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Fashion in Flux - So You Want To Work In Fashion?


This last year has been a ‘game changer’ for the fashion industry in a lot of ways. So we want to know… “What are the next steps when Fashion is in Flux?”

So You Want To Work In Fashion?

Friday, January 29, 2021

12:00 PM Central

Designers are the most visible part of the fashion industry, but there are a variety of jobs to be had. What opportunities are there? What is projected to be needed in the near future? How many hats does a designer entrepreneur really end up wearing?


Melissa Gamble

Melissa is an Assistant Professor in the Fashion Studies Department. Melissa teaches courses such as Trendspotting, Law for Creatives: Fashion, and Professional Practice. She also has written and presented in the areas of cultural appropriation and the changing power structures in the fashion industry, professional development, and experiential learning at corporate conferences such as Degreed LENS and at academic conferences such as the DesignEd Asia Conference at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Melissa's industry background includes serving as the Director of Fashion Arts and Events for the City of Chicago, executive producer for the city's fashion week, and developing and launching the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Driehaus Design Initiative, the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's on State Street, and the Executive Committee of the Chicago History Museum’s Costume Council.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University and a Juris Doctor from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law: Indiana University. After practicing law for seven years, Melissa returned to school and obtained a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Fashion Marketing and Management from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago.

Jamie Hayes

Based in Chicago, Jamie Hayes’ interests lie at the intersection of fashion, art, labor, and identity. Her approach is both collaborative and customized. Her approach is both collaborative and customized. She believes that clothes should fit one’s body (not the other way around); that people should wear what flatters and interests them rather than what someone else dictates is fashionable; that style is a form of self-expression; and that everyone in the chain of production of clothing should be paid a living wage. She has explored these topics through her academic studies, earning a B.A. from Washington University in English Literature, a B.A. from Columbia College in Fashion Design, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago.

She has worked in the fashion industry since 1999, and in the field of immigrant and labor rights since 2009. Her recent work merges these two paths: she has designed for fair trade organizations including SERRV, Intercrafts Peru, and Threads of Yunnan, and has volunteered as a Campaign Leader for Chicago Fair Trade, helping to pass an ordinance mandating that apparel procured by the City of Chicago be sweatshop-free. She is the owner and designer of an ethically made line of clothing for men and women called Production Mode and also co-designs a line of luxury slow fashion lingerie and nightwear, Department of Curiosities.


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