Michele Sodi, MPS Fashion Management Faculty Member, Teaches Leadership
Michele Sodi has held leadership positions at some of the most revered fashion houses in the world, including Versace, Jil Sander, and Balenciaga. Now a consultant, Sodi recently completed his first semester as a faculty member in the MPS Fashion Management program in the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design.
Sodi’s class focused on management methodologies and team building within the fashion industry. Students developed skills for leading a team, and engaged with industry experts throughout the course, who shared their own experiences. Sodi challenged the students to see the class as a work environment inviting role playing, with a practical, personal connection to the qualities of inspired leadership and effective communication.
“I wanted to share tools and challenges that I learned along the way,” said Sodi. “By asking guest speakers to come in, students were also able to get their perspectives on how to be a leader/manager in the field.”
Students in the class were also immersed in workshops, research projects, and explored case studies of successful brands like Apple. They listened to speeches and lectures from luminaries as well, which Sodi felt was an important tool for inspiration. For their final project, students worked in teams, and analyzed an organization that they admired, presenting their findings on the company’s innovative business practices.
According to Min Song, a student in the class, “Michele’s class was very interesting because he treated us as a member of his company, so the class mirrored a professional environment.”
The final project was also reflective of the workplace, as students provided evaluations of their team members, and shared both successes and challenges. The transition to online learning was smooth as well, as students, Sodi, and guest lecturers all proved more than capable of adapting to a new normal for the class.
“All the guest speakers were able to give their lectures, which was a big part of this class, to listen and learn from working professionals,” said Song. “I was thrilled that Michele and Parsons were able to adopt quick changes and transit over to an online platform.”
The smooth transition to online learning, in addition to the rest of the course, has provided Song and her classmates with valuable lessons they can easily integrate into their jobs.
“I can adapt most of the lessons that Michele taught us throughout this course,” said Song. “Especially with Covid-19, a lot of job descriptions and company’s expectations of employees have shifted. I was able to speak the languages that I learned from the class, and apply it directly to conversations with my company.”