Chrisa Tatakis

Fashion Marketing & Management

Instructor & Coordinator, Fashion Honors Group
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Fashion Honors Group Instructor & Coordinator Chrisa Tatakis

Do what you love. And remember that hard work really does pay off. Chrisa Tatakis , Instructor & Coordinator, Fashion Honors Group
, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I always knew I wanted to teach. I could never separate my love for fashion from my love for art. To me, they’re one and the same.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

As a former lead designer in women's wear and children's wear, my industry experience covers everything from design, branding, and fabric and textile selection to product development, sourcing, even designing sales catalogs. In this way, I can share my knowledge all across the spectrum, and help guide students along their career path.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I instruct and coordinate the Fashion Honors Group. These students work with real industry professionals, both on and off campus. They produce a fashion show, working with clients and reaching out to designers, models, hair and makeup artists, photographers, and volunteer committees. They supervise hair, makeup, and model fittings, choose runway music, promote the event, dress the models, and rehearse the show. It’s hands-on and real-world, and it’s a valuable experience.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

When we put on a fashion show, we try to get the whole school involved. Fashion students might direct Photography students on the specific look they’re after. We also work with students from Video Production, Graphic Design, and other fields. Collaborating across other programs really helps students strengthen their skills and abilities.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Always be professional in how you present yourself and your work. Aways be on time and meet your deadlines.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

Do what you love and remember that hard work really does pay off.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Inspiring, guiding, and helping students to fulfill their dreams is the best feeling in the world.