“Educating and inspiring people and organizations to be true to their authentic brand through image and communications” is the vision that Sonya Barnes, CEO and Founder of the International Fashion Style Academy (IFSA), which represents the learning division of Harris & Barnes Image Consulting, envisions for her newest endeavor.
With the opening scheduled for July 14th, the inaugural IFSA program will include a three-day intensive certification process that will be held at the Marriott South Park. Barnes describes the academy as “a flagship institute … for aspiring stylists and consultants.” And her excitement is contagious, impacting all who recognize what a huge impact that an academy of this caliber can offer to the city of Charlotte and to fashion enthusiasts who are interested in the field of fashion styling.
That level of enthusiasm is what keeps Barnes motivated to continue planning future curriculum programs for IFSA. Planned for the 2011 to 2012 school year, students will enjoy the adventure of an international experience to fashion capitals such as Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, and New York. This global experience is just one of the aspects that make this academy worth taking note of.
What makes IFSA different from the traditional fashion styling academy is the unique approach that the company put into action. “Our approach is innovative in that it looks at what’s constantly evolving around the world as it relates to image and communications branding and adapting to the evolution of what’s current,” says Barnes, who adds, “We have three distinct programs that tailor to the needs of those seeking to create strong brand presence. We approach image from a multi-faceted perspective addressing appearance, behavior and communications.” And it’s this combination that embodies a consumer’s signature style and allows stylists to dress their clients fluidly and authenticity.
Barnes’ professional experiences seem to have prepared her well for this new venture. From her first job in retail, undergraduate work in communications, and training from international experts in style, wardrobe development and color, she has gained the expertise needed to guide fashion stylist hopefuls.
Additionally, Barnes is a founding member of Atlanta’s chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International and was appointed to the International Board in 2008. Barnes also represents a selected group of 200 consultants worldwide who are Certified Image Professionals.
Her international experience has spanned to Southeast Asia where she is a Master Trainer for Menswear, Corporate Image, Communications, and Style Development at the Academy of Image Mastery in Singapore; and it is because of her strong interest in global culture that she is positioned to guide future fashion stylists in their “desire to live their dream.”
As for Barnes, her dream job has come true. She describes this experience as an opportunity to accomplish something that she has always hoped for: “I always knew that I wanted to do something with style and continue to be fascinated with human behavior and communications. Who knew there was a career and a need? I am LOVING it!” And she is sharing this love and fascination with style, communications, and the global experience with all of us.
If you are considering a career as a fashion stylist or you know someone who is, the International Fashion Style Academy may be of interest; visit their website at www.intlfashionstyleacademy.com.
If you know of any business owners or companies that you believe should be profiled during this dream job series, please let me know by writing a comment. I would love to highlight their successes.