BA Honours in Fashion: Putting 3 years of undergraduate knowledge accumulation into practice

posted on August 1st, 2018 by Lissa Leandro Correa Mendes

LISOF facilitated a meet and greet between 3rd year students and industry. The two minute interviews were inspired by speed-dating, to help break the ice and ignite a conversation for future communication. Students were able to chat to industry role players (hosts) from various fields such as fashion retail, design and media. 

“Not only was it a wonderful event but such a wonderful opportunity for us to meet the future fashion trendsetters. Very few (if any) educational institutes offer their students a unique opportunity to meet with future employers and I think what you have done for your students is really remarkable.” – Kylee Robertson, Commercial Manager, Media24 Lifestyle

The LISOF BA Honours in Fashion is a Post-graduate learning programme that will provide intensive and focused specialisation in Fashion. The course has been developed by leaders in fashion and retail with a view to giving you the most progressive and relevant education in the business. The focus of this programme is applied research (i.e. research in action) in order to solve real ‘problems’ that exist in the field (work integrated learning) If you are considering a strictly academic piece of research you will be allowed to pursue this avenue as well. Alongside building research capacity, this programme deepens a theoretical and practical understanding of your specialisation choice in Fashion. Work-Integrated learning is of utmost importance to this course therefore you will be exposed to retail partners to work a period of time with, to learn in the field knowledge. Selected students will receive a stipend while they intern at various fashion industry companies.

“An evening well spent at the LISOF Networking event. We were so impressed with the display of talent, passion and overall academic excellence of the students we engaged with. We are delighted to be partnering with an institution that mirrors our vigour an absolute enthusiasm in changing the face of fashion retail South Africa.” – Aisha Nakidien, Recruitment Consultant – Talent Acquisition at The Foschini Group

 Why the LISOF BA Honours in Fashion?
  • Deepens learner’s expertise in the discipline of fashion
  • Creates depth of learning
  • Creates a knowledge focus for the purpose of specialisation
  • Creation of new knowledge
  • Specialisation enhances the graduatedness of the learner and hence employability
  • High level theoretical engagement and intellectual independence
  • Focuses on complex problem solving abilities
  • Critical reflection of theory and practice
  • Facilitates knowledge transfer within the workplace
  • Knowledge transfer within and across disciplines
  • Higher order engagement
  • Critical and analytical abilities

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Fashion Business Studies

  • Critically evaluate retail practice
  • Researching real-world business constructs for the purpose of theory application
  • Opportunities to complete comparative analyses with business processes in other industries
  • Marketing and branding
  • Business models
  • Supply chain processes and relationships
  • Economic competitiveness
  • Product development practices
  • Reverse marketing
  • “Fitness for purpose”

Fashion Cultural Studies

  • An in-depth focus on the culturalisation of fashion at a philosophical level
  • The production of the own voice
  • Psychoanalysis of fashion
  • Perception and opinion
  • Marketing, culture and philosophy

Research Methodology

  • Fundamentals and principles of research
  • Research methods
  • Primary and secondary research
  • Qualitative versus quantitative analysis
  • Action research
  • Grounded in the world-of-work
  • Proposal presentation

Research Dissertation

  • Grounded in the institution where the student is placed
  • 2 elements to be considered:
    • What excites and interests the student
    • What adds value for the host institution
  • Research will focus on ethical practices with a focus on global trends that will add value to the host institution (practice)
  • Opportunity to engage with hosts and the process of knowledge transfer
  • “Putting 3 years of undergraduate knowledge accumulation into practice”

Here are some examples of 2018 topics for research by BA Honours students:

  • The psychological effect of costume in film on the viewer and what the process entails as a costume designer to achieve a possible response on a psychological level within the viewer.
  • Researching the modernisation of costumes within films and how fashion within period films are being conceptualised and therefore re-incorporated into current fashion trends. The reason being is to better understand the film industry as well as costume design for this is an interest of mine.
  • Fashion campaigns and the influence on South African consumerism
  • To examine the relationship between culture and buying of clothes.

