By Christine Onwuachumba
Zaris and Style Fashion Academy, one of the top fashion schools in Nigeria, recently reinforced its image as trailblazer in the sector with the inauguration of its alumni last month.
The event held in Lagos, and drew a lot of young and thriving designers who passed through the institute’s training.
According to Tessy Jibodu, Zaris’ Chief Operating Officer, the fashion school in its six years of existence has graduated over 400 students. “We decided to get everybody together and have an alumni-like body where they share their ideas about moving the fashion industry forward,” she said.
The Zaris Alumni, with intention to make impact on the fashion industry, brought together fashion professionals of like minds to share opinions on how to thrive in the industry.
To achieve this, the alumni will organize targeted trainings, symposiums and events and partner with fashion bodies within Nigeria and beyond on specific fashion causes with the aim of impacting positively on its members.
Jibodu hailed the coming of the alumni a welcome development: ” I found it a great development. I have them already graduating from the school, get them together and try and make the best out of them,” she enthused.
She said further: “Since it is a Zaris vision to see young creative Nigerians achieving their aims after training them, it means that we can still lead them more. That is what gave birth to the idea.”
John Pelumi, pioneer president of the alumni, selected based on highest nomination declared his intention to strengthen the alumni “by running the association based on love and fairness and remember love is a game of sacrifice.”
The importance of having such a platform, according to him is “because no single person brings about any strong change without the input and contribution of others on issues and projects that positively affects us all as designers.”
Graduates of Zaris academy are by default part of the alumni. By the inauguration, the alumni has recorded 200 registered members. According to Pelumi, the feat was due to Zaris’ culture of maintaining contact with its graduates by emails and whatsapp and maintained a directory for all past students which makes for easy tracking.
The new president of the alumni further highlighted the benefit it holds for members.
“We have people who have soared very high in the fashion industry who have participated in many shows and even outside the shores of Nigeria,” he said. “[Zaris] is a place we have people who have finished and are going to impart their own knowledge onto those that are just graduating.”