ATTENTION TEACHERS: Are you ready for remote teaching?

Are you ready for remote teaching? Do you have enough content to keep your students engaged?

If not, let University of Fashion help.

Now that the fall school term is rapidly approaching, the University of Fashion is reaching out to schools and teachers everywhere, reminding them of our educational content library of 500 videos in 13 different disciplines in the areas of fashion design and fashion business.

UoF is offering free, all access for 30 days so that schools and teachers have a chance to plan which lessons they would like to include in their curriculum.

We are aware that some schools are still uncertain about their fall enrollment or whether they will be conducting classes remotely or onsite and we would like to help. Once you’ve had a chance to peruse our content, via our free 30-day trial, and should you decide to subscribe, we are offering flexible subscription terms and special school group subscription pricing.

Just reach out to Myrna, our sales associate mdorfman@UniversityofFashion.com 

When Covid-19 hit back in March, the University of Fashion realized that schools were being forced to transition to remote teaching and we felt the need to step up. We offered free 30-day access to any school that asked. Over 100 schools reached out to us and we worked with them, helping to make the end of term an easier one, were you one of them?

Who We Are

The University of Fashion is the first and largest online fashion education video resource founded in 2008 by Francesca Sterlacci, a fashion designer, author, former professor & chair at the Fashion Institute of Technology and a graduate level instructor at the Academy of Art University, where she taught both onsite and online for six years. Francesca holds an MSEd in higher education administration and has designed, owned and operated her eponymous fashion label in New York City for 10 years.

At UoF, all of our teachers are either fashion college professors or industry pros. Each of our videos are professionally produced using the best videographers and editors.

Because we have been in the online business for over 12 years, we know a thing or two about how to recruit the best instructors and how to film & edit content in a clear, precise and effective way, that gets results!

Don’t take our word for it, read our school & teacher testimonials.

We are in the business of supporting educators around the globe by offering professional educational content. Let us help your school and your teachers by taking away the stress, time and cost of having to create original content.

 

An extra added benefit is that we offer books that are designed to work in tandem with our beginner draping, pattern making and sewing video lessons. Each book contains lesson objectives and learning outcomes for each lesson, required in today’s school/learning environment.

 

View hundreds of online fashion design and business video tutorials
from beginner to advanced

Draping Fashion Art Pattern Making
Sewing Menswear Fashion Business
Knits CAD Fashion Art Fashion Product Dev.
Fashion Lectures Childrenswear Accessories
CAD Pattern Making How Does the UoF Work Fashion Design Tools


 

Are you ready for remote teaching?

When Covid-19 hit and the University of Fashion realized that schools were being forced to transition to remote learning, we felt the need to step up and offer free access to our content library. As a company, we decided to help in any way we could, by providing a bit of a breather for schools to work towards the transition from classroom to remote teaching.

Over 100 schools reached out to us and we worked with them, helping to make their end of term an easy one. We were humbled by the expression of gratitude and the wonderful testimonials we received from both teachers and students.

We are making that same offer available again – free 30-day access to the UoF site.

Now that we are approaching the fall semester, we want to reach out again to let schools know we are offering a free 30-day trial access so that teachers and schools have time to plan their online curriculum before the term begins. And, we are now offering flexible subscription terms (to match up with their school’s semesters) and discounts, since we know all schools are uncertain about their fall enrollment numbers and whether they will be conducting classes remotely or onsite.

To get more information please contact Myrna at mdorfman@universityoffashion.com

The University of Fashion is the first and largest online fashion education video resource founded in 2008 by Francesca Sterlacci, a fashion designer, author and former professor and chair at FIT. All of our UoF teachers are either fashion college professors or industry pros, and all of our videos are professionally produced.

The UoF library consists or 500 lessons in 13 disciplines:

  • Draping
  • Pattern making
  • Sewing
  • Fashion Art
  • Accessories
  • Childrenswear
  • Menswear
  • Product Development
  • Knits
  • CAD Fashion Art
  • CAD Pattern making
  • Fashion Business
  • Fashion Lectures – covering topics such as color theory, textiles, trend forecasting, costume history, fashion law and more.

Many high schools and colleges around the world use UoF as a library research resource and/or as a source of teaching in their hybrid classrooms or online courses. Some schools use our hands-on technical lessons to supplement their existing design curriculum, while others are interested in our lecture series, which educates students on fashion careers such as fashion merchandising, buying, branding, licensing, fashion law, museum curatorial studies and costume history. Our lectures on color theory, sustainable fashion, textiles, trend forecasting and other relevant topics, have broad appeal even to students in non-fashion schools.

As you navigate the uncharted waters of remote education, the University of Fashion wants to be your partner. We have been in the online business for over 12 years and know a thing or two about how to recruit the best instructors, film content that it is clear, precise and effective and, that gets results. We also have books that work in tandem with our beginner draping, pattern making and sewing video lessons!

Don’t take our word for it, just read our school testimonials https://www.universityoffashion.com/about/testimonials/

MEET THE CROTCH KING – JERRY DELLOVA

In 2015, when UoF met Jerry Dellova, he was introduced to us as the “Crotch King.”  We immediately signed him up!

Ever since UoF went live in 2013, our subscribers had been asking us for lessons on fitting. Well, there is no better person than Jerry to teach you the process of how to fit a classic pair of pants.

Do you know the difference between the ‘saddle’ and the ‘rise’? How to identify and correct your pattern for a ‘wedgie,’ ‘camel toe’ or ‘whiskers’? Jerry to the rescue!

Together with well-known fit model, Pat Toth, Jerry demos how to analyze the fit of pants and then how to correct the patterns for each of the problems mentioned above.

In another lesson, Jerry demos how to draft a legging that is used as the foundation for a yoga pant, jegging, bike, tank and/or boy short.

Jerry Dellova has spent over 25 years as a fashion designer/designer director for upscale men and women’s sportswear companies, including Barry Bricken, GWheels, Misook, and Go Silk. He has overseen all product classifications: knits/sweaters, woven and outerwear for both menswear and womenswear and has traveled the world extensively for fabric and trend sourcing. Jerry has been profiled in the Style section of the New York Times, and quoted in many trade publications such as WWD, FGI & Premiere Vision, as well as in The Washington Post and People magazine. His sketches were recently published in the textbook ” Designing for your Portfolio.”  He has dressed Katie Couric, for the Today Show; consulted on clothing for TV; lectured to consumers on building a wardrobe and produced numerous fashion shows. In addition, Jerry has written for many publications, forecasting color and fashion trends.

Currently, Jerry is Manager of Color and Trend at Trend House and an Adjunct Asst. Professor in the Fashion Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where he teaches Senior Thesis Collection, CAD/KALEDO computer design, draping, construction and visual concept classes. Jerry was FIT’s Fashion Design Director for Student Contests and is now their International Study Abroad Coordinator.