CEO Shana Rosenthal with LISOF Alumna, Shayna Goncalves who was a the guest speaker at the BA Honours in Fashion meet and greet

Shana and several 3rd years

Academic Head, Ashleigh Cohen with Shana

Fashion Show Producer, Jan Malan with LISOF Alumna, Caileigh-Jayne Davis

The SA Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 18 Countdown: Looking at The Last 3 Years

posted on March 26th, 2018 by LISOF

Our countdown to SA Fashion week 2018 Autumn/Winter has begun, and the excitement is REAL! To get into the fashion festivities, let’s take a look back to what the designers of SA Fashion week brought to the runway in the last three years.

‘SA Fashion week is committed to developing excellence and growth in a sector that contributes significantly to the South African economy. We unearth, support, promote and nurture South African fashion talent.” Lucilla Booyzen- Founder of SA Fashion week


2015: Feathers, faux fur…Fabulous!

The designers of SA Fashion week 2015 Autumn/Winter collection brought an excellent combination of feathers, faux fur and sheer fabric into their signature looks.

Photo via W24

Left: Black lace corset under a faux fur coat. This look is paired with a feathered head piece, simple black heels and a round clutch. Simple make-up is a must with this bold look. Middle: Black lace over an all-black top and bottom with a feathered head piece. Right: Faux fur over a sheer white ensemble paired with black heels and black hat, accessorized with beady white necklace.

Chunky knits paired with denim definitely became a showstopper, as designers featured these looks on the runway. The chunky scarf added to a denim ensemble, ties the entire winter look together.

Photo via W24

Teal was the colour of choice for 2015 Autumn/Winter. The beautiful colour was often paired with bold prints for a truly feminine winter appearance. Everything about this look captures a designer’s heart. The above the knee skirt paired with blue pumps gives this look a feminine finish.

Photo via W24

2016: Printed Patterns For The Unexpected Silhouette

Geometric patterns, artfully printed; allows for an unexpected and perfect silhouette. The designers of the 2016 SA Fashion week autumn/winter collection gave a whole new twist on fashion. 2015’s emergence of sheer was once more incorporated into the looks that walked the 2016 runway.

SA Fashion Week 2016 Autumn/Winter top designers included House of Olé, Ephymol, Amanda Laird Cherry, Rubicon, Mantsho (Palesa Mokubung) Colleen Eitzen and Clive Rundle. A special was the Gert-Johan Coetzee which was available on to shop on Spree straight off the runway.

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Designers incorporated jewel tones such as green, brown, red and blue, to give the perfect autumn/winter feel. The sheer fabric casts the perfect silhouette.

A geometric inspired print for matching top and bottom pieces became the ultimate ‘cosy’ winter look. Large folded collars and oversized sleeves made an inspiring appearance, especially as paired with the geometric print.

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Adding a pop of colour to the black and white geometric inspired print makes this look come to life!

2017: Untamable Street Style

Last year included a host of young and ambitious designers including Ageo by Arnold Phasa, Danielle Frylinck, I Just Am, Ipikoko, Turner Studio, Kentse Masilo, Liu Liu and Mmusomaxwell. They took to the bold look with strong graphic prints. For Mieke’s collection, they were paired with printed lycra leggings and a simple white headpiece which took the runway by storm.

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Street style was another inspiration for the 2017 SA Fashion week autumn/winter collection. The streets of South Africa were definitely painted chic!

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Through the past three years, designers have reimagined the way we see fashion. Each year South African designers push their limits to produce the unimaginable and recreate their meaning of fashion. There is no doubt that South African designers of 2018 SA Fashion Week will raise the bar once more…

Top 5 Best Dressed at The iHeartRadio Music Awards

posted on March 16th, 2018 by LISOF

From bold and metallic, to chic and lace, the stars definitely brought their fire at The iHeartRadio Music Awards, held in Inglewood, California on 11 March 2018. The iHeartRadio Music Awards’ annual event celebrates the biggest names in the business.

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Nominees are based on the music heard throughout the year on the iHeartRadio Station. Hosted By Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled, this event was definitely a fashionista’s dream.

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The stars gave us a taste of bold prints, metallic ensembles, and sheer lace, truly setting the bar high within the world of fashion. Here are LISOF’s top 5 looks off the red carpet.

