The College for Creative Studies in Detroit’s Midtown district has appointed footwear and accessories designer Aki Choklat as the chair of its fashion accessories design program, which launches this month.
“Fashion accessories represents billions in revenue annually and is a segment that continues to grow, yet there are few institutions in the United States preparing the next generations of accessories designers,” Choklat says. “CCS is one of few schools taking notice, and with their rich history and excellence in product design and crafts disciplines, as well as strong industry partnerships, it’s a wonderful place to give young fashion accessories designers the platform they need for future success.”
Choklat directs his own London-based label of shoes, handbags, and accessories. He created one of the world’s first bags that links to the customer’s smartphone, so customers can locate their handbag if it was lost or stolen. Choklat has designed a capsule footwear collection for the London-based menswear brand Diverso and has consulted with brands like the Finnish footwear heritage brand Lahtiset.
Choklat helped establish and lead the footwear and accessories master program at Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing in Italy and has taught at the London College of Fashion and De Montfort University.
The new Fashion Accessories Design program was developed in collaboration with Detroit-based Shinola with input from the Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., and an advisory council. The council members include Detroit native and fashion designer John Varvatos; Tom Kartsotis, the founder of Shinola; and Francesca Amfitheatrof, the design director of Tiffany & Co., among others.