Jerry is a member of numerous professional organizations including: Fashion News Workshop (Current Co-President/ board member), DIFFA, Fashion Group International, the FIT Alumni Association and Standing Tall, a school for special needs children. He had been a member of the Murray Hill Committee, New York, The Horticultural Society, Apollo Circle at the Met, and the Art Students League. He holds a B.F.A. in Apparel and Accessory Design/Merchandising from FIT. Along with his husband, an Advertising and Executive Search data professional, and their beloved Havanese, Barklee, Jerry lives between New York City and Tuxedo Park… soaking up all the culture and style life the city has to offer!

In the age of Covid-19, Jerry encourages his student designers to be ‘Designers Without Borders.’ He encourages them to look around and design for the lives we are now living, but also think of the lives to be in the future. What have learned from the pandemic? Do consumers need more or less? Do we recycle, repurpose and reuse? Think out of the box…do not let physical quarantine, quarantine your mind and creativity! NO Borders ever!

Check out Jerry’s lessons and 500 others at UniversityofFashion.com

FALL 2020 COUTURE: A TRULY DIGITAL FASHION WEEK

- - Fashion Shows

Balmain’s Fall 2020 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

If you’re a faithful follower of the UoF blog, then you know what we’ve been asking for years… “are fashion shows still relevant”?

This question has long been debated among the fashion set as well. But the fashion industry, an industry whose DNA is ALL about CHANGE & TRENDS, has historically been reluctant to abandon live runway shows and try something new. It has literally taken a pandemic to get them off the dime!

Alas! For this Fall 2020 Haute Couture season, the industry has given the digital runway world a whirl. However, reviews of digital shows for this couture season have been mixed. Many fear that if digital IS the future of fashion, then the economies of Paris, Milan, London and New York’s will greatly suffer. Why? Because fashion week in each of these cities brings many other financial benefits. Buyers, clients and the press, book flights, hotels and restaurants. Lots of lost revenue. Let’s not forget the taxi drivers, Uber drivers, D.J.’s, lighting technicians, show venues, models, and the list goes on and on. More lost revenue.

By going digital, the industry also misses out on the social aspect of attending shows. Fashion week is a great way for fashion editors, buyers, publicists, designers and influencers to network and celebrate fashion. However exhausting attending back to back shows for an entire month may be, watching a digital show at home, or in your office behind a computer screen, or hunched over on your phone, is just not the same. Although there were plenty creative films dedicated this Fall’s couture collections, for many, nothing beats a live show.

Paris Couture Fashion Week was kicked off with a video address by model/celeb Naomi Campbell, who dedicated the season to the “fight for equality and diversity.” Campbell quoted Nelson Mandela and the Black Lives Matter movement. “This is a call for action we are making,” she said, wearing sleeveless T-shirt bearing the words PHENOMENALLY BLACK. “It is up to us, it is up to you to start enforcing inclusion of the multitude of identities that compose our countries,” she said. “The time has come to build a more equitable industry with a good form of checks and balances. It is now more than ever compulsory to include them in a permanent way, and not a transient one,” she added.

The supermodel urged “regular and sustainable conversations with minorities from each country and culture in this mega industry.”

I am Naomi Campbell and I declare Paris couture fashion week ouvert. merci.”

SCHIAPARELLI

A Schiaparelli Couture sketch. (Photo Credit: Shiaparelli)

American designer, Daniel Roseberry, the creative director for Schiaparelli, has been quarantined in New York City since the NY coronavirus lockdown, and therefore did not have a collection to present for the Fall 2020 couture season. However, what he did do, was present a short film featuring himself sketching on a bench in NYC’s Washington Square Park. The film was dubbed an “Imaginary Collection.” Roseberry stated, “Life today is lived according to opposites; the pandemic has inverted everything we knew. Now, instead of a team to execute this collection, I just have my own imagination. Instead of the Place Vendôme in Paris, it’s been designed and sketched on a park bench.”  Who  out there doesn’t love seeing how a designer conceptualizes a collection?

Roseberry’s drawings featured nods to founder Elsa Schiaparelli that included a shocking pink column dress, a jacket with leg-of-mutton sleeves and a “chandelier” top. The house hopes to show a capsule collection of these designs in Los Angeles in December. “Everything has changed, but imagination, and the drive to create, has never been more relevant, or more profound. This collection is a tribute to that impulse to create,” said Roseberry in a WWD article. “Someday very soon, I will venture back to Paris and hand these styles off to the atelier. We will make a portion of these and take them around the world to share with our valued clients and stylists.”
Here’s his video.

BALMAIN

A look from Balmain’s Couture Extravaganza. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Olivier Rousteing, the social media genius and creative director for Balmain, planned a two-hour extravaganza that was live-streamed on TikTok. This marked the first time TikTok has ever worked with a luxury brand. Rousteing used the hashtag #BalmainSurSeine making Paris’ Seine River his stage.

The Balmain crew traveled on a barge from the Eiffel Tower eastward and featured French pop singer Yseult and 50 dancers. A very social media-worthy idea! However, not without technical difficulties. The sound dropped and minutes after embarking the live feed cut out, never to return but by that time Balmain had already racked up about 15,000 new followers on his social media platforms. That’s a win!

“What happened on Sunday was beyond the digital Fashion Week,” Rousteing said to Vogue, estimating that approximately 20,000 locals caught at least some part of the spectacle.

After 75 years, Balmain is showing a new direction. We gave people access to our house, and we showed that we are really French. It was our gift to Paris, the City of Light,” said Rousteing. The show was re-streamed on the Federation de la Haute Couture’s online platform. According to Rousteing, “It’s really hard to just do digital without any physical experience; we are all missing it. We work for an audience and you lose the emotion if you don’t have one. We need to go back to that.”

IRIS VAN HERPEN

Everyone always looks to Iris van Herpen as the future of fashion, so it was no surprise that she created a fantasmagorial short film entitled “Transmotion.” The film was directed by Ryan McDaniels and starred Games Of Throne’s actress Carice van Houten, wandering through a modern courtyard surrounded by mesmerizing pulsating lights. Throughout the video were shots of black crystals that magically assembled on the floor and then morphed into the same lattice pattern that appeared on her dress. The film featured only one dress, but was a signature Iris Van Herpen creation that perfectly blends high-tech artistry with old-world techniques.

DIOR

A look from Dior’s Couture collection. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior, recruited Italian director Matteo Garrone to produce a short film showcasing the intricate looks of her Fall 2020 haute couture collection. The movie, entitled, “The Dior Myth,” was based on mythology and drew viewers into a magical woodland journey filled with fairytale creatures like sirens, nymphs, a faun and a woman emerging from a giant shell. It was dreamy and fantastical, which is what one expects from couture. However, Dior’s film caught plenty of criticism for its lack of diversity.

RALPH & RUSSO

A sketch from the Ralph & Russo’s 2020 couture collection. (Photo Credit: Ralph & Russo)

Sure travel feels like a distant memory right about now as some of us are still quarantining and can only take domestic flights, but in the digital world, anything’s possible. Tamara Ralph, the artistic director behind the Ralph & Russo label, created a whimsical collection worn by an avatar model. Ralph’s backdrop of choice? The Seven Wonders of the World, which added a playful twist to the intricate collection.

