MRO Magazine

Internationally recognized designer Aki Choklat to head College for Creative Studies Fashion Accessories Design program

September 2, 2015
By Business Wire News


The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is pleased to announce the appointment of renowned footwear and accessories designer Aki Choklat as Chair of its Fashion Accessories Design department.

The CCS BFA in Fashion Accessories Design, launching in September, educates students in the design and manufacture of products such as footwear, handbags, leather goods and accessories hardware. Among only a few such programs in the country, it links strong creative development to knowledge of manufacturing, trend forecasting, market research and merchandising for a comprehensive view of the industry.

Choklat brings a wealth of experience in both industry and education to lead this program. He has held numerous positions with top-tier, international fashion labels, such as designing a capsule footwear collection for London-based menswear Diverso and consulted with numerous brands, such as Finnish footwear heritage brand Lahtiset. In addition, he directs his own London-based label of shoes, handbags and accessories, including the first bag collection to allow wireless communication between the bag and smartphones via a Near Field Communication microscopic tag. He helped establish and lead the footwear and accessories master program at Polimoda, Italy’s leading fashion school with Ferruccio Ferragamo at the helm, and has taught at the London College of Fashion and De Montfort University. Choklat is also a celebrated author of many design books, one of which – “Footwear Design” – is considered the authority on shoe design.

“Fashion accessories represents billions in revenue annually and is a segment that continues to grow, yet there are few institutions in the U.S. preparing the next generations of accessories designers,” said Aki Choklat. “CCS is one of few schools taking notice, and with their rich history and excellence in product design and crafts disciplines, as well as strong industry partnerships, it’s a wonderful place to give young fashion accessories designers the platform they need for future success. Detroit is bursting with promise, and I’m excited to re-establish myself and lend my experience to a city with such a prosperous future.”

“We’re delighted to welcome a designer of such stature and accomplishment to the CCS faculty,” said Richard L. Rogers, president of the College. “We’re confident that combining his leadership with the College’s resources and the creative energy of Detroit, Aki Choklat will develop the premier accessories design program in the U.S.”

The new Fashion Accessories Design program was developed in collaboration with Shinola and with the input of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc., including an advisory council representing a broad cross-section of industry professionals. Choklat was chosen following an international search conducted by Karen Harvey Consulting Group. The program advisory council members are:

  • Francesca Amfitheatrof, Tiffany & Co.
  • Lauren Bush Lauren, Feed Projects and Lauren Pierce Atelier
  • Linda Dresner, LINDA DRESNER
  • Catherine Forbes, The Forbes Company / Somerset Collection
  • Jen Guarino, Shinola
  • Heather Joyce-Velez,
  • Tom Kartsotis, Shinola
  • Steven Kolb, Council of Fashion Designers of America
  • Ashley Olsen, Dualstar Entertainment Group
  • Lisa Smilor, Council of Fashion Designers of America
  • John Varvatos, John Varvatos

For more information on the program, please visit:

About College for Creative Studies:

Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees.

Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising: Copywriting, Advertising Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. A BFA in Fashion Accessories Design will be introduced in fall 2015. Students in the MFA program can major in Color and Materials Design, Interaction Design, Interdisciplinary Design, and Transportation Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Continuing and Precollege Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs.

The College for Creative Studies
Erin Hall, 313-664-7463
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