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The experience of studying denim in Argentina

By Cynthia Ijelman

Sept 19, 2019


Buenos Aires - Denim is one of the fashion industry's favorite materials and the global demand for jeans continues to grow. However, in Argentina, at an academic level, there has not been enough importance given to the increasing popularity of this material. For this reason, fashion designer and university professor Alejandro Ogando decided to create "Proyecto denim", the only educational program specialized in jeanswear in the country.

Ogando devised a seminar of eight theoretical-practical classes, which includes special guests and visits to laundries and production centres for students, professionals and the general public with some concern about the subject. It also offers the possibility of taking the course in a reduced format of one day or according to the different needs of the student.

The course deals with all phases of the production system: from obtaining the cotton fibre, the construction of the different fabrics, the design, tailoring, the laundry processes to the sale of the collections. "The classes vary according to the group. Sometimes you have to do a kind of "stand up" because people come waiting for something to be told and not given work to do," explains the designer in an interview with FashionUnited.

Denim in Argentina

There are several denim producing companies in the country: the four largest are Alpargatas, Santista, Vicunha and Santana; and two others, a little smaller, Flandria and Fibratex; their presence could undoubtedly lead to an important career option; however, jeans are hardly a topic in university fashion programs at the local level.

"I think the fashion career is in crisis, it's not thought in relation to the country where we live. Universities should rethink careers, this is a fact because some modifications are already being made: the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) is changing the study programs and the University of Palermo, the evaluation system. But it seems to me that no university is stopping at the idea of working with industry, with business. There is no idea of a career from which professionals can develop in the Argentine market. Working as a creative or building a brand are different issues that require different development," says Ogando.

Studying denim: words from two alumni

María Aureano studies Apparel Design and belongs to the first group of students who chose to take the Denim Project seminar: "I work in a women's apparel company that does not offer jeanswear and I thought it was good to be able to experiment with the material because it is not part of the program in the faculty," she says. In addition, she referred to the interest in denim as a career option: "In college you don't see anything related to denim and I think it would be a good alternative for me, but if you don't study outside or take an exclusive course, there is no training in the career.

María Liz Florentin is an Apparel Designer and a fashion teacher at the university. "I work on my own for different firms and I have a project for a brand of jeans of large sizes," she says and adds: "The experience I gained studying denim was not anywhere else, I learned everything from scratch and now I'm designing and making samples to develop a collection in the future.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited ES. The text has been translated and slightly abbreviated for an international audience.

Images: courtesy of Alejandro Ogando

Alejandro Ogando