Meet our accomplished GBSB Global alumnus Rotem Zarfati. She graduated with a master degree in Fashion and Luxury Business Management in June 2015. This Israel native brought over a decade of professional experience to Barcelona, having worked for a successful accessories company in Jerusalem as an area manager, training new employees and working in visual merchandising.
After working for the same company for ten years, Rotem felt like she was standing in place, she felt unchallenged, and needed a change. In the pursuit to find that new adventure, she decided she would follow her heart which ultimately led her to Barcelona.
Why did she decide to study fashion at GBSB Global?
In an interview with Rotem, she referenced Orsola De Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, "Clothes are our chosen skin. We communicate who we are, to a certain extent, through clothing. It is fundamentally a part of what we wish to communicate about ourselves to the World".
Fashion, it is all over, and Rotem has always felt a strong connection to both fashion and luxury brands.
In searching for a school that would fit Rotem’s criteria, she found herself registering for another institution. That was the case until miraculously GBSB Global just jumped on the screen in a random search. It was purely by accident that Rotem stumbled upon the school, and it turned out to be a happy coincidence.
The biggest takeaway from her time at GBSB was the wealth of individuals she had the pleasure to encounter. Diversity, a core value at GBSB Global, is a huge attraction to many who study here. For Rotem, it was no different. Rotem, although she loves her country, felt like at times she was living in a bubble, stuck in the same routines, surrounded by one single culture that showed little differentiation in light of what she was exposed to at GBSB Global.
Rotem was looking for something different, and she found that in GBSB. Surrounded by colleagues and friends from all across the world, she realized, though their backgrounds, values and experiences were all very different. The gap that separated them from one another was made smaller by the realization that they were all striving for the same goal and that what separated them culturally in fact made them stronger.
BIT of Fashion Conference
The BIT of Fashion was the brainchild of Rotem and two of her classmates, David and Daniella. After over a decade of working in the fashion industry non-stop, 24/7, coming to Barcelona to merely study wasn’t enough. She needed to direct her energies into a bigger project, and that project turned into the BIT of Fashion.
The BIT of Fashion conference was a practical way of incorporating what students were learning in class to real life.
The whole premise behind the conference was to highlight business, innovation and technology in a way that was applicable to the fashion industry but could also crossover to other fractions of society as well. Every year the conference would stay under the capstone umbrella, BIT of Fashion, but the topics would vary, the professors would change, and new invited guests would be present.
What was remarkable in the first year and what would set this conference apart, was how one very narrow topic could be analyzed by three different professionals coming from the same sectors and the audience would come away with three very different perspectives. The lesson demonstrates that individuals are allowed to have varying views in opinion, that thinking outside the box is imperative, and being open minded or sympathetic to contrasting views is key in the realm of international business or working in arenas where there is not one prescribed way of thinking.
The Learning Curve was Great
As the founder and first organizer of the BIT of Fashion, Rotem describes her experience as taking the classroom into her own hands. Taking from what she had learned at the school gave her the opportunity to enhance her learning by taking on this project. Although seeing the final result was immensely rewarding, hearing the lectures and talking with the audience in attendance, it was so much more than just these few engagements that made the conference so memorable.
Orchestrating the whole project from zero supplied Rotem, David and Daniella with a learning experience like none they had experienced before. Being in a country that is not your own, navigating the language and connecting with professionals can be quite intimidating, but they rose to the challenge, arranging food and beverage services, contacting sponsors, and budgeting the event inside the parameters set forth by the school gave these students an invaluable experience.
The tradition of the BIT of Fashion lives on. It is now being organized for the third consecutive year and it is going to be bigger and more popular than ever, gaining notoriety since its conception.
Recently, Irena Valentinova Ignatova and Ioannis Antonopoulos, two of GBSB Global’s MA in Fashion and Luxury Business Management students were invited and interviewed about the 3rd Annual BIT of Fashion on EL PUNT AVUI+ TELEVISIÓ on Friday March 31, 2017. This special opportunity gave these students a very rare chance to promote the conference on live television, not only serving to enhance the publicity of the event, but was a wonderful professional experience for the students individually. As we look forward to the 3rd Annual Bit of Fashion April 25th-26th, Rotem feels a true sense of pride that her event has grown into something that will have a continued legacy at GBSB Global.
Irena Valentinova Ignatova and Ioannis Antonopoulos, two of GBSB Global’s MA in Fashion and Luxury Business Management students were interviewed about the 3rd Annual BIT of Fashion on EL PUNT AVUI+ TELEVISIÓ on Friday March 31, 2017.
EL PUNT AVUI+ TELEVISIÓ provided GBSB Global students an amazing opportunity to promote the 3rd Annual BIT of Fashion on their network television show.
What is on the horizon?
After graduation in June 2015, Rotem became the academic program coordinator of the Master in Fashion and Luxury Business Management program. She has served in this role up until now. She recently accepted a new role that will take her back to her mother country, Israel.
Rotem is leaving Barcelona to take on a grand new adventure working for a sports clothes company. The company has only recently been established, but already has a foothold in Europe. The position couldn’t be better suited for Rotem, as she loves getting involved at the grassroots level and growing with the establishment. Rotem will primarily be responsible for opening various pop-up stores in Israel.
How has Rotem’s experience at GBSB Global prepared her for this next step in her career?
Rotem subscribes to the general belief that everything you do in life helps you to gain the tools and experiences to propel you forward. Rotem’s experiences studying and working at GBSB Global have given her a whole new insight on the world, a greater acceptance of diversity and knowledge about global markets.
She feels that having studied in Europe will be a huge asset in her new position as the company takes steps to expand its brand on the continent.
The future is bright for Rotem, full of opportunity. It is her amazing personality and open-mindedness that will take her to where she wants to go.
Want to follow Rotem’s footsteps or aspire to have a professional career in fashion and luxury business management? Check out the program here.
Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Global Content Manager