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Couture collection. (Photo Credit: Giambattista Valli)

Many designers have been showing restrain this season as the crippling affects of the economy due to COVID-19 have many in panic mode, but this can’t be said about Giambattista Valli. The designer created his frothy, voluminous gowns that were unapologetically grand. He even featured a few face coverings, a nod to the pandemic, but they were purely decorative and not for protection.

Unlike other designers who collaborated with famous film directors and photographers to create their digital show, Valli  personally filmed extreme closeups of his creations with  his iPhone, yes, his iPhone!  He chose as his muse Puerto Rican supermodel and actress, Joan Smalls. “I’m taking by the hand all the viewers around the world who are still confined and can’t travel, and showing them Paris through my eyes,” he explained to Vogue.

 

CHANEL

A look from Chanel’s 2020 couture collection. (Photo Credit: Mikael Jansson for Chanel)

The eighties are back! At least in the world of Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard, who presented a line-up that was so unapologetically maximalist. There were party dresses galore and plenty of bling. “It’s an eccentric girl with a touch of the Eighties. I wanted something joyful,” the designer said in an interview with WWD. Viard worked with photographer Mikael Jansson to create a show video: a one-minute, 22-second burst of images spliced with grainy black and white footage of models Rianne Van Rompaey and Adut Akech.

 

RAHUL MISHRA

A look from Rahul Mishra’s Fall 2020 haute couture. (Photo Credit: Rahul Mishra)

Every stitch, every knot is strongly related to the present and future of an artisan, especially hit by the pandemic,” said Rahul Mishra in an interview with WWD. The designer is more determined than ever to support the embroiderers of India who created his elaborate designs. “Butterfly People” was the title of the collection, as it is meant to evoke nature flourishing without human intervention.

 

VIKTOR & ROLF

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s 2020 haute couture collection. (Photo Credit: Casper Kofi for Viktor & Rolf)

‘Couture in the time of coronavirus’ was the reality behind Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s namesake couture collection. The duo cleverly created three mini wardrobes comprised of a negligee, dressing gown, and coat, meant to represent pandemic-related emotional states.

They started the video with the fear and anxiety, emotions that we are all feeling as a society, but then the show quickly evolved into visuals representing feelings of love and joy. In the video, singer Mika plays a retro newscaster offering deadpan commentary on Viktor & Rolf’s collection. His description of a spiky coat was part of the gloom-and-doom segment. “There’s a lot to feel angry about and this garment will communicate exactly that,” he intones.

The collection consisted of nine intricate creations that ranged from a storm cloud slip dress to the ‘halo of hearts’ confection pictured above. All with Viktor & Rolf’s famous tongue-in-cheek humor.

Our Favorite Couture Video

At UoF, we think the most creative of all fashion video productions is this one by Dior, showcasing their new dress collection on 37 half scale dress forms each handmade by their expert couturiers and petits mains. Once the preferred design method used by famed French designer Madeleine Vionnet, working half scale is a great way to try out your designs sustainably. Dior plans to take orders by sending these clothed mini dress forms to their clients around the world.

Be sure to check out UoF’s social media channels and website to view our upcoming half scale draping and pattern making series. So very inspiring!

 

What are YOUR thoughts about digital shows vs runway shows?

SOME OF THE MOST STYLISH FILMS OF ALL TIME

- - Uncategorized

A scene from Sex and The City. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

2020 will go down in history as the year the world was quarantined. While many countries have been able to slow the spread of the virus, the United States is still showing alarming new cases every day. In fact, as of of July 8th, the U.S. had a whopping total of  3 million cases, attributed to states reopening too quickly, hosting super-spreader events (Trump rallies), and people ignoring social distancing protocols and refusing to wear masks.

For those of us who have been taking the virus’ spread seriously, you have no doubt been spending some of your at-home time binge-watching. If so, we’d like to add some of the most fashion-centric films and series’ to your list. In alphabetical order:

A Single Man (2009)

A scene from A Single Man. (Photo Credit: Rex/Shutterstock)

It’s no surprise that A Single Man would be on our list of most fashionable films. The movie was directed by non other than Tom Ford (the brilliant fashion designer and head of the CFDA). The all-star cast includes Colin Firth as George Falconer, the film’s conflicted university professor lead, Julianne Moore as his best friend, Nicholas Hoult as his student, Matthew Goode as his ex-boyfriend and supermodel Jon Kortajarena as a rent boy. Ford’s debut film merges the worlds of fashion and film in impeccable Sixties style. Everything from Falconer’s perfectly tailored suits to Julianne Moore’s incredible hair, makeup and dresses are perfection.

American Gigolo (1980)

A scene from American Gigolo. (Photo Credit: Rex/Shutterstock)

American Gigolo, starring Richard Gere, singlehandedly changed the way men dressed in the early Eighties. The film put a new,  fresh, talented, Italian designer on the map, Giorgio Armani. Armani’s softly tailored suits captured the essence of the decade. At the same time the film was released, Armani launched his international ready-to-wear line.

Annie Hall (1977)

A scene from Annie Hall. (Photo Credit: United Artists)

Diane Keaton became a fashion icon in her role as Annie in Woody Allen’s film, Annie Hall.  Her 70s vintage-store look continues to inspire everyone, from Kate Moss to Hedi Slimane (most notably his first collection at Saint Laurent).  At a time when women were wearing sexy, Halston-inspired fashion, Annie Hall challenged the fashion norm with her menswear tailored pieces consisting of waistcoats, floppy hats, round glasses and patterned ties. While Ralph Lauren supplied many of the clothes for the movie, he based Annie Hall’s look on Keaton’s own “eclectic” style, which she still continues today.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

A scene from Atomic Bomb. (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

Typically, spy-thrillers movies are not very fashion-forward, but in Atomic Blond, Charlize Theron’s looks are every fashionista’s dream. Costume designer Cindy Evans, decked out MI6 spy Lorraine, in vintage Dior, Burberry trenches, Galliano vinyl coats, Stuart Weitzman boots and Margiela suits.

Barbarella (1968)

Jane Fonda as Barbarella. (Photo Credit: Snap/ Shutterstock)

Jane Fonda starred in the sci-fi cult classic Barbarella. Her character was a government agent who traveled from planet to planet to keep the world safe, but her wardrobe was far more interesting than the movie plot. She wore go-go boots and metallic bodysuits inspired by the designs of Paco Rabanne. Her wardrobe was truly out-of-this-world.

Blow Up (1966)

A scene from Blow Up. (Photo Credit: MGM/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow Up is a must see for anyone who is obsessed with MOD fashion and Swinging London. The film’s main character is a popular fashion photographer whose life takes a dramatic turn when he unknowingly photographs a murder in the park. This contemporary film is filled with plenty of photo shoots and party scenes, as well as appearances from Jane Birkin and Veruschka. Blow Up captures the glitz and seediness of the Sixties.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

A scene from Bonnie and Clyde. (Photo Credit: Austin Chronicals)

Crime never looked so good as when Faye Dunaway, in Bonnie and Clyde, was fashion perfection. The murderous criminal and her hunky sidekick, Warren Beatty, were oh so chic. He in his tipped fedora and she in her slinky midi skirts, sexy knitted sweaters, silk printed scarves, chic windowpane checkered suits and stylish berets.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

A scene from Breakfast At Tiffany’s. (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures)

Chanel always said, every woman must have a little black dress hanging in their closet, and other than hers, the other most iconic little black dress of all time is the one created by Hubert de Givenchy and worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening of the 1961 romantic comedy film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Sarah Hodgson, a film specialist at Christie’s has been quoted as saying. “This is one of the most famous black dresses in the world—an iconic piece of cinematic history.” Not only is Audrey Hepburn a style icon for all ages, but is delightfully charming in her role as Holly Golightly.

