Introduce public relations in fashion education

Public Relations has played a primary role in the business of fashion and how fashion brands have evolved overtime. It has also help them gain entry onto various media channels which has intensified with the advent of social media.

At the recent edition of “In Style Series” held by Dreams College of Creative Arts (DCCA), I had the opportunity to speak to fashion students and reiterate the importance of PR in the development and growth of fashion brands.

The discussion around the “Essence of PR in Fashion” falls under the schools’ Fashion Law, Media and Production course which is aimed at educating students on other aspects of fashion beyond garment designing.

Dr. Clement Asemrenya, President of DCCA at the talk series explained why he decided to introduce Fashion PR in his course syllabus saying “There was a time when I thought all that mattered in fashion was the designing of cloths. But I have discovered that PR is an essential part of the fashion industry. In fact, it is necessary across all industries in order for a company or organization to become successful and the fashion industry is no exception”

He adds that, “Fashion Education is meant to prepare students for life after school. Understanding the business aspect of the profession is as essential as the garment design process. PR knowledge in Fashion education enables emerging designers to understand how to build their brands, be equipped to make the necessary day to day decisions that can help their brands break through the international world”

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I couldn’t agree better as PR’s role in today’s brand growth is undisputed. From large brands to emerging brands, PR needs to be part of the process from the beginning. It helps emerging designers to get things right and build a solid foundation for the brand to grow on.

The basic understanding of Public Relations is the management of a brands reputation and building mutually beneficial relationships. With that said, fashion brands are no exceptions when it comes to building reputable brands. Mind you the fashion industry is worth millions of dollars with so many other brands competing for almost the same kind of customer base. You need to create brands that are authentic, that have a unique story and one that people can connect with. This is achievable when students have a good understanding that what they produce, say and wear all works to create a brand.

In the event emerging designers can’t afford the services of a PR representative or agency to manage its PR needs, it becomes feasible to do it yourself because of the education and understanding you have acquired about its importance.

Doing it yourself includes ensuring that you understand the business side of the industry you are in. Know your product inside out and able to speak to it. Have a story and craft your messages in a unique way that people can connect with. Identify what your target market is and how to reach them. Which media platforms are best to reach these targets. Understanding all these helps you create a recognizable brand and ready for PR values to take effect on their business when the timing is right and the brand is business ready.

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Adding my voice to this call, I urge fashion institutions to include PR to their syllabus as it helps in adequately preparing students not just in fashion designing but also running successful fashion brands that have distinct signatures and that have the ability to break through international markets.

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