“I saw creation and leadership as separate functions”

When I finished my undergrad degree in fashion design, I was sure I wanted to work as a member of a team, as a designer focused on execution – with no interest in leading a team. I saw creation and leadership as separate functions. After seven years of working for a number of design firms, seeing first-hand the importance of leadership in creative work, I changed my mind. I realized I wanted the responsibility of being confronted by a variety of challenges. I came to understand my creativity would be helped, not undermined, by engaging with the business side of the industry. This is what led me to the VCU Brandcenter.

-Salome Guruli, art direction track, class of 2020