Clueless (1995)

A scene from Clueless. (Photo Credit: Paramount/ Kobal/Shutterstock)

While the grunge movement was in full swing in the mid-nineties (think oversized flannel shirts, baggy jeans and Doc Martens boots), who would have thought a film about a group of fashion loving girls in a mix of designer/thrift store schoolgirl looks designed by Mona May, would become a cult-classic film of the decade in Clueless, a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma. Most notable were character Cher’s  checked two-piece mini suit (played by Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne Davenport’s  white thigh-high length stockings (played by Stacey Dash). The menswear was also on point as well, with Christian’s 50s-inspired looks (played by Justin Walker).

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

A scene from Crazy Rich Asians. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Crazy Rich Asians is a fictional story, based on the book by Kevin Kwan, about the lavish lifestyles of some of Asia’s wealthiest families. This $30 million-budget film made lots of waves in 2018 with costumes by designer Mary E Vogt. It was Hollywood’s first Asian cast film since The Joy Luck Club (1993) and grossed $238.5 million worldwide, becoming the sixth-highest-grossing romantic comedy on record in the U.S.-Canada domestic market. This blockbuster featured some major couture moments—from the Swarovski-encrusted wedding dress worn by Araminta Lee (played by Sonoya Mizuno) to the vintage looks donned by the film’s most stylish woman, Astrid Leong (played by Gemma Chan). This film is pure fashion candy for the eyes.

Funny Face (1957)

A scene from Funny Face. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Yet another Audrey Hepburn film makes it on our most fashionable film list. In Funny Face, Hepburn is transformed from a mousey sales assistant in a Greenwich Village alternative bookshop to a supermodel in Paris. It’s no surprise that a film about fashion magazines would have a sensational wardrobe.

Fred Astaire, who plays photographer Dick Avery, is a template of post-war American style (think penny loafers and baggy chinos), timeless looks that are still relevant today. Meanwhile, fashion editor Maggie Prescott (played by Kay Thompson) mimics a Diana Vreeland-style editor-in-chief, full of glamour and sophistication. But the true sartorial icon of the film is Hepburn, as each of her costumes were designed by her good friend Hubert Givenchy, all modeled against the backdrop of  Parisian landmarks, from the Louvre to the Jardin des Tuileries.

Mahogany (1975)

Diana Ross plays Tracy Chambers in Mahogany. (Photo Credit: Sunset Boulevard)

Diana Ross stars as Tracy Chambers in the film Mahogany (fun fact…Ross also served as the film’s costume designer). Chambers is a struggling fashion design student who becomes a world famous fashion designer. The movie is a perfect reflection of the decade’s excess and over-the-top glamour. Ross’ character is the picture of extremes: voluminous hair, mile-long lashes, big feathers, and bigger furs. It’s a maximalists dream.

Ocean’s Eight (2018)

A scene from Ocean’s Eight. (Photo Credit: Daily Mail)

Ocean’s Eight is a smart, action film with an all-female cast, starring Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, and Anne Hathaway. Costume designer Sarah Edwards worked with several designers, including Alberta Ferretti, Zac Posen and Jonathan Simkhai, to create custom looks for the all-female ensemble. The story takes place in New York City and the plot is centered on a massive jewelry heist at the annual Met Gala (the fashion event of the year), so naturally the film was packed with cameos from stars like Kim Kardashian West, Serena Williams, Gigi Hadid and Dakota Fanning clad in designer looks. A Who’s Who in fashion.

Sex And The City (2008)

A scene from Sex and The City. (Photo Credit: Brides)

Sarah Jessica Parker became a fashion icon overnight when she played the beloved fashion-obsessed character Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO Series Sex and The City, where fashion stylist, costume designer and fashion designer Patricia Field gave the film its cache. The series brought designer names such as Manolo Blahnik, Dior, and John Galliano to the masses. The series was so popular that HBO made two Sex And The City movies for fans of the show. While the movies didn’t have the same spark as the series did, there were plenty of jaw-dropping fashion moments thanks to Patricia Field, from the infamous Vivienne Westwood wedding dress to the whimsical Louis Vuitton bag.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

A scene from The Devil Wears Prada. (Photo Credit: Huffington Post)

The Devil Wears Prada is fictional tale of a bright-eyed journalist who happens to land a job at Runway magazine as Miranda Priestly’s assistant.  Meryl Streep gives an Oscar-nominated performance as Miranda Priestly, a thinly veiled caricature of Anna Wintour and her fashion looks were editor-in-chief worthy. Andie (played by Anne Hathaway) starts off as a frumpy writer with no interest in fashion, only to become a fashion plate wearing head-to-toe, oh-so-2000s Chanel ensembles and a chic black Audrey Hepburn-inspired gown to the Met Gala scene. Patricia Field won an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design for this film.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

A scene from The Great Gatsby. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerelad and is considered by many literary critics to be one of the greatest novels ever written. The fictional story, based in the early 1920s, comes to life in all its decadence and glamour under the brilliant director Baz Luhrmann. The all-star cast included Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. To bring his sumptuous vision to life, Lurhmann enlisted Miuccia Prada to collaborate with costume designer Catherine Martin on a whopping 40 costumes. While Prada insisted “it was not about glamour for me,” her designs epitomized the opulence of the film. Daisy Buchanan sports flapper gowns, delicate lingerie-like dresses and plenty of jewelry from delicate elongated pearls to jeweled hair clips on her perfectly blond bob-cut.  As for the gentlemen, they wore dashing tuxedos, Spector shoes and plenty of Brooks Brothers-inspired looks. The film was a visual masterpiece in evey way.

The Millionairess (1960)

A scene from The Millionairess. (Photo Credit: Ullstein Bild Dtl.)

The Millionairess stars Italian beauty Sophia Loren who is on the hunt for love. The wealthy beauty’s wardrobe is filled with plenty of figure-enhancing gowns and fantastical hats designed by French couturier Pierre Balmain .

