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Welcome to the University of Fashion blog. My name is Francesca Sterlacci the founder and CEO of the University of Fashion. For years I dreamed of being able to bring the art and craft of fashion design to the masses and not just for those lucky few who can attend one of the best fashion colleges in the world. Although I was one of those lucky few, where a great portfolio was your ticket in, I felt that students weren’t always given a fair shake. Over the years I watched as high schools dropped their art program, making it almost impossible for students to get a portfolio together.
My experience working as a fashion designer in the industry for more than 25 years, first for major Seventh Avenue manufacturers and then later with my own eponymous collection collection, I learned that a great portfolio is only one piece of what is needed to be a successful designer. Draping, patternmaking, sewing and product development were equally as important, if not more so, and yet, aspiring students of fashion design had no place to go to learn those skills, except at a fashion school. There had to be an alternative.
As many talented fashion industry craftsman began retiring and as the fashion industry started to move off shore, I began to worry that much of the hands-on art and craft of the industry would become extinct. At the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I taught for 18 years and as chair of the fashion design department there, I saw how hard it was to find teachers who had actual “hands-on” experience in draping , patternmaking, sewing and fashion illustration. Design rooms were becoming rare and CAD had taken over how a sketch got made.
It was time to spring into action! After taking numerous classes in videography and film editing, I set out to find a team of equally dedicated teachers, film editors and videographers to record fashion how-to videos for posterity. By interviewing and selecting only the best instructors, we have put together lessons covering the 5 fashion design disciplines of draping, patternmaking, sewing, fashion illustration, and product development. Each discipline is broken down by skill level: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
My goal is not only to help the aspiring designer get their portfolio together and to get a jump-start on the 5 disciplines, but also to become a video reference library for current students and teachers of fashion, to help re-educate current fashion industry professionals perfect their skills and to bring industry trade secrets to the home sewer and the fashion curious.
Through our corporate affiliate program, our members are introduced to the best dress forms, sewing machines, tools and supplies, fabric, trims and leather resources while they enjoy substantial discounts.
This blog is the first step in getting everyone excited in the University of Fashion website; your go-to resource for all things fashion!. Stay tuned, tell your friends, follow our progress on this blog. We will be launching very soon! Tell us what lessons you’d like to see!