Teaching Fashion: Professional Organization Memberships—Part II: Organizations for Professionals Working in the Field

As noted in my previous post, Teaching Fashion:  Professional Organization Memberships—Part I: Research and Teaching Organizations, there are a number of professional organizations within the apparel and related industries.  These organizations offer several benefits to fashion professors:

  1. Connections with local professionals working in the subjects you teach.  These people are wonderful connections for keeping abreast of current industry developments.  They can serve as fantastic resources for field trips and guest speakers.  Discussions of their work may even inspire your next research project.
  2. Educational programs.
  3. Scholarship opportunities your students.
  4. Competitions, contests, and shows you and your students may enter.
  5. Organization website with helpful information such as articles on industry trends, job listings, etc.
  6. Student memberships.

WT intern Melissa Huber has assisted me in locating information about some professional organizations you may consider joining.  This information is divided into two posts.  The first focuses on organizations for those teaching or researching, while the current post focuses on those for professionals working in the field.  Of course, there are overlaps between these categories and both types of organizations can be beneficial to fashion professors.

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists

AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, providing test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for thousands of members in 60 countries throughout the world. Membership benefits include the AATCC Review Journal, searchable article archive, membership database, publication discounts, newsletter, local chapter meetings, interest groups, grants and scholarships, student competitions, buying guides and resources, career site, Facebook, LinkedIn, and twitter groups. Local and national chapter exist.  Membership levels and fees include: Senior $110, Associate $110, Student $34, Corporate $330-$5,280.

Textile Testing Workshop

Association of Sewing and Design Professionals

The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (formerly Professional Association of Custom Clothiers) supports individuals engaged in sewing and design related businesses, in both commercial and home-based settings. Members are involved in professional sewing in a variety of garment sewing specialties, including custom clothing, formal and bridal wear, design, pattern making, tailoring and alterations, accessories, costumes, wearable art, image consulting, production sewing, teaching and other industry-related avenues. Membership benefits include a monthly online newsletter, chapter and national events, client referrals via national website, master certification program participation at discounted rates, vendor discounts, annual Threads Challenge, Members Showcase/Runway show at annual conference, access to sample contracts, business plans, creative links, and other material via members only website, and networking opportunities.  There are currently thirteen local chapters with the opportunity to organize new chapters.  Membership levels and fees include: Formal $150, Educational Institution $150, Intern $100, Student $30, Retired $60, Friend of ASDP $70.

Fashion Group International (FGI)

The Fashion Group International is a global, non-profit, professional organization with 5000 members in the fashion industry including apparel, accessories, beauty and home. Scholarships, job fairs, networking opportunities and other events are available for students and professionals. Executive, Associate, At-Large, and Student membership levels are offered with fees varying by both level and region. Membership fees average between $45-$210 annually with a one time initiation fee.  Student membership also varies by state. For example NY is $35 per academic term.

The International Costumers Guild

The International Costumers’ Guild, Inc., is an affiliation of amateur, hobbyist, and professional costumers dedicated to the promotion and education of costuming as an art form in all its aspects. Membership fees range based on chapter and includes $8 ICG dues. There are currently seventeen local chapters with the opportunity to organize new chapters.  Membership benefits include the ICG Newsletter, mailing list, email discussion list, International Costumers Gallery, Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives, Costume Con annual convention, website and social media.

The Under Fashion Club

Established in 1958 as the Corset and Brassiere Women’s Club, Inc., in 1963 the group was re-invented as the Under Fashion Club — a not–for–profit, intimate apparel industry organization dedicated to education. The group supports new talent with scholarships and internships and offers seminars, panel discussions, and networking opportunities to industry professionals.  Membership fee is $50.  Membership benefits include the Femmy Awards for the Intimate Apparel Industry, meetings, annual holiday party, website with social media including Facebook, YouTube, twitter, BlogSpot, charity committee, and networking opportunities.

Please post your comments about organizations you are a member of and what benefits you have reaped.

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