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

A scene from The Royal Tenenbaums. (Photo Credit: The Dissolve)

Who can ever forget Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance as Margot Tenenbaum in Wes Anderson’s film, The Royal Tenenbaums. Margot Tenenbaum’s style can only be described as rich girl gone rough, as she carries her signature Hermès ‘Birkin’ in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Margot has long been a style icon of the fashion industry and was clearly the inspiration behind Alessandro Michele’s debut Gucci 2015 collection, with its pastel polo shirts, oversized glasses and furs.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

A scene from The Talented Mr. Ripley. (Photo Credit: Miramaz)

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a psychological thriller starring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the lead roles. The film takes place on the Italian Riviera and the colors and scenery of the film are breathtaking. While Gwyneth looks beautiful in the film, the real fashion stars are Matt and Jude. Their wardrobe is quintessential Fifties Ivy League prep, sporting slim dark suits, buttoned-up long-sleeve polo jumpers and billowing, colorful shirts on the beach. This movie is considered as one of the finest wardrobes in cinematic history and was put together by Ann Roth, a celebrated costume designer for both stage and screen.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

A scene from The Thomas Crown Affair. (Photo Credit: Rex/ Shutterstock)

The original film starred Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, living a life of luxury as a millionaire businessman, sportsman and thief and Faye Dunaway as an insurance adjuster who attempts to catch the rich playboy who she thinks is responsible. McQueen is probably the most dapper criminal on film (thanks to costume designer Theadora Van Runkle) as he transitions from rebel to menswear icon, wearing perfectly cut three-piece suits and gold Patek Philippe watch. The dashing thief even drives around in a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow! Spoiler alert…in the end, Crown wins. After all, when you look this good you can get away with anything.

Do you have a fav fashion film? Let us know.

Felice DaCosta – Meet Our Instructors

Meet Felice DaCosta

Felice DaCosta is a fashion industry professional with over 35 years of experience as an art director and freelance illustrator. She is currently an Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design, teaching fashion design and drawing for the last 25 years.

As a founding member of Fashion Art Source, Felice is active in promoting the visibility of fashion illustration. She was also co-owner of THE FASHION ART BANK, a fashion art and licensing company.

Felice is co-author of the textbook entitled, Fashion Flats and Technical Drawing released December 2016.

Her love of teaching extends to the discipline of ESOL, which she has taught for the past 8 years. She has received teaching certificates in art K-12 from Parsons/Bank Street and in TESOL from the New School. Felice holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design.

We recently asked Felice for some words of wisdom for future fashion designers and here’s what she said about designing fashion in the age of Covid-19:

“We are all living in deeply speculative times. This pandemic has forced us to think about the future with a heavy dose of uncertainty. We feel a spectrum of emotions from sadness, lethargy, anger, to fear. I’m sure, as future fashion designers, you may be questioning your commitment to this craft. With many retail doors shuttered, you may be wondering if there will be a market in place to sell your products. Will there be customers willing to shop? It’s hard to find bouts of creativity in this environment.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “if I have to make one more mask, I’m going to go bonkers!” As altruistic as that may be, I don’t think you planned to start your career making masks. You really want to make a living at this. Well I’m here to tell you, “it’s not over.”

Fashion consumption is going through a transformation and a welcome one at that, in my humble opinion. Well, guess what? You get to be instrumental in the shaping of what fashion will look like in the future. You have the opportunity to embrace sustainability practices or redefine luxury and how it’s produced. This is an auspicious time to turn the ideas you have about fashion on their heads and become leaders. Do your research and decide what intentions you have. Is it going to be the same ole, same ole or something new?

So, while you are polishing your skills drawing, draping and drafting, prepare to adjust your torso centered view of fashion. We won’t be indoors forever. One day we all be released from our spaces and we’re going to need pants.”

Here’s what Felice teaches at UoF

At University of Fashion, Felice shares her very own technique for drawing the fashion croquis, which she developed while teaching at Parsons with great success. In her Advanced Illustration Techniques lesson, Felice critiques the work of various fashion designers’ illustrations and explains what makes their work special.

See for yourself with this free lesson. Felice demos how to draw a female contrapposto front pose.

 

Catch more of Felice’s lessons by clicking on the previews below to get a taste (and subscribing to UoF to see the full lesson). Once you subscribe to University of Fashion, you’ll get full access to ALL of our lessons (500 to be exact) in 13 different discipline like: Draping, Pattern Making, Sewing, Fashion Art, Childrenswear, Menswear, Knits, Product Development, CAD Fashion Art, CAD Pattern Making, Accessories, Fashion Business and Fashion Lectures covering topics like color theory, textiles, trend forecasting, costume history and lots more.

Drawing Female Frontal Figure Template

 

Drawing Female Contrapposto Back Pose

 

Drawing Female: Head, Front & Profile

 

Advanced Illustration Techniques

WILL FASHION SHOWS EVER LOOK THE SAME AGAIN?

- - Fashion Shows

Erdem’s resort collection draws on the juxtaposition of Regency dress and the 1960s. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

COVID-19 has changed the world, no doubt about it. This deadly pandemic took many innocent lives and toppled global economies in just months. It is unfathomable how every industry has been affected and how each is racing to adapt to a new way of doing business. The fashion industry is no exception. As our industry grapples with millions of dollars in losses, stockpiles of unsold merchandise, and store closures and bankruptcies that resulted in thousands of people being furloughed, the industry is also grappling with the future of the fashion show.

You may remember our blogpost back on November 18, 2019, we covered the topic of whether fashion shows are still relevant. Well, who knew back then that a deadly pandemic would help make the decision for us.

As we wait for scientists and doctors to advise us on when it will become safe enough to gather in large groups, the idea of presenting and attending live fashion shows seems far off. Though LVMH just announced that their brands will produce a live show this fall, most designers are getting creative with new ways to showcase their collections. Here is a rundown of what the new fashion calendar will look like.

RESORT/CRUISE 2021

On March 27th, the CFDA announced the cancellation of the official New York Fashion Week Resort 2021 schedule of presentations, which had been planned for the week of June 6. According to a statement by the CFDA, “The decision was based on the current global situation, the ongoing uncertainty regarding its impact on retailers and their open-to-buys, and designers’ challenges in producing collections at this moment,” the statement read. “We strongly recommend and urge designers not to show their resort spring 2021 collections. The news followed similar announcements by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in Milan and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode in Paris to postpone or cancel their respective spring 2021 men’s collections, as well as the fall 2020 haute couture shows.”

The resort 2021 season would have been in full swing by now with many of the bigger brands holding mega-shows in exotic locations, while the majority would hold intimate shows or appointments in New York City. As a result of Covid, many designers chose to skip the season altogether citing worldwide factory lockdowns, huge sales losses on spring merchandise and the inability to receive the fabrics and trimmings needed to create a collection. However, a few designers did opt to present their collections, through videos and lookbook images. Here are a few ways designers became creative with presenting their latest collections.

CHANEL

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chanel).

Click link to Chanel’s video presentation:

The Chanel cruise 2021 collection was originally intended to be shown onto Isle of Capri, the mythically beautiful Italian island a ferry ride from Naples, a place that Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard still has yet to visit. But while on lockdown, Viard traveled there ‘in her mind’ and created a collection labeled Balade en Méditerranée (A Mediterranean Jaunt). Viard, along with photographer Karim Sadli, created the illusion of a Caprese sunset in Chanel’s Paris photo studio.

