North West School of Design (NWSD) has confirmed an international collaboration and trend exchange project, with the Chairman of the fashion merchandising program at Miami International University of Art and Design (MIUAD).  This allows for an exciting exchange of ideas/trends and networking between American and South African Fashion Students.  

This collaboration has been made possible by North West School of Design International Lecturer, Professor Alexis Brouwer:

 “In addition to the students experiencing globalization first hand this will be a tremendous networking opportunity for the students. The students of NWSD and MIUAD are the fashion industry leaders of our future. By developing international collaborations we are empowering students to begin developing their professional network now. Furthermore, we are fueling inspiration and innovation by providing an interactive experience. It is easy to subscribe to trend forecasting websites and gain an understanding of what is happening globally; but being able to establish dialogue from an international perspective is a priceless experience for all students involved in the collaboration.”

Alexis Brouwer, has played a key role in changing South African Fashion Training.  She has been assisting NWSD principal, Marlene Oosthuizen with the development of the Bachelor of Consumer Science: Fashion Management and Communication course, which is the first South African Fashion Degree that only focuses on the fashion side of consumer science.  Alexis joined the North West School of Design’s staff 20 months ago, as international researcher and lecturer and also facilitates international online networking sessions between students and staff of NWSD and various international colleges, retailers, bloggers and designers. Through this, and international collaborations. 

With this collaboration and her involvement in developing SA’s first Global Fashion Management and Communication Course, Alexis sat in motion a series of changes that propelled the NWSD into the ranks of the finest design colleges in the land where fashion teaching is paramount to the changes within the South African and global fashion industry. At the same time, she strengthened the college by creating a legendary course which organizes fashion professionals and leaders across the globe, to guest lecture via Skype and webinars and who contribute to syllabus development. These education initiatives has aided in boosting visibility and quality of training. 

NWSD Fashion Management and Communication students will be working with the trend forecasting class of MIAUD.  The concept that was presented and accepted includes the trend exchange project as phase on of the collaboration which includes, but is not limited to:

  • What’s in Store? Reports, 
  • Windows Reports, 
  • Street Style, 
  • Trend Spotting (Cool Hunting), 
  • Spotlight on Cultural and Ethnic Trends. Miami has a huge swim and accessories market and is influenced by Latin American fashion due to it’s high Hispanic population. South Africa influenced by tribal prints, township styling, couture culture. Globalization vs. Localization (identifying local trends, and global trends…how can these be applied? ) 

Charlene Parsons, the Chairman of the fashion merchandising program at MIUAD shared her excitement with Alexis Brouwer by saying: ” You and I both know how important Globalization is in the fashion industry, and to share this experience with our students will be huge”

North West School of Design has been corresponding and negotiation with a number of international institutes on various aspects of collaboration and globalization of fashion training.  The trend collaboration with MIUAD serves as a fantastic stepping stone and learning experience for NWSD in establishing further international collaborations. NWSD has various short and long term goals in ensuring South African fashion training follows the same paths as international fashion training.   

More about Alexis Brouwer:

She obtained her Masters in Fashion Marketing and Communication at the European Institute of Design in Barcelona and  has also worked with an international retail consultancy and has completed various detailed communication and marketing plans for an European denim brand and various international emerging designers.  Prior to the Masters she spent three years doing Product Development for JC Penney’s at their headquarters in Plano, Texas.  Whilst completing her Bachelors in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising in the USA, she collaborated with the Theatre department to assist in the costume production and specialized textile dyeing techniques, as well as being the preservationist for the university’s collection of historic clothing and pre-Columbian textiles.  Alexis has also worked for Nine West, New York as product development coordinator. Appointed as professor at NWSD,  Alexis is responsible for managing the teaching, research and publications in her department.  She conducts lectures and seminars and performs advanced research in the global fashion fields. Alexis also does consulting and mentoring to emerging designers

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