DECA and FIDM partner for fashion challenge

November 22, 2015 — by Stephen Ding and Caitlin Ju

In the challenge, participants forecast a fashion trend for the fall and winter seasons.

Looking to expand their club and involve their members in a greater variety of competitions, Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) presidents Nidhi Jain, Naman Sajwan and Saya Sivaram have partnered with the school’s FIDM Fashion Club for the sixth annual 2016 international DECA-led Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) challenge.

In the challenge, participants forecast a fashion trend for the fall and winter seasons. The registration deadline for the challenge is Feb. 5.

Participants in the challenge form teams of three to create an outfit that portrays the trend that they are predicting. Each team must explain the reason behind their chosen outfit and post a 4-minute presentation on YouTube for evaluation by FIDM executives and instructors.

What makes the challenge especially difficult is the $20 spending limit on the making of an outfit, but teams may also use clothes from their closets without adding to their spending.

Currently there is one DECA team that is certain it will be participating, but more teams may join later on. The DECA team has not started working on their project yet, but once it begins, it will work under the guidance of the DECA presidents.

FIDM Fashion Club president Manna Okada is unsure of how many teams will participate from her club but sees this competition as a great opportunity for her members to combine their fashion and business skills.

“When we first started the club, one of our goals was to collaborate with other clubs,” Okada said. “[There is] a stereotype that fashion is all about fashion design and making clothes, but this challenge shows that there is a business side of fashion. It’s not just 100 percent creativity; there are business tactics, and it's really important too.”

Sajwan believes this challenge will help both DECA and the FIDM Fashion Club to expand.

“We hope to instill some business values within [the FIDM club members],” Sajwan said. “We hope the partnership does build some values of business, entrepreneurship and innovation, especially with the $20 budget incorporation.”

Additionally, Sajwan views the fashion challenge as an “unique” opportunity for DECA to further its outreach.

“The fashion industry is something which people do take an interest in, but they don’t really get a chance to see how it actually functions,” Sajwan said.

The top three international teams, which will be announced March 9, will be recognized on stage at DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, Tenn. The No. 1 team will be given a travel stipend to attend DECA’s ICDC from April 23-26, again in Nashville.

Sajwan recommends that participants take advantage of this competition and its relation to fashion.

“This competition is ideal for those who seek potential throughout the fashion industry and seek something fun to do in general,” Sajwan said.

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