14 April 2016
by Jacob de Munnik
The Fasion Education Forum (FEF) in Almaty, Kazakhstan took place on 19th March and hosted four teachters from different UK fashion and design schools to give lectures and workshops about fashion education in the UK. FEF is a platform where professionals from the industry can discuss the current situation in fashion education in Kazakhstan and exchange knowledge with UK colleagues.
During the lectures emerging designers and potential students were informed about the current fashion climate in the UK and the possibilities of different fashion courses in the UK. The workshops were aimed to create a dialogue and give personal advice about topics such as preparing a portfolio or doing research.
The lectures and workshops were divided in different strands that are apparent in the fashion industry nowadays: Fashion Design, Pattern Cutting and Garment Technology, Fashion Communication, Fashion Business & Management and Fashion Buying and Merchandising.
The fashion system in Kazakhstan is still developing. Retail is the only part of the system with an advanced structure, while many other sides of the industry are still establishing themselves, such as an education sector with postgraduate programmes, design professionals and fashion media. Some parts of which do not yet even exist in Kazakhstan, for example PR and marketing agencies for fashion brands.
Fashion professionals in Kazakhstan have different levels of education and training, many are self- taught and some have trained overseas. Young entrepreneurs and designers have begun to make a bigger impact in the Kazakh market by opening new stores, designing collections and even founding a Fashion Institute; however there is a huge demand for professional knowledge. Due to lack of industry professionals within the local market, young designers can not gain good education to be able to compete with international designers and push the industry for the expansion. FEF aims to fill that gap and provide sector knowledge for local students and emerging designers.
FEF was be delivered with support of Great Challenge Fund and local partners such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Almaty, Kazakhstan Fashion Institute, Aika Alemi Foundation, Symbat Fashion Academy, Zhurgenev Academy of Arts.