ALISON BASYE, DIRECTOR (AIS)

FIELD: EDUCATION ORIGIN: DELAWARE ZODIAC: SCORPIO


A. | How do you currently define yourself? 

I am a fashion educator and freelance writer. 

A. | What is your daily work routine?

I get to work very early because I like to get a head start on my day before the rest of the office shows up. During that I time I tackle emails. Throughout the day I have a lot of students coming in to me with questions, I meet with the dean of the school and instructors to help plan the curriculum, and then I actually teach fashion writing, fashion history and fashion marketing.

A. | How did you become interested in the fashion industry?

I started studying textile design in college and when I graduated the textile industry was moving overseas so I went back to my fist love which was writing. I moved to Seattle and started working for Seattle Magazine and worked on a lot of fashion shoots and became a style editor. From there I started freelance writing for a number of different corporate clients like Nordstrom and Eddie Bower and at some point Joan Kelly let me know that they needed someone to teach fashion writing at the arts institute so I went in for an interview and I was hooked! 

A. | What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud of my life. Proud of the school I went to. Proud of making the jump and moving the west coast without knowing anyone. I am proud of writing “The Long and Short History of The Skirt.” 

A. | What is fashion? How does “fashion” play a role in your life? 

Fashion means trends that last for a short period of time that are followed by a lot of people. Style is people’s personal outlook on themselves and how they express themselves through clothing.

It is such an important industry and I think it is an industry that America should be more proud of because our country was built on the textile and fashion industry. I like seeing where this is here in Seattle.

We are the fourth largest fashion capitol in the country after New York, LA, and San Fransisco. This study calculated how many business are focused on fashion per capita, how much money is generated through fashion and how many people who work in fashion in Seattle. We should be proud of that. 

A. | What are the biggest challenges you have overcome (personally and professionally)?

How to be a good manager. You are always learning because the people you manage are always quite different.  Through patience and great mentorship from other women I have learned to help people do the job that they do with their own stills which might not be the ones that I have. I wasn’t a great manager when I started many many years ago. I think back on this a lot and something I always need to work on. 

A. | Where do you feel at home? 

In the Northwest. I love seattle. I never want to leave. I like being at work too, it is a good fit for me.

A. | Whats your vision for the future of your work? 

My vision is to make the program at the Arts Institute to make one of the greatest and most competitive. Another goal is to contribute to academia by writing articles and I’d like to write more books. 

A. | How does oppression and privilege influence one's success in the fashion industry? 

The fashion industry is an industry of privilege. There is no denying that this is an industry that markets privilege and fantasy.

A. | How do you define success?

Meaningful work that makes you happy. 

A. | What makes a good team?

I used to think was finding people you liked to work with. Now I have learned that it is a diverse group of people who challenge you but who also believe in the same shared goals.

A. | What do you think are the most important traits in your industry?

Fashion is a visible industry. A lot of people don’t think about it when they go into it, you can’t hide yourwork so you have to be detail-oriented. 

Fashion does not succeed if it does not look into the future. 

A. | What would you recommend to yourself  20 yearsago?

Be kind to people. That is what it is all about; giving people opportunities and helping people. When I think back on times where i was capitative or self-centered it didn’t get me anywhere. 


FAVORITE ANIMAL | ORCAS AND ELEPHANTS BECAUSE I FEEL A CONNECTION TO THEM