While the fashion world is signified by the beauty of creation and innovation, many first year AMFI students are weighed down by the unglamorous backside of the industry – the enormous, ever accelerating machinery pushing the industry forward with one goal: to make money.
The process from design to a final garment is a long, expensive one which is highly sensitive. How do you create a budget and project timeframe, and how do you keep them? How do sustainability, politics and human rights affect the production? To understand the backside of the fashion world students have to undertake the Theoretical Backbone (TBB), two theoretical courses in their first year at AMFI explaining the fashion industry as a business.
Many students start at AMFI with knowledge of a brand’s signature design, but lack insight into the full picture behind that brand. For example, they often will not know or overlook such information as who owns the brand, what their financial situation is and how this will affect what we will see on the catwalk. As a student starting to investigate the fashion industry from a business perspective, a whole new world with stock trading, lawsuits and multinational conglomerates is opened up. To understand such movements in the industry is pivotal for a successful working life after graduation, and TBB is your induction.
The pressure to excel at AMFI can be high and takes some time to adjust to. The TBB’s can maybe seem far from the “Reality School” norm of AMFI, but the courses consists of lectures, film and literature which keeps them interactive and interesting. In your second year the TBB’s take a turn towards culture and fashion strategies, taking you as an AMFI student even further in your understanding of the industry. All TBB’s are demanding, but in the long run you start to see how the puzzle fits together.
Unfortunately, to study the theory behind a range plan and various shipping methods can seem like an inconvenience, distracting you from project deadlines, but when the first year is through, many AMFI students see the TBB course as being a key part of their education.
Image: Elia van Bergh, 2nd year International Design student.