School board shows its fashion sense

In this age of Bravo’s hit series “Project Runway,” and a slew of teen celebrity clothing lines, including the Olson twins, fashion has invaded the media. Oftentimes you find blogs about what the celebs are wearing and hour-long specials on New York’s fashion week.

And the hype isn’t lost on teenagers.

“Teens focus on fashion and I know students who want to pursue this as a career,” Oak Harbor High School student Brienna Petersen said at a school board meeting. “I’m one of them.”

A recent marketing class poll at Oak Harbor High School, which weighed students’ interest in business, found that most teens wanted to learn about the fashion industry.

OHHS teacher Eric Peterson began work on a fashion marketing course, and approached the school board last Monday.

Before they approved the class, board members had a few concerns.

“When you think of fashion, you typically think of the female gender,” school board member Corey Johnson said.

“That was our worry with sports marketing, is that it would draw more males,” Peterson responded. “But sports marketing is about 40 percent female and 60 percent male.”

In the survey, he added that an estimated 33 percent of males said they would be interested in a fashion marketing course.

One reason, he said, was clothing lines, which are a growing interest with male celebrities. Jay-Z, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Justin Timberlake released clothing collections within the last 10 years.

“The big draw is that a lot of kids are interested in a design and logo of their own. They want their own identity,” Peterson said.

The course will be offered this fall to freshman through seniors, and taught by Peterson.

Many of the marketing strategies will be pulled from books already owned by the school, Sandra Oehring, director of career and technical education, said. Research will also be done from magazines and

Internet searches to study merchandizing.

“It will be an exploratory look at the industry,” Peterson said. “I

will take them through design of retail, how to create displays and we’ll even whittle it down to pricing.”

To save money, sewing machines and dress forms will be pulled from storage which were used for the former middle school home economics classes.

The high school cut back on its “Starting a small business” sections, which had lower enrollment, to fit in the program.

“The reason for fashion is to engage students’ interests,” Peterson said, Monday. “We’re trying to make it relevant, especially for freshmen, as a way to introduce them to our course offerings.”

The class was unanimously approved by the school board.

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