This profile of a fashion designing competition will focus on the Passion for Fashion competition sponsored by The Art Institutes. With schools located throughout North America, this contest is an ideal way for high school seniors to get a jump on a top-notch education in the fashion industry. Recently, LoveToKnow was able to interview Bruce Dempsey, Assistant Vice President of The Art Institutes and overseer of Fashion Programs. Take a look at what he had to say.
Profile of a Fashion Designing Competition: Passion for Fashion
What is the Passion for Fashion competition?
Bruce Dempsey: Passion for Fashion is an admissions-based competition open to high school seniors across North America. The competition was created to encourage and reward young fashion design and fashion marketing, merchandising and retail management talent at the high school level.
The competition began three years ago as an idea that came from sitting around the conference room table talking about the incredible growth in the fashion and retail industries. The fashion programs at The Art Institutes were growing; graduates were being placed in both fashion design and retail industries. These two areas were growing in high schools throughout the U.S., and at The Art Institutes we decided that we wanted to recognize and reward fashion talent at the high school level.
Who is eligible?
BD: To be eligible, students must be a senior in high school and set to graduate in 2008, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students must complete an entry form, write a short essay describing their interest in fashion and submit a finished, originally designed evening wear garment and process book for the Fashion Design category or create a product or plan for the Fashion Marketing, Merchandising and Retail Management category. Students may submit only one entry.
The entry form can be downloaded at Passion for Fashion. Applicants should mail their package with all application materials to the Art Institute location where he or she would like to enter the competition and plans to attend after the competition.
There are 36 Art Institutes locations throughout North America. Currently 27 of these locations offer a fashion program. These schools are listed on the brochure.
Last year there were more than 250 high school students from throughout the United States and Canada who submitted entries.
What takes place at the competition?
BD: Once students receive the competition guidelines, they submit their entry to the Art Institute of their choice. At the local Art Institute, the Fashion Program Director and faculty work with local fashion professionals who will judge the entries, choosing one each from the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and Retail Management categories.
Those first place winning entries are sent to New York City where they are judged on the national level by New York fashion designers and retail professionals. Judging is based on the guidelines of the competition: design, creativity, the process book, craftsmanship and the like.
The Art Institutes offer both Associate and Baccalaureate programs. The winners of the competition receive a scholarship for the Baccalaureate program. If this is not offered at the school of the winner's choice, the winner will receive a scholarship for the Associate degree.
How can high schoolers prepare themselves for a career in fashion?
BD: High school students should take advantage of any and all fashion and retail related courses offered by their school. Students should also be in a college preparatory program. Additionally, they should be creative, design-oriented and have an interest in fashion.
Once enrolled in a fashion program, students can expect courses such as sewing, design, pattern making and design, accessory design, retail marketing, buying and visual merchandising.
At this point, all fashion industry careers are in high demand. The retail and fashion industries have grown considerably with the onset of catalog and online retailers.
What are You Waiting For?
Has this profile of a fashion designing competition gotten you excited about the possibilities for your future? If you are a high school senior with an interest in fashion, now is the time to enter the Passion for Fashion competition. You can't win if you don't try. Deadline for entries is November 19, 2007.
Winners not only receive a full scholarship to The Art Institutes school of their choice, but they also get an all expense paid trip to New York City in February 2008 for Fashion Week as a "meet and greet" at Seventeen magazine's main offices. So, what are you waiting for?
LoveToKnow would like to thank Mr. Bruce Dempsey of The Art Institutes for taking the time to do this interview.