Saitoti: Why I went for profits in fashion design school

Delight Technical College Principle Saitoti Meitamei (right) with some of the students during the interview. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

How easy or hard is it for your students once they graduate?

Because of the training we offer and active engagement with the textile industry, it is easy for our students to get internships and jobs after they finish school. Most of our students end up in fashion design with established fashion houses and fashion brands owned by renowned fashion entrepreneurs like Aulgah Neto, John Kaveke, Ashok Sunny, Lucy Rao, as well as Bevern Oguk.

Some students also decide to set up their own businesses. The student completion rate is always above 80 per cent.

Our course outline requires a student to satisfy all the training requirements which are creative and practical in nature including presentation and communication skills and time management.

The school has been around for almost seven years now. How profitable is it?

Though we managed to break even, it is not as profitable as one might expect in other ventures.

Also, while is biggest expenditure is in terms of paying rent and tutors, our profit in a good year now ranges from between Sh200,000 and Sh300,000 which we reinvest in the business.

The college appears predominantly female...

It is a baffling situation for us also because contrary to our business expectations, it is more females that usually apply for our training every time there is an opening. We try to balance this by tailoring our marketing communication to male candidates as well.

Talk to us about textile sourcing

We always work on outfits that borrow from the cultures of the communities in Kenya. In doing this, we also always emphasise function over form, meaning we take that our designs are suited to the event, occasion and place.

What do you do with the best student designs?

We regularly organise fashion events so the students can benchmark, and get visibility as well as personal clients. Some get cash and non-monetary awards for their best works on display during any of our internal or external events. The Delight Fashion Week for example has always put out a handsome for the winner of the most creative outfit and winner of the best outfit throughout the week as well as issue them with a certificate.

Your future plans?

In the next five years, we want to have invested in more sophisticated training equipment and grow our student numbers across the country.