person. Maybe its just me, but I honestly believe that there is enough business out there for everyone.In 2007, South African design icon Gavin Rajah mentored David Tlale & a few other young talents. And today, David Tlale is one of South Africa’s biggest designers. But so is Gavin Rajah. And had Gavin Rajah not helped him along, Tlale may not be where he is today.
So, if you can help someone in your industry, do it. You really never know how you may be affecting that person’s life.