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Professor Francis On the Business of Styling at Columbia College

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In the second of a three-part series, our Rick Owens-clad defender of justice and finder of the impossible, Samm Mackin speaks with April Francis about what's new in the world of style and intellect.

Continuing in the adventures of April Francis we wanted to quiz her about one of the most impressive titles that she has recently obtained. April--actually make that Professor Francis to you--has recently had the pleasure of becoming an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago. There April teaches styling to the bright young minds in Columbia College’s Fashion Studies Program. How has she taken to molding young minds? It seems that she is using her powers for good...so far anyway.

Racked: What got you into teaching at Columbia College?

April Francis: A recommendation. I was recommended by Melissa Gamble in the Fashion Studies Department and was so floored. Saw her last week, had a chat with the high school students in her summer fashion program. She nailed a lot of great points, a few being: cite the best sources and be fearless in who you are. She referenced Tavi’s TED video. She’s incredible.

R: What do you love about being an adjunct professor at Columbia College?

AF: Being able to have a measurable impact. The Business of Styling class is taught as a lab with 3 photo shoots standing in as our experiments. Helping students develop their written communication skills in this class has, perhaps, been more rewarding than teaching “styling.” Styling is a skill but it is also an eye. One can lead but great stylists need to find their own style. I am glad Columbia goes above and beyond to support students in finding their own way.

R: Do you think you will expand beyond teaching just styling?

AF: It was such an honor to be asked to teach – teachers have always been my rockstars. I try to pass along knowledge in everything that I do. By design, Haute Closet is a lot of teaching. Thanks for asking – it’s encouraging.

R: Do you ever get mistaken for being a student?

AF: I wouldn’t say it’s a mistake ?
· April Francis of Reality Show 3 on CBS, Dishes on Men, Lucky Numbers and Manrepelling [Racked]