Students at the College for Creative Studies will soon be able to study the design of fashion accessories thanks to a new collaboration between the school and Shinola, the watchmaker, bicycle manufacturer, and home furnishings company based inside the college’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education at Second and Milwaukee in Detroit’s New Center.
The two entities are developing the curriculum for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, which will educate students in the creation, design, and manufacture of consumer goods, including handbags, leather goods, accessories hardware, and footwear.
In addition to a strong focus on creativity and design excellence, the program will cover topics such as trends forecasting and market research; fabrication techniques from handwork to large-scale manufacturing; supply chain management; branding; marketing; and merchandising.
In addition to providing scholarships, Shinola will also offer students various opportunities for first-hand industry experience and guidance.
The four-year program — expected to launch in the fall of 2015 — is one of the few in its kind in the country, say school officials. As such, it has received support from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and has an advisory council representing a broad cross-section of industry professionals.
Shinola’s Jen Guarino and Tom Kartsotis will both sit on the program’s advisory council along with Francesca Amfitheatrof (Tiffany & Co.); Lauren Bush Lauren (Lauren Pierce Atelier); Linda Dresner (Birmingham-based Linda Dresner); Catherine Forbes (The Forbes Co./Somerset Collection); Heather Joyce-Velez (Target.com); and Ashley Olsen (Dualstar Entertainment Group).