As for the clothes, Viard created a destination wardrobe of effortless pieces, which were sophisticated yet oh so cool. The designer focused on swimsuits that were worn – every which way – as under-pieces to cardigan jackets to tops paired with wide-legged trousers. Viard also updated the classic Chanel suit, opting for vibrant little jackets and miniskirts – all in cotton tweed. The collection was injected with a youthful appeal with a maxi cardigan paired with micro shorts, a collarless jacket paired with denim pants with tweed insets, and a bandeau top paired with a handkerchief skirt. Overall the collection was the ultimate vacation wardrobe.

BALMAIN

A look from Balmain’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

The Eighties made a major comeback at Balmain, as creative director Olivier Rousteing created a fun and cheeky collection for both his woman’s resort collection and his menswear spring 2021 line up. The designer invited a handful of his “Balmain army” friends to style themselves in his latest looks. Clearly Rousteing has spent his quarantine time watching 80s films and television shows; the collections were filled with Miami Vice inspired jackets, polka dot dresses inspired by Pretty Woman, graphic t-shirt mash-ups with a nod to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, while heavily encrusted bustiers and exaggerated shoulder pads were straight out of Dynasty’s wardrobe. With all the turmoil in the world today, Rousteing’s collections were a throwback to happier times.

TANYA TAYLOR

A look from Tanya Taylor’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tanya Taylor)

Being on lockdown brought out many innovative ideas and designer Tanya Taylor came up with a very creative way to showcase her resort line-up. Taylor sent her latest collection to a handful of artists, stylists, and friends, with instructions that each one was to style themselves in one of here looks and then photograph themselves. The results were a lookbook come to life. In an interview with Vogue, Taylor stated, “I’ve never loved styling our customer. I prefer seeing what they do with our clothes and how they add their own personal twist. That’s where the lookbook came to life. It felt like these women were telling us how they want to feel in their clothes.

As for the clothes, they were infused with Taylor’s signature feminine charm. There was a vibrant fuchsia jumpsuit, ruffled trim wrap skirts, playful print dresses, flirty dot motifs and for evening, a pleated lame one-shoulder dress..

GANNI

A look from Ganni’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ganni)

The husband and wife team behind Danish brand Ganni, Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, literally designed their resort collection in their home kitchen, so it felt only natural for the duo to shoot their lookbook in the kitchen. The collection focused on the foundation pieces that have made Ganni such a coveted brand among the “It-Girl” set. There were pilgrim collars, bubble sleeve mini dresses, striped tops and party dresses to dance the night away once a coronavirus vaccine is found.

RAG & BONE

A look from Rag & Bone’s men’s resort collection. (Photo Credit: Rag & Bone)

A look from Rag & Bone’s woman’s resort collection. (Photo Credit: Rag & Bone)

Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone, focused on pieces that make their customers feel good. The collection was filled with classics with a modern twist. These are pieces that you can live in and wear all winter long.

DAVID KOMA

A look from David Koma’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: David Koma)

David Koma is known for his glamourous collections and for resort he did not shy away from his campy aesthetic. The collection was filled with sexy crystal embellished dresses, body-con neon dresses, patent leather biker shorts and plenty of corsets. Koma’s girls are ready to step out into the world of cocktails and celebration.

LONDON MEN’S SHOWS

Natasha Zinko x Duo Spring 2021 Menswear Collection in London. (Photo Credit: Natasha Zinko x Duo)

Right around  now, Europe would have held their menswear fashion shows in London, Milan, and Paris. In lieu of traditional shows, Industry leaders came up with creative solutions. The British Fashion Council hosted a three-day coed digital week, which took place from June 12-14. This event brought together British brands that shared creative content that varied from podcasts to photo diaries. “By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future,” Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said in a press release.

E. Tautz’s spring 2021 menswear collection in London. (Photo Credit: E. Tautz)

However, many British coed brands like Burberry are holding off on showcasing their spring collections until September. It will be a runway show, outdoors with no audience, following social distancing guidelines. The only people in attendance will be the models and members of the Burberry team.

PARIS’ NEW SCHEDULE

Hermès will be livestreaming a digital experience tied to its spring 2021 collection, slated to go live on July 5th at 8 a.m. ET.

The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) will host the first-ever virtual couture fashion week. The three day event will take place from July 6-8th and accredited couture maisons will present videos and complementary content that will go live on a preset show schedule, replicating the format of a physical couture fashion week. Although Giorgio Armani will skip out of showing his couture collection this season, the Italian designer will host a seasonless Privé show at the Palazzo Orsini in January. Joining Armani, Chitose Abe of Sacai will debut her couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier as his first guest designer in the New Year. Meanwhile, Balenciaga has not yet officially confirmed a new date, but the French house has likely postponed Demna Gvasalia’s couture debut until 2021.

The FHCM has also announced that the men’s spring 2021 collections would evolve into a video-only format this season and will be held from July 9-13th. The digital week schedule will run like a live fashion week with organized time slots, allowing for back-to-back streams on one central platform. “Digital is clearly part of the shape of fashion to come and we will take it as an opportunity for innovation to complement tradition,” Ralph Toledano, the president of the FHCM, told Vogue. “This being said, [in the] last weeks behind our screens, we all felt that a dimension was missing: the sensorial one. This has tremendously reinforced our position that nothing will ever replace the unity of time and place. Shows are a major component of the fashion industry, and this will remain…. Physical events will always have our preference, but as long as there is uncertainty, there should be flexibility.”

A portrait of Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director of Saint Laurent. )Photo Credit: W Magazine)

Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director for Saint Laurent, announced the brand’s departure from this year’s preset schedules and beyond. “Conscious of the current circumstance and its waves of radical change, Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” Vaccarello, wrote in an Instagram post published in April. “Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm.”

Meanwhile, German-based streetwear blog, media brand and production agency Highsnobiety hosted a digital fashion event known as “Not in Paris,” which brought together luxury, streetwear, art, music, architecture and even fine wine, under one digital roof. The online exhibition project —which debuted on June 24 and will run through July 2nd — is a direct response to the Highsnobiety audience’s continued zest for fashion storytelling.

“Not In Paris” presented by Highsnobiety. (Photo Credit: Highsnobiety)

So many of the events we write about have been canceled, so we’ve had to think of ourselves as cultural producers in our own right,” said Thom Bettridge, the publication’s editor in chief, in an interview with WWD. “We basically thought, let’s set our own calendar and become this project-based media brand. If there isn’t anything going on in the world, let’s just make it happen.’”

According to an article published in WWD, Highsnobiety is bringing together everyone from Berlin-based company GmbH, which is shooting a film in Berlin exclusively for the online event, to up-and-coming stars like Wales Bonner and Marine Serre, as well as luxury megabrands including Bottega Veneta, Dior, Fendi and Hermès. The latter let the Highsnobiety team loose into its archives to narrate the history of its famous silk scarf.

MILAN’S NEW SCHEDULE

Italy’s Camera della Moda team also announced a cyber-focused men’s and women’s fashion show format which will take place from July 14–17th. The four day event will be known as Milano Fashion Week Digital and consist of panel discussions on social media to virtual showroom appointments, giving designers a chance to showcase their latest collections in a new and innovative way. “Everybody can decide their own message. The advantage is that in a digital world, you are completely free. You find your way of expression. We said to everybody, you have from one minute to 15 minutes, and you decide what you want to show,’” Carlo Capasa, the president of the Camera della Moda, told Vogue.

