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Georgia Southern’s Dr. Amy Scarborough Talks About Preparing Young Designers to Compete in the Global Fashion Industry

Written by FS StaffJuly 17, 2013
Southern Georgia

Georgia Southern University offers future designers a chance to learn the essential skills for entering the fashion business.  Students get hands-on experience in designing, producing and selling clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children. They’ll learn the technical, management, scientific and creative skills necessary to launch their own clothing line.  One of the school’s best-known graduates did just that. The Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design alum Mychael Knight introduced his label, Michael Knight, in 2007.  He also appeared on “Project Runway” in 2006, where he finished fourth in the competition and won the season’s Fan Favorite award.

To learn more about the program at Georgia Southern University, we talked Dr. Amy Scarborough, Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design.

(This interview was conducted via email & edited for clarity)

FS:  Please describe the strengths of your Fashion Design program.

Did You Know.... Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers BFA's in Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Styling, Costume Design, and Fashion Product Development. Learn more.

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GS:  Faculty engagement with students; internship program; variety of courses that introduce and prepare students for various career paths in the fashion industry.

FS:  What do you think students in your program cite as the "best" parts of the fashion program at Georgia Southern?

GS:  Faculty engagement with students; internship program; variety of courses that
introduce and prepare students for various career paths in the fashion industry.

FS:  To what degree is it essential or beneficial for students to have existing knowledge of fashion or design?  And, which skills do you consider to be most critical for a career in fashion?

GS:  It is helpful for students to have knowledge of fashion and apparel construction, but not necessary. The lower division classes start with the basics and build on them throughout the curriculum. As for skills in fashion it depends on what area of fashion the student desires as a career. For design: creativity and attention to detail; for public relations and promotions: organization skills, creativity, and extroverted personality; for merchandising and buying: attention to detail; organization; accounting knowledge.

FS:  What role does technology play in fashion in 2013?

GS:  Technology is very important in design  (various programs) and for promotional purposes (blogs, social media).

FS:  Are internships a requirement?

GS:  Internships are a requirement. This is the last class that is completed in the curriculum.

FS:  Do you offer study abroad programs?

GS:  We offer a study trip to New York City, but we currently do not offer study abroad trips, however students can participate in other study abroad trips with the university.

FS:  What core classes that are not directly related to fashion, are required of students?

GS: Science, Math, English, History,

FS:  What are the common career paths for grads of your program?  

GS:  Merchandiser, Buyer, Visual Merchandiser, Designer, Product Development, Public Relations

FS: Tell us about your career placement services or any on-campus recruiting efforts for fashion students.

GS:  We have a career services center to assist students in resume building, interviewing, career counseling, and career fairs. We offer a course that helps students build their resumes and portfolios and discusses career paths.

Check out more interviews at the Fashion School Interview Series.