The co-founder and chairman of the digital platform Arts Thread urged Moore Fashion Design students to experiment and push the envelope to get themselves noticed in the global marketplace.
Alex Brownless, who helped co-found Arts Thread eight years ago, told the students in a visit January 18, "This is your time -- maximize on it."
"Don't restrict yourself, experiment, make mistakes," Brownless said. " Be conceptual. Don't be a follower. Stand out. It's ok to be slightly kooky."
Arts Thread is designed to connect students, graduates, institutions and industry in the field of design and hosts 700 colleges and universities. Students can post their portfolios for a global audience and participate in design competitions, while industries can use it as a recruitment tool for top talent. The visit by Brownless and Arts Thread Chairman Terry Mansfield was organized by the Locks Career Center at Moore.
"We want people who are original," said Brownless, a native of England who once worked for Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia. Brownless said a platform such as Arts Thread makes it easier for young designers to showcase and promote themselves.
Mansfield, a longtime top executive and now consultant with the Hearst Corporation in England, echoed Brownless's advice.
"Don't send a CV that makes you look like an accountant," he told the students. "Be creative. I've had people write on my car to get my attention, and I've had people chain themselves to the front of the building. If you have the courage to chain yourself to a building, there must be something about you."
Mansfield also imparted what he called the three stages of life: learning, earning and returning.
"Learn as much as you can," he said. "Earn your way, pay your rent. And return - give back to the next generation."