Instructor Holly Mosher Brings International Retail Acclaim and Experience to Ai Michigan
With nearly two decades of professional experience, Adjunct Professor Holly Mosher at The Art Institute of Michigan is passionate about her work in retail and fashion, and her expertise has not gone unnoticed.
Earlier this year, Mosher attended the 2017 International Conference on Textile and Clothing - Present and Future Trends in India, where she presented and received an award for her paper entitled "Introducing the American Wholesale Merchandising Market".
“The conference was really interesting, and I met people from all over the world who specialize in textiles—all the way from Hong Kong to Czech Republic. The topics discussed ranged from fiber development, merchandising strategies, CAD, and product development,” she says. “I was most excited to hear about the new development of fibers and features. Some of the brands in the US could really benefit from the new technology coming in fibers.”
Professionally, Mosher’s experience has been diverse—including developing business plans, purchasing goods, hands-on sales, supervising personnel, and controlling inventory and scheduling—work that has made her no stranger to domestic and international travel for fashion markets and trade shows.
As for education, Mosher first began teaching part-time while in grad school and pursuing her master’s degree in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising. At that time, she’d already worked in the retail industry for several years, and was enthusiastic about the chance to share her knowledge and experience in the classroom. Yet, she had no idea that this opportunity would evolve into a full-time career. “I ended up loving it,” she says. “I am very fortunate. I really enjoy working with my students.”
Since 2010, Mosher has been an Adjunct Professor at Ai Michigan, where her courses focus on the analytical and business side of fashion. “Retail Math, Retail Buying, and Merchandise Management are my specialty,” she explains. “My background in the retail industry involves being a former department store buyer for many years.”
For Mosher, staying alert to the evolution of retail is key to being a successful educator. To ensure that she and her students are always up-to-date on the latest trends, Mosher regularly attends fashion week and retail events like MAGIC. “In this industry, it is so important to stay current, and it is nice to have my connections and still be able to share those with my students.”
Mosher also believes in the importance of students getting to practice what they learn in the classroom in a real workplace setting.
“My Ai students work in the Metro Michigan Womenswear Market five times a year for internships. They get to work with Chicago reps and sell to local wholesale buyers. This gives them great hands-on fashion industry experience,” explains Mosher, who will also be taking several students with her on a trip to experience the California buying market in several weeks. “I am so happy to give them real-world practical experience.”
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