The Insight Stage on TICE Fashion aims to breakdown the fashion industry supporting young people interested in this sector to truly discover what it’s all about but more importantly which area of this fascinating industry they feel they fit in if at all they feel they want to. The fashion industry is most definitely about design and making garments but, as our new TICE students realised, that’s not all.
This year TICE Fashion has surpassed all the years, we have 7 North East based secondary schools on this year’ programme with an incredible 139 young people registered. Students from John Spence Community High School, Burnside College, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Berwick Academy, Longbenton High School, Bedlington Academy and Ashington Academy all starting on insight workshops throughout January.
The Insight workshops consist of one day. One day based in school whereby we can breakdown the industry and try out various challenges that expand knowledge, awareness and understanding of the variety of fashion roles and concepts.
First and foremost, we had to take the students through fashion trend. This tends to be a massively overlooked part of the sector from a young person’s perspective and most adults don’t realise the scope, opportunity and importance of the trend forecasting sector. Fashion forecasting is the technique of predicting buying habits and moods of the consumers. (Fashion Insiders). Fashion trend forecasting agencies are the “archaeologists of the future” according to renowned trend forecaster Li Edelkoort. Our students were asking to view fashion trend films by students on the BA (Hons) Fashion Communication degree at Northumbria University to see how lifestyles, choices, politics, economies, attitudes and decisions trickled down into predicting moods, themes, colours and textures subsequently ending up on rails in stores for us to scan through.
“I felt the workshop was fantastic as we discovered many different things about the fashion industry that not many people know about or understand. First, we learned about the 5 stages of fashion; I enjoyed the trend prediction for Spring/Sumer 2021 as the use of different colours and patterns brought a new aspect to my own knowledge of clothing.” Student, Ashington Academy.
Our next challenge was illustration and design, core skills including drawing and a fine eye for detail were discussed and the students were given more of an understanding of fashion markets and levels to start their group mini collections. Aided by WGSN’s Spring/Summer 2021 trends for both menswear and women’s wear the students had to produce two design each in full colour.
“The most interesting thing I learnt was how fashion trends are predicted as I had no idea it was even predicted I had just assumed clothes were made based of seasonal, occasional and popular themes, this most definitely enhanced my knowledge on the industry. I also thoroughly enjoyed learning about fast fashion and will think twice before purchasing.” Kaysha, Burnside College.
Then the fun really begins! Once the design element has been completed or met the deadline should I say, the students were then challenged to ‘make’ their statement piece. This is more of a fashion sculpture in terms of the fact they can paint, use different textile techniques, patterns and manipulate the fabric to create something which their team was really happy with. Plus… keeping in mind their target audience, the brand they had decided to design for and the trends they’d chosen. This task is fun but a lot harder than it looks!
“The workshop allowed us to use our creative skills and work as a team to create a piece of clothing with our own designs with inspiration from images, and we learnt about how there’s a lot more to being a designer than what meets the eye. I enjoyed the workshop and it was a great experience.” Beth, Burnside College.
Our final tasks were intertwined in learning more about the marketing and promotional aspects of fashion brands. We focused more on the stories or brands and how we need to communicate these stories to our target audiences and how could this be done. After a few examples showing VR, pop-up, fashion installation and social media content creation. The students were then tasked to create their own campaign. This taking on board everything they now knew about the industry, their brand, the design and up and coming trend analysis.
“I learned lots of things such as the different ways companies portray their brand, I learned that Ted Baker used characters to entice customers to follow their story while also advertising their brand. It was very interesting to find out the different ways’ brands showcase themselves to customers from shows, VR experiences to in-store experiences.” Sam, John Spence Community High School.
Finally, who would help them promote this campaign? We jumped straight into influencer marketing and straight onto Instagram. The groups needed to find an appropriate micro-influencer to complete their day.
And that was it. Slightly exhausted but fashion fuelled. We have completed our Insight Stage 2020. And I have the next job of sorting out our Explore Stage. A higher level of skills to explore, people to hear from and delving deeper into this super exciting sector. Bye for now!
“The most interesting thing I learned on the insight stage is that fashion is not about clothing, there are many different aspects of fashion. Fashion is very unique to a brand or yourself. When you think about fashion you may think of today’s clothing and what is trending now but designers need to think about the future of fashion, how we are continually developing new features and technology and how to incorporate that to clothing items.” Isabela, Ashington Academy.