5 Paris Hilton

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The heiress showed her appreciation for the event with her heart cut-out look paired with red pumps. Effortlessly chic!

 4 Hasley & G-Eazy

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The couple really brought the boldness with this look. We Are LOVING the metallic blazer over an all-black ensemble. Hasley’s bold print with sleek back top-knot has us stunned!

3 Chantel Jeffries

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Chantel is a metallic goddess, pairing this bold look with gorgeous gold strappy high sandals. She topped it off with a soft up-do. The nude make-up ties this look together so elegantly.

2 Madeline Petsch

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Petsch definitely made a statement with this plaid ensemble, pairing the look with a velvet purse and heels, giving her our number 2 spot on best dressed.

1 Jenna Dewan-Tatum

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The beautiful dancer/actress brought flames with this piece. The tribal inspired pattern on both the jacket and the crop bring a bold statement to this outfit. Jenna paired this look with an interesting bottom and simple black heels. This is definitely our favourite look of the evening!

Can’t wait to see what these celebs will be wearing next…

Fashion Month Recap: Drones, The Queen and A Whole Lot of Pride

posted on March 6th, 2018 by Kira Gimpel

With fashion month coming to a close for it’s Autumn Winter 2018 showcases, it’s a great time to reflect on all that happened.

New York Fashion Week held the usual suspects such as Alexander Wang and his Matrix inspirations of black leather and the very on-trend barely there sunglasses. Tom Ford held a 1980’s revival with high-shine printed leggings and fishnets. But it was Nandi Madida who made sure to put SA fashion on the map with her NYFW debut.

On the other side of the pond, London Fashion Week became even more British as her Royal Highness made a F-row appearance for Richard Quinn. She then awarded designer Quinn with an award, in her name of course. We also bore witness to Christopher Bailey’s final collection for Burberry, a glorious affair celebrating Pride (amongst other things) with bold rainbow stripes and punchy puffer jackets, a whole lot of colour for a usually neutral-focused brand.

Over to Italy, we had dragons and severed heads at Gucci, for another fantastical show. Dolce & Gabbana also focused on slightly disembodied models, as a set of elegant drones carrying the brand’s latest handbags swished down the runway. It was certainly a statement, but left people wondering if models are soon to become redundant. This is what Anna Wintour thought of it all.

Closing off in Paris, we had gothic romance at Elie Saab and a total contrast at Hermes, with a series of bright! brighter! brightest!! looks. Following the footsteps of new Celine director, Heidi Slimane (who announced that in addition to a fragrance and XXX, Celine would now feature a menswear line) Jacquemus hinted at his new menswear collection with a slogan sweater announcing “L’Home Jacquemus”.


A post shared by SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) on

Overall, we’ve seen a lot of 80’s inspired elements and XXXX.

The Top 10 Fashion Careers You Should Look Into

posted on February 12th, 2018 by Kira Gimpel

For some, fashion is the final frontier of popular culture, and for others, the overly pampered lapdog of the fine arts. Fact is, too many people perceive the business to be what they see in a shopping mall or as blazoned on Instagram. Few people truly understand the real world of fashion, and its big brother – the retail industry, even less . The fashion and retail world is vast, fascinating and challenging. Here are the top 10 career paths you can consider in the fashion and retail industries:

1 Planner

Merchandise Planning is a systematic approach aimed at maximising return on investment, through planning sales and inventory in order to increase profitability. It does this by maximising sales potential and minimising losses from mark-downs and stock -outs.  It’s all about ensuring what the customer wants is available through research, sales tracking, employee training, buying and maintaining the visual aesthetic of the store

2 Buyer

Fashion buyers use their sense of style, knowledge of fashion trends and understanding of their target customers’ desire to create an attractive selection of apparel for retail stores. Retail buyers are the brains behind which products or garments are sourced and stocked in advance of a coming season for retail outlets.

3 Merchandiser

Fashion merchandisers are on the apparel production side and analyse market trends, production cost, and previous sales numbers to determine the product direction manufacturers will need to take each season. Visual merchandisers, on the other hand, dress the stores and make it appealing to the consumer.  Their function is as important as that of the fashion designers themselves.  This is where the creative side of fashion retail shows itself best.

