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Heike Selmer, © HFG Offenbach

A new teaching area has been created at the Offenbach University of Art and Design with a professorship for fashion. Fashion designer Heike Selmer was assigned to the position and will offer courses for the first time in the winter semester 2023/24, which will begin soon. In future, according to the university, the fashion teaching area will offer “modules for interdisciplinary studies in the art department in addition to a focused fashion course”. After training as a dressmaker in Frankfurt am Main, Heike Selmer studied fashion design in England from 1988 to 1993 at the Epsom School of Art and Design (now University for the Creative Arts, UCA and Southampton Solent University) and graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the Royal College of Art in London in 1993. Since 1993 she has worked as a designer for fashion labels in London, Paris, New York City and for the company Hess Natur. From 2003 to 2006 Selmer taught in parallel at the HfG Offenbach, where she supervised interdisciplinary projects in the fields of fashion and experimental product design with textile materials. In autumn 2006, she was appointed professor of fashion design at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin.

Together with Prof. Zane Berzina and Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Selmer initiated the interdisciplinary project platform “greenlab” as a “Laboratory for Sustainable Design Strategies” in Weißensee in 2010. The Lab combines practice-led design research, academia and industry to promote innovative approaches to the development of sustainable and ethical products, services and systems. In 2014, Selmer founded “local international”, an “international academic exchange programme with a focus on sustainable design strategies and fair production methods in the fashion and textile industry”. The programme aims to network fashion designers from Germany and Bangladesh to “establish awareness of sustainability and fair trade in the fashion industry and initiate international knowledge exchange, networking and participation with local crafts and industry”. In 2017, the fashion designer was part of the one-year project “Crossing Strands”, an intercultural cooperation of textile craftspeople and designers; in 2020, she founded “modeSénégal”, a digital academy by fashion designers for fashion designers in Senegal.

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