Teams of students from years 6, 7 and 8 at the British School of Boston, La Cote International School, the British International School Bratislava and the British International School Shanghai, Pudong, took on the role of a fashion start-up company, establishing a vision and identity for their business before embarking on the challenges which simulated different aspects of the industry. Working to a tight budget, students were challenged to:
- Design and produce samples of a collection of four outfits for their chosen market
- Create a manufacturing plan, taking into account the ethical dilemmas behind clothing manufacture in developing countries
- Select the models for their catwalk show
- Undertake market research before developing a marketing plan and multi-channel advertising campaign
- Create a fashion blog which shares the latest trends and advice, as well as promotes their collection, to fashionistas
At the end of their challenge day, students were asked to briefly pitch their businesses to secure the prize of £500 investment in entrepreneurial activity in their school. In just four minutes, students shared what they had achieved and their vision for their business, facing tough questioning about the thinking behind, and viability of, their company. The pitches were judged by an expert panel including successful entrepreneurs, fashion students and a Director from New York University.
The judging panel was very impressed by all our fashion entrepreneurs commenting that their designs were aesthetically exciting, creative and well executed, and that teams displayed innovative thinking and great team spirit. But fashion is a business, and so teams were also judged on their commercial thinking. Congratulations to Sweet Sixteen, the team from the British International School Bratislava, who best demonstrated an effective and viable business model, and are this year's winners!
All the students who participated gained a great deal from the competition, commenting that it was a good taster of managing a company. Louise from La Côte International School said, "I loved doing the Ragtrade, it has been one of my favourite CBL's. I loved collaborating as a team as I feel that we all bonded together. I really enjoyed being the C.E.O aswell, I liked being incharge! Everyone in the team took their job seriously which I am proud of."