How this prestigious fashion school has been adapting to uncertain times

05 March 2021 - 15:33
A Rich Mnisi piece on the runway.
A Rich Mnisi piece on the runway.
Image: Eunice Driver Photography

Taking on a career in fashion can be daunting, but a beacon of light stands at one fashion institution that has made a number of changes over the past year. The London International School of Fashion, known as Lisof, has merged with investment company Stadio Holdings.

No strangers to the education sector, Stadio has Prestige Academy and Africa Film Drama Art, known as AFDA, under its belt. The company paved the way for distance, contact and blended learning, which have become more relevant in the past year.

Stadio and Lisof have come together to create the Stadio Faculty of Arts and Design.

“From an academic standpoint students will not just be looking to expand to one side of fashion; they can move between the different schools,” said head of school Maryne Steenekamp.

With Lisof’s 27-year history, the Stadio Faculty of Arts and Design stands as the only fashion institution in SA to have the green light from the British Accreditation Council (BAC). Alumni include esteemed designers Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu. The alumni play an integral part in keeping a healthy fashion ecosystem alive through a number of opportunities that have allowed students to notch up experience outside the lecture room.

Executive head of arts and design at Stadio Leonardo Snyman said it has taken a new approach to learning models. Students went into a hard lockdown last year, a difficult transition for a school that relies heavily on contact-learning opportunities.

“If we get a hybrid learning model right it will be the future of education,” said Snyman. The school is carefully considering moving away from traditional teaching by incorporating technology-based learning approaches.

Another element of Stadio that has had to adapt to the times is crafting a new platform for its fashion shows, which will now exist online.

Snyman said having the show online will allow them to expose their students to a bigger audience, as well as enable them to use technology to visually communicate the creative learning process.

Stadio’s new site will launch in March with a fashion showcase from its students and a panel of renowned judges, including musician Tamara Dey, TV presenter Lala Hirayama and fashion designer Jacques Bam.

• Visit Stadio's website for more information if follow them on Instagram @stadio_design 


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