Ermenegildo Zegna will stage an innovative-slash-intimate hybrid event that will feature the brand’s spring 2021 collection and will also celebrate the label’s 110th anniversary.

A portrait of Alessandro Michele, the creative director for Gucci. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Gucci is confirmed to premiere its men’s and women’s resort 2021 collection in the form of a digital fashion show on the final day of Milano Digital fashion Week.  This will be Gucci’s last pre-collection; on May 25th, Creative Director Alessandro Michele announced that the house will only hold two coed shows a year (one in the spring and one in the fall) instead of the five seasonal runway spectacles a year.  “I’m passionate about fashion shows, but maybe we can be open to seeing them in a different way,” Michele said.

SEPTEMBER SHOWS

September’s Spring 2021 NY Fashion Week also has plenty of shakeups. Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss is staging a full-fledged drive-in fashion experience tour to showcase his new film American, Also. Jean-Raymond is slowing down the speed of how much he produces and is focusing on improving the quality of what he produces. This may be a popular mindset for many designers moving forward – quality over quantity.

A portrait of Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. (Photo Credit: Hyperbeast)

Jean-Raymond is not the only New York–based designer planning something big in September. While many designers had to cancel their resort seasons due to factory closures and shelter-in-place orders, some labels, such as Proenza Schouler and Collina Strada, have refocused their efforts on New York Fashion Week, a strategy that is gaining momentum in Milan and Paris too.

A portrait of Virgil Abloh, the creative director for Off-White. (Photo Credit: High Museum of Art)

While the majority of designers are set on staging something in September, there are a few who are altering the fashion calendar to fit their needs. Virgil Abloh is holding out until 2021 to present his own women’s and men’s spring collections for his label Off-White. Abloh’s decision to wait until January means Off-White is officially experimenting with the see-now-buy-now calendar.

A portrait of Alexander Wang. (Photo Credit: W Magazine)

For the past few years Alexander Wang has been presenting two seasonless collections a year, one in June and one in December, that were in sync with the fashion calendar’s pre-collections.  However, Wang opted out of showing last December and instead planned a bigger event for 2020 to celebrate his labels 15 year anniversary.

Michael Kors on the runway. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Michael Kors announced he would be stepping back from New York Fashion Week for the Spring 2021 season due to unsold inventory and Fall 2020 production delays due to Covid-19. Instead, the designer will present his Michael Kors Collection line sometime between mid-October and mid-November. “I have for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change. It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar — from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe — about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work,” he said in a statement. “We’ve all had time to reflect and analyze things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era.”

PARIS WILL GO LIVE IN SEPTEMBER

The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode announced on June 24th that the spring 2021 ready-to-wear shows will resume in Paris from September 28 through October 6. Although few details were shared, the FHCM announced that they “will comply [with] the recommendations of public authorities.” Designers will have to limit their guest lists and venue choices, perhaps shows will occur in outdoor spaces, only time will tell how the future of runway shows will takes shape.

So the question remains, will the glamour of fashion shows ever return to its glorious heyday?

CAN SELF-TAUGHT FASHION DESIGNERS MAKE IT TO THE TOP?

Designer Matthew M. Williams & wife Jennifer (Photo credit: Alyx Instagram)

At UoF, we get lots of inquiries from our subscribers asking, “is it possible to make it to the top as a designer in the fashion industry as a self-taught designer or without a formal degree? The answer is yes!

Meet Matthew M. Williams, who on June 15th was named creative director at Givenchy, the 68-year old French heritage brand, founded by Hubert de Givenchy in 1952. Upon Givenchy’s  retirement (1995), the house has had a parade of notable creative directors, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien McDonald, Ricardo Tisci and Clare Wright Keller.

So how Williams an admitted self-taught designer land such a plum job? Let’s take a look at his backstory.

No Fashion School Training

Born in Chicago in 1986, Williams was brought up in Pismo Beach surrounded by California skate culture. With an appreciation for the arts but nothing more than a high school sculpture class under his belt, he enrolled at University of California, Santa Barbara to study art, but dropped out after only one semester. Finding a sales position at Maxfield’s, a high-end L.A. boutique, he was exposed to some of the best designer brands like, Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela, Raf Simmons, Rick Owens and Commes des Garçons. These edgy brands helped shape his appreciation for tailoring and craftsmanship. 

Networking is Key

Eventually, Williams moved to New York to attend fashion school, but was rejected by Parsons. A self-confessed club kid, Williams got lucky. He met and dated Lady Gaga and began collaborating on her videos, stage shows and her on and offstage costumes. Once in that circle, Williams was able to meet famed photographer, Nick Knight, who worked with generations of fashion talent, including Yohji Yamamoto and Alexander McQueen.

Hard Work & Passion

Williams met Kanye West and became art director for his touring productions and album designs. It was there that he witnessed Kanye’s work ethic, his drive and his passion. While at Kanye, Williams was introduced to Virgil Abloh, Kanye’s then creative director (before Abloh founded Off-White and became creative director at Louis Vuitton).

By being in Kanye’s inner circle, Williams, Abloh, along with Heron Preston and Justin Saunders, founded a self-styled art and DJ collective called Been Trill, and created a social media hyped streetwear line with tons of celebrity connections. However short-lived that venture was, it lasted long enough to help define Williams’ aesthetic grounded in luxe streetwear.

Getting the Right Backer Helps

With help from 30-year streetwear veteran Luca Benini, founder of Slam Jam, Williams opened his NYC studio in 2015 on St. Mark’s Place and debuted his haute streetwear line, 1017 ALYX 9SM, named for Williams’ birth date 10/17, his daughter Alyx and 9SM, his St. Mark’s address.

His look? Tailored suits & trousers, chunky boots, signature Six Flags-inspired rollercoaster buckle belts and cross body bags, all workwear-inspired with street-smart, hard-edge military-esque undertones.

ALYX womenswear (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

ALYX womenswear (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

ALYX Six Flags rollercoaster-inspired belt buckle (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

ALYX mid-sock boot (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

In 2017, Williams added menswear and accessories to the mix. He has also done collaborations with Nike, Dior, Moncler, and Mackintosh.

ALYX men’s suit and matching crossover bag (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

ALYX jewelry (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

Williams x Nike collaboration in 2019 (Photo credit: alyxstudio Instagram)

Being at the Right Place at the Right Time

In 2016, Williams got on the radar of Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of the LVMH Fashion Group, the largest luxury conglomerate in the world, when he was chosen as one of 8 finalists for the LVMH Prize. In another strategic move, Williams debuted his collection at Paris Fashion Week in 2018 to enormous hype. In 2019, he created a buckle for his friend Kim Jones artistic director of another LVMH holding, Christian Dior Men.

