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Educator Stephanie Chase poses in front of a rack of mannequins

Educator Stephanie Chase Brings Fashion Industry Experience to the Classroom

Stephanie Chase held numerous roles in the fashion industry as an assistant buyer, art director and stylist on photoshoots, inside sales and trade show representative, and fashion show assistant prior to becoming an educator. In 2010, she started her education career as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher with Garland Independent School District (GISD), a Texas public school system that serves students in the cities of Garland, Rowlett, and Sachse.

Chase currently teaches Fashion Design II, Career Prep Fashion Design, and Dual Credit: Basic Color Theory and Application, Fashion Trends, and Fashion Advertising in GISD’s state-of-the-art Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, which is attended by advanced level students from seven different high schools from the district.

“I teach them everything I have learned in the industry so they may go on to college or into a career feeling like they are ahead,” said Chase, who has been known to dress up with fellow Fashion Design teacher Shannon Galbraith when they are teaching a theme like the Met Gala. “I do hands-on projects from all areas of the fashion industry, not just design. I want to make them well-rounded industry professionals.”

Each year, Chase’s students create an-at-least-three-piece collection for an annual spring fashion show that’s open to the public after starting their fashion pathway at their respective home high schools. Over a three-month period, students design, recruit models, and style their collections, which are then judged by fashion industry professionals, preparing them for future runway experiences. One of Chase’s former students, FIDM Graduate LaTorre Cole, participated in DEBUT 2016’s Chairing Styles.

To complement Chase’s curriculum, she sometimes takes students to see fashion exhibitions on display in Dallas. “Some of my students have never been outside of their hometown, and I love to see how excited they are to experience new things and places,” she said. Chase also brings FIDM speakers into her classrooms to present subjects she doesn’t already teach. “I love having FIDM come speak to my classes and talk to them about all the opportunities that they may not know about,” she said.

As a fashion educator, Chase said she finds it most rewarding when she sees her students get excited after learning a new technique or creating their own design. “It is also a great feeling to know that some students come to school because they feel like they have found something they are passionate about and it keeps them motivated,” she said.

Looking for online fashion show resources? Watch the DEBUT 2021 show here.