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CCAD Fashion Design students create look books for Madison-USA

Fashion Design students at Columbus College of Art & Design recently created a look book for Madison-USA, a lifestyle boutique based in Columbus that emphasizes exclusive product collaborations and limited-edition items.

Sixteen Fashion Design students in the Fashion Professional Practice course at Columbus College of Art & Design styled, designed, and produced the look book, which will make its debut at a launch party at the Short North store on Dec. 12, 2019. The party will also celebrate the winning look book design, which will be chosen by industry professionals and experts at Madison-USA and earn print publication.

The project kicked off on Nov. 12, 2019, in the Madison-USA Columbus location. Students learned about Madison-USA’s story, brand, customer and key demographic (specifically, young adults), and approach to influence their decisions for their look books. From there, they were divided into four teams of four, with specific roles adopted by each student on a team—a lead coordinator, a stylist, an editor, and a marketing and graphic designer.

The objective of the class was to establish professional skills that are key to succeed in the fashion industry, says Assistant Professor Audrey Nicolas, who taught the course. Among the skills the project helped hone are team collaboration, time management, project planning, networking, and interviewing. It also provided an opportunity for students to get their work in front of potential future professional collaborators and create a major portfolio piece to use as they apply for internships and jobs.

“It is important as a professor who comes from the industry to give access and opportunity to students to live the experience of collaborating with a local business and put into practice all the professional skills and habits they have been developing during the semester,”

Audrey Nicolas Assistant Professor
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In class, students learned tips for conducting a successful photo shoot from a professional visiting photographer, but the time crunch—they only three weeks from concept to contest deadline—was indicative of what they’ll be up against when they aren’t working on a class assignment. That time crunch was put in place on purpose.

“To create a look book in such a short timeline, they have to think outside of the box, collaborate with their own team and other teams, and be resourceful in scouting models, photographers, and contact locations,” Nicolas says. “This is also another way of networking and being out of their comfort zone. On this project, I challenged them to be immersed in the customer’s mindset, but also to be visionary in their approach and aesthetic creating this look book.”

Watching the teams work together to create a compelling visual story that sells a lifestyle and a brand—not just an item of clothing—has been wonderful, Nicolas says.

“I have been discovering secret talents that some of our students have,” she adds. “Seeing them taking on leadership roles within their team or motivating their classmates in stressful situations has been very positive… It is very inspiring for the students to be immersed in the culture and lifestyle of Madison-USA and to bring their own vision and creativity creating a look book.

CCAD Prepares Students For Careers

You can find our alumni using their creative skills in small businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofits, and even in such fields as banking, healthcare, and insurance.