4 Designer

Here we have one of the highest profile roles in the industry. Designers are the creative geniuses’ who work on the design of clothing and fashion ranges.   Little more needs to be said – designers are the creative backbone of fashion.

5 Trends Forecaster

The seers in the fashion industry are as important as the designers. They predict upcoming trends, and reignite trends that are on the decline. Silhouette, shoe shape, textile choice, colour schemes, skirt lengths and jewellery are all within the scope of a forecaster’s vision. To be a fashion forecaster you must understand the world of a consumerthis is one of the most challenging tasks in the fashion industry.

6 Pattern Engineer

They create the blueprint or pattern pieces for a particular apparel design.  This often involves grading, or adjusting the pieces for different sized garments. Pattern Makers convert a clothing designer’s original model of a garment into a pattern of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric. After discussing the item with the designer, these skilled workers usually use a computer to outline the parts and draw in detail to indicate the positions of pleats, buttonholes, and other features Pattern-makers then alter the size of the pieces in the pattern to produce garments of various sizes, and they may mark the fabric to show the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material.

7 Production manager

Churning out fashion collections twice a year is no easy job for even the most seasoned fashion designer, and without a loyal support staff, it may be close to impossible. Chief among employees attached to a fashion house is the fashion production manager, a pivotal job that calls for a person with a passion for detail and an organized mind. Production managers are the sun around which a designer’s logistical efforts revolve – so if you enjoy multi-tasking and responsibility, this could be the career of your dreams.

8 Stylist 

Fashion stylists are responsible for bringing to life a photographer or director’s vision for a fashion photo shoot, layout, commercial, print advertisement or music video. Fashion stylists often scout out locations, create the mood for the shoot by selecting and setting up the appropriate props, fashion, accessories and even models to fit the theme of the shoot. Theirs is a very creative role – fashion stylists will work with many media organisations, including editorial print, advertising, film and online.

9 Brand Manager

Here we have the main cog around which fashion and retail evolves – the brains behind the consumer’s envy and appreciation of design; the machine that follows the heart and soul of fashion as perceived through consumer eyes. Their job is to rev up fashion sales by having a fantastic knowledge of fashion and marketing techniques such as brand equity and consumer buying habits. Their mission is to create the vision, positioning, segmentation and marketing strategy for company and client.

10 Fashion Media

This the world of fashion writers and photographers, of fashion public relations specialists, publicists, journalists and bloggers, who help apparel companies and retail stores build and maintain a favourable public image.

Currently, LISOF is one of the few fashion colleges that combine commerce and style as a tutoring base.  This gives our students that leading edge in a highly competitive international fashion market. If you have an eye for style, or a business passion for fashion, and, if you are in the know about the current fashion trends, both in commerce and design, LISOF is your gateway to a trend-setting future.

Join us for our next Open Day to learn more (Booking form HERE)


The Best of Paris Haute Couture Week

posted on February 1st, 2018 by LISOF

All things beautiful and handcrafted, Paris Haute Couture Week has come and gone, leaving us breathless and lusting after high fashion pieces. From Christian Dior to Maison Margiela, we’ve also been inspired to take our design aesthetic to a whole new level. Check out some of our top moments below…


We expected all the usual elegance from this classic design house, known for their tweed and well tailored suits. This year, we also saw the addition of a short suit (groundbreaking!) and some bright pleats. Floral appliqué was everywhere and the finale was a truly breathtaking all white feathered tuxedo-meet-ballgown.

Photo via Vogue Runway

Maison Margiela

High shine, but not with the usual sequin sparkle. Light reflecting plastic and holographic overcoats shone on for this show, with a futuristic treatment applied to beautiful garments. It’s the well-loved Margiela magic, and we’re so here for it.

Photo via Vogue Runway

Iris Van Herpen

In a way that only she can, Van Herpen did the extraordinary and un-thinkable, creating waves in mid air. Delicate mesh dresses were covered in 3-D printed elements, creating a futuristic aesthetic with a heavy influence from the natural elements.


With multi-textured floor length gowns, in black or with tiered coloured skirts, Givenchy looked to shapes and silhouettes. There was a clear emphasis on fabrics, which allowed beautiful pieces to catch the light.

