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Brands & Identity 2014: Learning the real deal

The specialisation Brands & Identity gives 3rd and 4th year students the opportunity to answer real-life briefs from established fashion brands. The additional company visits to industry professionals inspire the journey. International Branding student Anna Lena Götzmann gives us some insight into her experiences so far.

Vlisco AMFI Visit

Matching Outfits at the VLISCO factory visit. Photo Credit: Charlotte Corstanje

PONY presenting briefings to AMFI students. Photo Credit: Jo Watson

PONY presenting briefings to AMFI students. Photo Credit: Jo Watson

‘Did you know that ‘African’ print is actually a product of Vlisco, a Dutch company? Or perhaps you’ve heard of Pony, a big gun sneakers brand from the 70s? Both companies are very influential but want to improve their identity within the Western market or within today’s zeitgeist. For the following 12 weeks, my classmates and I are lucky to be working as brand consultants, creating new concepts to tell these brand’s stories.

The project started off with assigned briefings from each company, providing us with relevant background information. The students assigned to the Vlisco briefs were allowed an exclusive peek into the very heart of the company – the fabric factory in Helmond. After a guided tour through the 27 steps of creating the iconic print on wax cotton, and a talk with creative director Roger Gerards, we could relate to why the company is so proud of its product.

Tremendous fabric library at VLISCO Headquarters. Photo Credit: Anna Lena Götzmann

Tremendous fabric library at VLISCO Headquarters. Photo Credit: Anna Lena Götzmann

Not only have we gotten to the core of the clients’ identities butwe also had the possibility to get strategic insight directly from industry professionals. This serves as inspiration for our work approach. We continued our visits and spent time with Mare, a consumer insight agency. They showed us their methodology on trend forecasting and how they strategically apply it for their clients.

Getting Insight on Trend forecasting at Mare. Photo Credit: Jo Watson

Getting Insight on Trend forecasting at Mare. Photo Credit: Jo Watson

 Next, we snuck into the Amsterdam offices of advertising agency giant
Wieden+Kennedy, all of us getting goosebumps from watching the agency’s commercials and learning that a great idea can come from just a simple insight. 
Currently, we are busy with developing concepts for new visual identities of Vlisco and Pony.

Visiting advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. Photo Credit: Casimir Morreau

Visiting advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. Photo Credit: Casimir Morreau

I find this specialisation to be a very good preparation for a professional career in Branding, as consultants predominantly deal with rebranding of established companies. I can’t express in a few words how valuable of an experience it is to work with real clients. I would strongly recommend the Brands & Identity specialisation to AMFI students who are looking for a more strategic and in-depth approach to Branding.’ 

Text by third-year International Fashion & Branding student Anna Lena Götzmann.

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