Abstract Summary

Gateway School of Fashion in Association with Karen Millen

The Gateway School of Fashion was opened in 2007 to provide a future in fashion for a young generation affected by both HIV and poverty. Many talented young people in South Africa do not have the opportunity to develop through education. Economic hardship pushes them into unskilled labour early in life and their dreams for the future are forgotten as they struggle to survive. The Gateway School of Fashion gives them the chance to learn new skills and access new opportunities. Using skills to generate an income, support a family and create both wealth and jobs in the local community is one of the most effective ways to create an Africa that is prosperous and self-sufficient. Sustainable livelihoods will no longer be unreachable. The Gateway School of Fashion provides each student with the opportunity to make a difference in their own community by unlocking their creative potential.
The presentation at the Fashion Incubator conference 2011 will demonstrate what has been achieved since 2007 and what further support has been identified to sustain a fashion incubator to continue to the project in providing students with the rigour and business acumen required to succeed in the fashion industry.

Business Profile
Sheelagh Wright MAHPE
Course Leader BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion
University for the Creative Arts (UCA)

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to bring together my love for Fashion, Education and Charity work both in my professional and personal life.

I have been teaching at the University for the Creative Arts (formerly the Kent Institute of Art and Design) for over thirty years. My subject expertise in Fashion encompasses Design, Management and Promotion, having successfully managed a range of courses at Undergraduate level. I was recently presented with the UCA Leadership & Management Award in recognition of this achievement.

I have always been dedicated in working with charities, and since 2007 I have focused this commitment on a UK based charity – HOPEHIV, in partnership with one of my first students, fashion entrepreneur Karen Millen. My role as project director for the Gateway School of Fashion was to set up a fashion school in South Africa, involving fundraising, establishing networks for funding, curriculum development, recruitment and training of staff, project management and evaluation. This project was professionally recognised by being awarded The Times Higher Award in Excellence & Innovation in the Arts in 2009.

I have continued to work within the fashion industry, where I have consulted with both small and large businesses, giving me a practical and current knowledge of the marketplace.

4th International Fashion Incubators Conference : 21-25 October 2013
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