Photo via Vogue Runway

Christian Dior

A simple mostly black and white colour palette, with anything-but-simple designs. Well made suits in a rich satin and a polka dotted tulle dresses were among the 72 looks on show.

Photo via Vogue Runway

A runway report of ‘Woman is a Word’

posted on November 26th, 2017 by LISOF

by Reneilwe Masekoameng

original article:

images by Lebogang Ditibane and Taku Dlamini

illustration by Taku Dlamini


“The collection is about women empowerment,” says Dlamini. Describing her collection as a labour of love, third year LISOF design student, Taku Dlamini, showcased her first ever collection “Woman Is A Word”, and the crowd was enthralled!

Confidently bringing the feminine and masculine energies together through the skillful use of needle and thread, Dlamini’s collection reminded the audience present that the force (and future) are – without a doubt – female!





Inspired by a group of feminist artists reclaiming the female body through music, photography and art in the 1970s, the “Woman Is A Word” collection not only celebrates the female form, but also challenges the concept of the idealised female body.  “The collection is about women empowerment,” says Dlamini. “It’s basically saying that women can wear whatever the f*ck they want, and not be defined by the limitations of what society says a woman should look like.”

Parading down the runway to a an upbeat techno soundtrack, her models moved effortlessly down the ramp in skilfully stitched garments of asymmetrical cuts with well thought out embroidered details by illustration artist, Karolina Koryl, and handmade accessories by Darius Dirker.

The collection further emphasized the energy and qualities of the feminine and masculine – and their fusion – through the clever use of fabrics and textiles; with soft textiles such as poplin, ribbed jacquard, pointe knit and poly cotton voile representing the feminine and stiff textiles such as sateen and bengaline suiting to represent the masculine.

With immense talent, an extraordinary eye for detail and design, and the passion of 10 humans combined, Taku Dlamini is definitely a force to be reckoned with! Be sure to give her wonderfully curated Instagram account a peek to keep up with the adventures of this marvelous little human as she navigates the big bad world that is the fashion industry.

Love and light,



The future of fashion takes to the catwalk

posted on November 25th, 2017 by LISOF

LISOF, Africa’s most progressive fashion design and retail education institution, is presenting its 23rd annual fashion show on 23 November 2017. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of the school’s Pretoria campus.

“Nobody with an interest in the future of fashion can afford to miss this show,” says Shana Rosenthal, CEO and founder of LISOF. “Our students are working on the cutting-edge of design, and the industry is sure to sit up and take note of the talent on show this year.”

The first-year design students will showcase a collective range called Afrique Nouveau. Second-year students took their inspiration from global and local issues with their theme of Urban Refugees. The third years were given free rein to draw on their personal journeys and come up with creations that reflect individual themes.

The LISOF fashion show takes place in Pretoria’s trendy industrial chic 012 Central. “We couldn’t have asked for a venue that fits any better with our brand and our students’ talents,” says Rosenthal. “The atmosphere and ambiance will be the perfect backdrop for the style and standard of design that set our learners apart from their counterparts.”

Adding to the style and glamour is the contribution from regular LISOF fashion show sponsors MAC and ghd. As in previous years, these brands will ensure that the models’ hair and make-up complement and enhance the skill and artistry of the garments they wear.


“Registration for next year’s courses is open now, hence the fashion show is a great opportunity for prospective students and their parents to get a taste of what we offer,” says Rosenthal.

LISOF presents short courses, higher certificates, bachelor degrees and a BCom Fashion degree, the only qualification of its kind in South Africa.

LISOF’s degrees in fashion and retail are well sought after in the industry, and its alumni can be found in key fashion and retail positions across the world, working in disciplines that ranges from design to marketing, styling to buying, and merchandising to photography.

LISOF x Tammy Taylor MRS SA COLLABORATION – Engineered Denim

posted on November 18th, 2017 by LISOF

by Caileigh Jayne Davis

LISOF has the reputation of being the most progressive fashion design school and retail education institution in Africa. Our alumni populate fashion and retail environments throughout the world and our degrees in fashion are well sought after in the industry. Being at the educational forefront means that LISOF doesn’t follow the crowd but leads it, whether it is through education or tackling hard topics like sustainability in fashion and shining light on to reengineering fast fashion.

