Fashion Design Instructor
Miami International University of Art & Design
The better a problem-solver you are, the more successful you'll be. Saul Kapilivsky , Fashion Design Instructor , Miami International University of Art & Design
I’ve been creative all my life. As long as I remember, I’ve taken some type of visual arts class...ceramics, pottery, sculpture, waving, watercolor, or oil painting. My first degree was in graphic design, but a wakeup call brought me into fashion. My family was in the fashion manufacturing business in the country I come from. A political situation there forced my sister and her family to leave, so she asked me to step in and help keep her factory running. That exposure made me fall in love with fashion. As soon as I finished my design degree, I came to the U.S. to study fashion. It's become my career, my life, and my passion.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I always bring my personal experiences as a fashion professional into the classroom. My 30 years as a fashion designer have given me many industry-related stories to share that with my students—I can’t teach unless I practice what I preach.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
In my classroom, we’re all members of a fashion design team, making beautiful designs that people actually buy and wear. In Fashion Design I, the final project is designing a mini collection for a specific set of customers. The project encompasses mood and inspiration, fabrics, trims, color palette, fully rendered lineup illustrations, and technical flat sketches...same steps professional designers in the industry follow for their collections.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
I can nurture skills, I can share experiences, but students have to put them into practice in the real world. To become a successful designer, learn all the business aspects, not just design and production.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
As a designer, you need to wear many hats and be resourceful. And the better a problem-solver you are, the more successful you’ll be.