Jacquee Leahy

Fashion Marketing & Management

Faculty, Fashion Marketing and Management
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Jacquee Leahy

Creatives must find a way to work fast and efficient as the fashion industry will not accept less. Jacquee Leahy , Faculty, Fashion Marketing and Management , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I knew I wanted to become a fashion designer at the age of 17. I was extremely influenced by the luxury fabrication and workmanship exhibited in the work of Claude Montana, Giorgio Armani and Christian Lacroix.

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?

By setting tight deadlines that reflect the pace of the fashion industry, by bringing in resources that are used in current apparel companies. I spend a lot of time talking about the opportunities in the fashion industry.

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?

My approach to teaching the students is two-fold. I demonstrate techniques that are still applied in the industry today and I ask my students to work in a scaffolding way. They build on the techniques week to week and much inspiration comes from each other in the classroom.

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

Collaboration is essential in building a successful entry-level professional. When working in groups, I like to set roles and responsibilities—the same idea as a job posting.


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?

Creatives need to be open minded to learning. Creatives need to be willing to play with the techniques they are using in projects. Creatives must find a way to work fast and efficient as the fashion industry will not accept less. 
My critical advice would be to be willing to fail and learn from those failures, drop your pre-conceived notions of what is design and realize that no one person knows everything.