Fashion Marketing & Management
Fashion Marketing & Management Instructor
The Art Institute of Atlanta
I want my students to be prepared to take on their roles as skilled business leaders with transferable skills that could serve them in fashion or outside of it. Steven Tanner , Fashion Marketing & Management Instructor , The Art Institute of Atlanta
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
I have always known that I would never be happy without some creative. I chose theatre as my college major and there began to follow Uta Hagen’s premise that clothes (or props) help to define a particular character or mood. That shaped my belief that our clothes can change our perceptions and, thereby, us.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
Each day I work to transform our fashion students into fashion professionals. I want our students to learn about all of the various levels within the industry so that they can better determine which area is right for them. We discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of each so that they are able to recognize and to avoid potential pitfalls while capitalizing on critical opportunities. Most of all, I want my students to be prepared to take on their roles as skilled business leaders with transferrable skills that could serve them in fashion or outside of it.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
The Portfolio I & II projects require students to build, augment, and brand a business associated with the fashion and retail industry. In this project, I make sure to create an interactive environment where they can build and critique with the entire class. This helps them to promote a sense of community, which is critical. It also establishes the foundation for a solid senior presentation.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?
Teams are vital to success in contemporary business. In fact, a business that does not use an inclusive, team-driven approach is already creating a disadvantage for itself. Learning to collaborate creatively helps to ensure students will thrive in this contemporary business atmosphere.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Always be mindful that your outlook and your quality of work are sending a message to others: they’ll either want to be like you, exemplify you, or avoid you. Deciding what you represent, what your approval is worth, how you will be perceived is critical to success.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Setbacks happen to everyone, but you can choose to make the most out of them. Failure is a great teacher if we are willing to learn from it.
I’m deeply involved in setting my students up for success. Which is why I currently serve as Chair for the Admissions Committee and am a member of the Faculty Development Committee.