Fashion Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Dallas, a campus of South University
No matter what career you pursue, respect is key to success. Deepa Ganguly , Fashion Design Instructor
, The Art Institute of Dallas, a campus of South University
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
As a child, I designed my own clothes. Eventually my mom's friends started to pay for my designs. I earned a scholarship to the premiere fashion design institute in India— but I had a science scholarship too, and my parents wanted me to get a degree in microbiology. It took a lot of effort to convince my parents [to allow me to attend design school]! I have no doubt that teaching fashion was my destiny.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I’ve worked in the fashion industry in a creative capacity, as well as in manufacturing, and I’ve owned and operated an evening and bridal wear shop. I’ve seen the fashion industry change along with technology. Fabrics have become more interesting and design has become more practical. I make sure to keep my students current with the industry, stressing that innovation is the key to success and that opportunities are endless.
How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I don’t believe in just imparting knowledge, but in molding students and their personalities. I hope I inspire them to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits at all times—to not only be knowledgeable, but to be better individuals.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
Collaboration between students from different programs yields a more complete perspective. Every quarter, we host a fashion show called “Inspire” that showcases student collections. While the garments shown are designed and constructed by Fashion Design students, the graphics are planned by Graphic Design students. Photography students take pictures, video students take care of the music and videos, and so forth. Working together, combining all their talents, they make the event a success.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
No matter what career you pursue, respect is key to success. We must respect ourselves, our work, our ambition, and our dreams. Respect brings hard work, dedication and perseverance, as well as kindness, acceptance, fairness, and people skills.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Our Fashion Design department is a family. The entire industry is a family. We work together toward a mutual goal, and I’m extremely fortunate to be part of this family.