Avis Charles

Avis Charles

Fashion Consultant & AcademicLondon, United Kingdom
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Avis Charles

Avis Charles

Fashion Consultant & AcademicLondon, United Kingdom
About me
For as long as I can remember a good education was the mainstay of my parents’ advice, as they saw education as the only way to navigate the way to a good job. In fact, my mother was a teacher in the Caribbean and came from a family of scholars. So, in a way my love of imparting knowledge came from my parents. My reason for teaching especially within the fashion industry is because I believe it is important to pass on the immense knowledge, I have gained over years working in all aspects of the industry. I sincerely believe there are very few individuals, black or white, globally with my lived experience and widely researched factual narrative, teaching fashion. Therefore, I am consistently asked to contribute to theses and dissertations, guest lecture internationally and develop educational training programs. I do all of this because I have a deep passion for working with emerging creatives. Also, as a practitioner and entrepreneur, my life in fashion offers a wider spectrum of insight compared to what is on offer in the fashion academic space at present. I am a graduate of London College of Fashion (UAL) and initially started my career as a trainee at Susan Small, Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, whose clients included the British Royal Family in addition to global high-profile individuals. It is here I honed the skill of Haute Couture under the expertise eye of mavens whom experience has enabled her to retain the skills as an exceptional couturier. This foundation has led to many years of continuous development in an ever-changing fashion environment leading to founding Avis Charles Associates (ACA), a strategic fashion consultancy specialising in creative direction through to product development. ACA has developed educational, training, and vocational programs in the Africa and the Caribbean. This led to the company formulating the strategy for Africa Fashion International (AFI), bi-annual fashion weeks, which is one of the largest successful fashion week and designer development events on the African continent. My interest in traditional crafts, cultural heritage has led me to create initiatives for the IFC/World Bank, the British Council, and the International Trade Centre (ITC) along with consulting with international academic institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and global brands inclusion on sustainability. These projects have projected female artisanal talent in Peru, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Ethiopia, and India, through collaborations with the International Trade Centre (ITC), students from London College of Fashion and Parsons New School of Design, New York. Plus, directional mentoring enabling Artisan and students to reach their full creative and economic potential. This culminated in the first ever fashion show and exhibition at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, on the first day of the General Assembly. I have spoken at the following international conferences and institutions: • The World Bank headquarters, Washington D.C. • The World Economic Forum - Financial Value of the Fashion Industry on the African Continent, Cape Town, South Africa • Pakistan Women's, Chamber of Commerce, Karachi, Pakistan • Outreach programmes to young creatives, Victoria and Albert Museum, London • Black Diaspora Fashion Dress and Discourse Conference, University of California Davis, United States • Africa's Fashion Cities, Brighton University, United States • Fashion Industry Development in the Caribbean, Barbados • Women in Banking Conference, Scotland; and • Numerous initiatives and charities in Switzerland, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, United Kingdom and United States In 2020 I was awarded an Honorary International Research Fellow and Decolonising Ambassador by De Montfort University, Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities in recognition of her work with artisans, students, and women’s entrepreneurship. July 2021, I was selected by Shades of Noir’s Teaching Within Programme for PgCert Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication funded by University of the Arts London, starting October 2021. Also, I have been accepted as one of the first cohorts of the Black Women’s Academics Development Programme (BWADP), a new De Montfort University initiative for Black Women academics who are at various stages of the progression journey to professorship. Late 2022, I will be embarking on a PhD by published work around the subject of fashion education and industry omission of historical inclusion of cultural heritage and traditions, that have contributed to the fashion economy.
Work history
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    Fashion Consultant & AcademicAvis Charles Associates
    London, United KingdomFull Time