Development of my skills has to start from the get go and that includes inter personal interactions. Coming from a background where most of our work (prior to coming to Singapore) was based on an individual evaluation, group submission seemed a bit daunting at first. Over the last couple of months I was pushed into an atmosphere of group submission and evaluations which made me learn the importance of teamwork. Liaising with different people form the industry (be it photographers, editors, celebrities, make up artists, stylists, etc.) would be a core factor for potential profession.
As Christophe Lemaire (founder of his self titled brand Lemaire as well as being the artistic director of a new Uniqlo Paris R&D Centre and designer of Uniqlo U) explains to business of fashion- the concept of a team is extremely important in the industry. In 2001 he left the hardship when he was appointed the artistic director for Lacoste but wasn’t able to give it the attention it needed to lack of a team by his side.
This class gives me a platform to test my skills in the form of creating and coordinating a fashion event. The project is to be designed by the class and the end result will be executed during Singapore’s biggest runway- Fashion Steps Out 2017. The exposure I have gained purely by attempting to coordinate with all the different cultures, languages and mind sets of the class have been a challenge to say the least- but its put things in perspective giving me a clearer picture on group interactions. Although it is tough, it is more of a boon than a bane. Most individuals from my class have been exposed to so much more of the fashion industry than I have, from the people they have met to the social media management skills they possess, the ideas that they generate are more on the lines of practicality. The culture we come from pushes us to think out of the box where we forget to think about the practicality. It creates a cohesive balance (while also encouraging rigorous debates between the two contradicting views) between the two different ideologies predominant in the class.
In the fashion industry the likelihood of you getting individual work is slim. According to Richard Morgan “the fashion industry rarely relies on a single individual to handle all aspects of a project. Although one person might have the initial vision, various teams bring that vision to life.” The industry is so heavily dependent on one and another to produce the finished good that each part of the industry must be heavily integrated. A team at the end of the day is crucial in all aspects of executing an amazing fashion story.
“Team work is about having a vision but letting it develop collectively through your team. There is something really powerful about working with different creative minds and a collection can only be as strong as the sum of its parts. It is important to be open and listen to everyone’s opinion no matter how junior their role is in a team and let that instigate a discussion. A successful team is one that works really tightly together and can challenge but also support each other.”- MARY KATRANTZOU, DESIGNER (NEUVILLE, 2015)
Christophe Lemaire| BoF 500 | the people shaping the global fashion industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.businessoffashion.com/community/people/christophe-lemaire
MORGAN, R. (n.d.). Teamwork in the Fashion Industry | Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/teamwork-fashion-industry-24468.html
NEUVILLE, J. (2015, March 2). Christophe Lemaire says cohesion and teamwork are most important | first person, people | BoF. Retrieved from https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/first-person/christophe-lemaire-says-cohesion-teamwork-important
Shackleton, H. (2013, December 17). what is teamwork in fashion? | read | i-D. Retrieved from https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/what-is-teamwork-in-fashion