Luxury labels and Fast-fashion

Luxury labels and Fast-fashion

Alyssa Dana Adomaitis

Department of Business/College of Professional Studies

MKT 1246: Textiles

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Students are required to compare and contrast a garment made prior to the fast-fashion (1980) era and in the fast-fashion (2000) era. The dichotomy of quality between luxury (designer, pre-fast-fashion) labels and fast-fashion labels produce different aesthetic attributes yet both are viewed as fashion. The quality must be tangible for students to experiment in order to truly understand the underlying significance about luxurious fashion and fast-fashion. By identifying extrinsic and intrinsic characteristics in a garment, students will conduct an analysis of the detail physical features and functional aspects of the garment.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

Fashion quality is important for apparel and textiles professionals to understand. It is difficult to teach considering the prominence of fast fashion retailers, such as H&M and Zara around the city and accesible to students. Given student’s lack of experience with quality textiles, formulating teaching/learning exercise that start with this knowledge is important. Building knowledge from existing knowledge (constructivism approach) to teach has been used in apparel and textiles courses (Yaoyuneyon & Thornton, 2011) and has been found to increase student motivation and learning. Apparel and textiles instructors have been particularly interested in constructivism in the form of problem-based learning by bringing in industry-based problems to fashion application courses (Gam and Bannin, 2011).

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

Several steps will be taken to ensure the class will compare and contrast the garments in an appropraite manner. The first step is to introduce the two garments without labels to students so no extended inferences (judgements) can be made. The first garment will be a St. John’s knit (SJK), which was made prior to the availability fast-fashion (1980s). St. John’s Knits (SJK) are high-quality and fit well (Eng, 2013), currently retailing for approximately $795 – $1095 (Online shop, 2014). The second garment will be purchased at H&M, which is a retailer known for fashion forward garments but of low quality (Dowling, 2012), retailing for approximately $9.99 to $49.99 (Ladies Online, 2014). The garments, of St. John’s and H&M label, that will be compared by students will be similar in fabric (knits), style (top and skirt), and end use (professional setting). The analysis will have students detail physical features (that are tangible) and the aesthetic and functional aspects of each garment. For the second step, students will complete a quality analyses questionnaire with open-ended questions to prompt comparison, including questions, such as (a) Which of the garments’ textiles do you think is higher quality and why? In the third step, studentswill be asked to discuss their findings as a group consisting of two students before posting on Open-lab.

The last step, step four, the instructor will inform the students the era of each garment (pre/post-fast fashion) and the label information on each garment and check with their respective postings. The instructor will then introduce a mini-lecture on the topic of Fast Fashion. Subsequently, students will be prompted to discuss the impact of fast fashion on the quality of textiles and the fashion industry.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The preparation needed forthis teaching/learning exercise was to assess students’ existing knowledge in a pre-survey questionairre which included: 1) To identify as many physical and performance properties of textiles for apparel that come to mind (i.e., durability, elasticity, flexibility) as learned in class lecture and 2) How do you as a students classify garments prior to or after the development of fast fashion? The pre-activity survey will ask questions to address the second objective to compare and contrast previous knowledge qulaity garments and fast fashion and quality amongst each other to post in Open Lab (1) Definition of quality apparel and fast-fashion apparel, (2) Aside from appearance, what garment features most impact decisions to descibe it as designer, pre-fast-fashion or as fast-fashion garment

High-Impact Educational Practices: Which of these practices based on George Kuh’s High Impact Educational Practices (and other innovative approaches) does this activity incorporate? Choose all that apply.

Learning communities, Diversity and global learning (“difficult differences”)

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These could be in the form of PDF or Word files, links to posts or files on the OpenLab, etc.

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