Miranda Elise

Fashion Marketing & Management

Adjunct Professor, Fashion & Retail Management
The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

Miranda Elise

Be you, be humble, be open, and stand out! Miranda Elise , Adjunct Professor, Fashion & Retail Management , The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I always remember being creative. When I was very young, 5 or 6, I loved to pick out my outfit for the day and set out my clothes on my bed for the next day. I loved changing my clothes out seasonally even though I lived in south Texas where there was only one. My parents allowed me to be very creative in what I wore and always applauded my individuality. That stayed with me as I grew up and so did the love of fashion! When I graduated from high school I had the opportunity to become an assistant buyer for a large clothing brand. It was while working at that job that I realized, not only did I love fashion, but I loved the business of fashion. I loved the number side and the logistics of getting a line out to market. It was there that I decided what I wanted to do with my life. And the rest is history!

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I truly believe you learn by doing. So, I incorporate real-world scenarios as much as possible in my teaching. I also have the students get involved in class. I ask many “what if” and “why” questions. I also stress how important it is to keep up with the latest news in our industry. Knowledge = Power.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I have students create their own brand to represent who they are as people. Then, I incorporate industry knowledge and subject matter to help them create a marketing plan for a product they then create, brand, and manufacture.

I try to get them to do something they either have no previous knowledge of or something that seems beyond reach. It allows them to see anything is possible with hard work, commitment, creativity and a little luck.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration is vital in every aspect of your life, personally and professionally. It is only through collaboration that you get a clear and non-biased understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. 

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

Stay humble and always look at things from somebody else’s perspective. There are a million people that want to succeed in fashion. Be you, be humble, be open, and stand out!