A first of its kind in fashion, LISOF and Tammy Taylor Mrs SA have collaborated to create amazing ball gowns from recycled and pre-loved denim which the Finalist donated themselves. This collaboration brings to light the importance of sustainability, these one of a kind pieces will be worn by woman who showcase that being a pageant finalist is more than what people think, Tammy Taylor Mrs SA is a movement that shines the torch on real women. Real women with real lives, real curves and real problems.

With sustainability being a topic of the zeitgeist this collaboration will bring the importance of re-engineered fashion to the public domain, allowing LISOF to showcase the importance of sustainability in particular to reengineering denim and how we as a community can combat recycling in a fun and fashionable way.

Upcycling is an international trend aimed at decreasing wastage and supporting sustainable lifestyle practices. In the fashion industry, upcycling is being employed to transform old stock inventory into reengineered garments with a ‘slow-fashion’ appeal. Each garment that will be seen at the Tammy Taylor Mrs SA Pageant, has been designed specifically for the finalist wearing it, showcasing how a fast fashion pieces of clothing can be stripped back to is raw fabric and a designer garment created from this.

In the 21st century it is everyone’s responsibility to understand the importance of sustainability and do something about it. This collaboration is a step-in educating the public on the importance of understanding where your clothing is made LISOF CEO, Shana Rosenthal says that LISOF’s Reengineered Denim project wants to place the sustainability of fashion in the limelight. “LISOF has made it its mission to educate consumers on reengineered fashion. Just because you bought a jacket or pair of denim pants last year, doesn’t mean it can’t be this season upcycled denim reengineered designer must have garment.”

The months of hard work by our design team at LISOF Adriaan van Dyk and Balki Yaheda paid off when the finalists took the ramp on the night of the show. The crowd cheered, the ladies strutted and we were so proud of the designs, the hard work that went into this project and the topic of sustainably that was at the for front of the conversation.

Journey of ‘The Future Consumer’

posted on November 9th, 2017 by LISOF

by Artho Eksteen


Fashion and trends are two totally intertwined concepts that are impossible to function without the integral link between them. Trends are repeatedly influencing the fashion industry, while the fashion industry is simultaneously creating and amplifying new trends. This is not just applicable for the fashion industry but also other creative fields or companies wishing to establish a brand with impact, resonance and relevance.

WGSN is one of the leading trend establishments in the world. They combine cutting edge technology with the creativeness of the human mind to capture and make available deep insights into the passionate creative world. The WGSN conference “The Future Consumer” held in Cape Town on 9 November 2017,  continued to build on this reputation and provided a great opportunity to listen, learn, reflect and engage.

The WGSN speakers provided a global insight on how to adapt your brand to attract the future consumer. The conference featured a mix of international and local speakers, each with their unique perspective. Andrea Bell and Lisa White from WGSN discussed ideas such as emotions, how to implement this into your brand and how this is taking effect on a global scale.


The local guest speakers included Duncan McLennan and Michael Leslie from the Cape Town based creative agency ANDPEOPLE, and Brain Mtongana from Woolworths provided insight on the future of the South African brand and consumer. Other guest included multimedia and visual artist Trevor Stuurman and head of collaboration from Adidas, Luceny Fofana.

Ample networking opportunities were created, taking place on the rooftop venue overlooking the trendy Cape Town city center. With attendees from across South Africa working in a variety of creative industries provided excellent networking opportunities and insight into the fashion and other creative industries within South Africa.

The WGSN conference created the opportunity to experience WGSN from a fresh perspective, other than the already excellent interaction from behind a computer screen that many in the fashion business cherish already. More importantly, meeting the people behind the research and platform exposed the human side of the agency and provided a more enriching and personal interaction. This conference was an outstanding learning platform for any individual wishing to be a part of the fashion and other creative industries today, but, more importantly, tomorrow.



Key takeaway: “We live in an everchanging world. Making sense of this all and understanding trends shaping the future are necessities to make an impact now and in the future.


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