Title: Professor of Design
Company: Savannah College of Art and Design
Location: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Marie Aja-Herrera, PhD, Professor of Design at Savannah College of Art and Design, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements and leadership in fashion design.
Specializing in active wear, Dr. Aja-Herrera has been a professor of design at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia since 1997, previously chairing the fashion design department from 1997 to 2001. She began her career as the head of the fashion department at Southend College of Essex University, now known as South Essex College, in 1981, remaining in this role for three years before transferring to the womenswear department at Ghirombelli/Pacanina Modas/Santini S.A. from 1984 to 1988 and Jefferson International Academy in Hong Kong from 1988 to 1989. She then served Lectra Systems as the design and education coordinator and a sales executive in 1989, and served the American College in London, now known as Richmond University, as chair of the fashion design and merchandising departments from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Aja-Herrera went on to serve as design director at Calvetron Brands Ltd. from 1992 to 1995, the dean of the faculty of art and design at American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 1995 to 1996, and head of design at Twins/NIKE Enterprise PLC from 1996 to 1997, as well as consulted with Herrera UK Ltd. from 1982 to 1995.
Prior to the start of her career, Dr. Aja-Herrera pursued a formal education at the University of Central England, now Birmingham City University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in fashion in 1977. She then attended the University of Łódź in Poland, where she received a Master of Arts in fashion and textiles in 1980, and Central Saint Martins in England, where she received an additional Master of Arts in design studies in 1995. Dr. Aja-Herrera went on to complete a postgraduate certificate in education at the University of London in 1981, and received an honorary doctorate in fashion from PolyModa in Milan and PhD in fashion from New York University in 2006.
Active with the People’s Ambassadorial Education Programs to China in 2008, Dr. Aja-Herrera has contributed to several magazines, books, articles and papers and has worked with Diana, Princess of Wales. In addition, her greatest career achievement was the very first time that she saw people wearing her garments on the street. She would also say that whenever she had a concert, an audition or a modeling event where someone was wearing her clothing was great, but when real people wear her clothing, that was special because they are regular people. A fellow of the Society of Artists and Designers, Dr. Aja-Herrera maintains involvement with the Victorian Society in America, the Textile Institute, the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, the Fashion Group International, Inc., and the Clothing & Footwear Institute.
An Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dr. Aja-Herrera was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of American Women. She always liked education because she felt that the best people she ever had to teach her were the people who came in from the industry. It is an industry that changes very quickly, so you have to be in the industry to teach well.
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