Apparently LVMH was mining for another master of the high-low street-luxe hybrid for their Givenchy label, like that of Abloh and Jones. Alas, Williams fit the bill. According to a recent article in The New York Times, “the future of luxury will have less to do with a designer’s ability to cut a pattern than their ability to amalgamate the broader cultural moment.” Here at UoF we say a designer should be able to do both!

As formally-trained designer myself and the owner of my eponymous clothing line in the 80s, and now founder of UoF, I believe that there is no single sure fire way of making it in the fashion industry. However, I think there are a combination of things and attributes that are key to making it in our industry: A Good Taste Level, A Unique Design Philosophy, Hard Work, Ability to Network, Business Savvy, Appreciation for the Craft and last but not least…Luck!

Other Self-taught Famous Designers Who’ve Succeeded  

In the researching and writing of my book, Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, Second Edition, I was surprised to learn of so many famous designers in history, who had either never attended fashion school, or did but dropped out. One thing is for sure though, an appreciation for the craft is critical, whether you learn it at fashion school or via the University of Fashion.

The list is long (91) so here goes:

André Courrèges

Anne Marie Beretta

Azzedine Alaïa

Bob Mackie

Bonnie Cashin

Calvin Klein

Carlos Miele

Carol Lim & Humberto Leon (Opening Ceremony)

Carolina Herrera

Charles Frederick Worth

Charles James

Charlotte Ronson

Christian Dior

Christian Lacroix

Christopher Bailey

Coco Chanel

Cristóbal Balenciaga

Diane Von Furstenberg

Donatello Versace

Eileen Fisher

Elie Tahari

Elsa Schiaparelli

Emanuel Ungaro

Emilio Pucci

Franco Moschino

Geoffrey Beene

Gianfranco Ferre

Gianni Versace

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo

Gloria Vanderbilt

Guy Laroche

Guy Paulin

Halston

Hedi Slimane

Hubert de Givenchy

Issey Miyake

Jean Muir

Jean Patou

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jeanne Lanvin

Jeanne Paquin

Jessica Simpson

Jil Sander

John Varvatos

Joseph Altazurra

Karl Lagerfeld

Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte)

Kenneth Cole

L’Wren Scott

Laura Ashley

Liliana Orcas Casabal (Morgane Le Fay)

Lily Daché

Lily Pulitzer

Liz Claiborne

Madame Grés

Madeleine Vionnet

Marcus Wainwright & David Neville (Rag & Bone)

Mary Kate & Ashley Olson (The Row)

Michael Kors

Miuccia Prada

Molyneux

Nina Ricci

Nino Cerutti

Oleg Cassini

Olivier Theyskens

Oscar de la Renta

Paco Rabanne

Paul Poiret

Pauline Trigére

Perry Ellis

Phillip Lim

Pierre Cardin

Rachel Roy

Raf Simons

Ralph Lauren

Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons)

Richard Tyler

Ron Chereskin

Rudi Gernreich

Sir Hardy Amies

Sonia Rykiel

Thierry Mugler

Thom Browne

Tom Ford

Tommy Hilfiger

Tory Burch

Vera Wang

Victoria Beckham

Virgil Abloh

Vivienne Westwood

 

 

THE FASHION COMMUNITY REACTS TO SYSTEMIC RACISM

Protesters gather outside the White House. (Photo Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo for Shutterstock)

A once-in-a lifetime pandemic and a tanking global economy with millions of people out of work provided the backdrop for yet another unthinkable act of racism on May 25th as the world witnessed the senseless killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man at the hands of Minneapolis police. The public’s reaction was swift and decisive. Black Lives Matter!

Despite the pandemic (as of June 11th has caused over 417,829 deaths globally) people took to the streets in the U.S. and around the world in protest of systemic racism. Social media channels exploded and T-shirts were swiftly marketed with the tags:  #BlackLivesMatter, #BLM, #NoJusticeNoPeace, #anti_racist and #icantbreathe.

It didn’t take long for the fashion industry to react, while at the same time, come under the microscope for its lack of diversity and sincerity. Could this moment in history be the  “sea change” that the world and the fashion industry has been waiting for?

Tuesday, June 2nd  became #BlackoutTuesday, whereby all brand/designer social media (SM) users posted a black box and refrained from posting promotional content or selfies, as a way of mourning and calling attention to systematic racism.

On June 3rd, Pulitzer prize winning writer, Robin Givhan of  The Washington Post, herself a woman of colorsent a tweet that reminded the industry of their lack of diversity.

 

Then, on June 4th, the CFDA (Tom Ford and Steven Kolb) published a letter listing initiatives that they planned to create systemic change: 1) create an in-house employment program charged with placing Black talent in all sections of the fashion business to help achieve a racially balanced industry. 2) place Black students in companies for mentorships and internships. 3) implement and make available to their members a Diversity and Inclusion training program 4) make immediate contributions and take up fundraising activities in support of charitable organizations aimed at equalizing the playing field for the Black community such as, but not limited to the NACCP and Campaign Zero – among others.

CFDA supports Black Lives Matter. (Photo Credit: CFDA)

Anna Wintour came out with an apology, for her ‘hurtful’ and ‘intolerant’ behavior at Vogue, (now that’s a first), while Andre Leon Talley challenged Wintour’s statement, citing the news of newly appointed Samira Nasr, the first Black female editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, as catalyst. In other publishing news, Refinery 29’s founder Christene Barberich stepped down as Editor-in-chief in response to accusations of racism and a toxic company culture, while Leandra Medine Cohen announced that she was stepping back from Man Repeller, after readers called her out for a lack of diversity in content and employees.

A June 10th Diet Prada Instagram post challenged retailer Anthropologie’s reaction to racism as ‘beige.’ The post prompted numerous comments that exposed the discriminatory practice of giving code names to POC (people of color) shoppers and lawsuits that called out certain brands and retailers guilty of the practice, such as Moschino, Versace, Anthropologie and Zara. Looks like Robin Givhan is right, the industry has a lot of soul-searching to do.

In the days following the murder of George Floyd, celebrities, athletes, and politicians all stood up and showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement. But, are these fashion brands and designers really showing their support or is it just a PR stunt? In an industry that prides itself on being global and multi-cultural, the fashion industry has a duty to its customers and society to use its privilege and power to drive systemic change and fight against racism. Right?

Victoria Beckham shows her support to Black Lives Matter. (Photo Credit: Victoria Beckham)

 

Actions speak loader than words. (Photo Credit: Fashion Nova Cares)

Most messages posted on social media were thoughtful and less PR-centric. However, Louis Vuitton was one of the first to come under fire from consumers. The company was criticized for the “tone deaf” launch of their new handbag line in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement. Three days later, Louis Vuitton uploaded the following statement to the house’s 38.2 million Instagram followers alongside a video commissioned by men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh: “Make a change. Freedom from racism towards peace together. #BlackLivesMatter.”

Virgil Abloh, here at the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards, has been ridiculed for a ‘measly’ donation to help Black Lives Matter protesters. (Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES)

But Abloh was not forgiven so quickly. The designer, who is also known as the CEO and brainchild of streetwear giant Off-White, shared on his personal Instagram Stories that he made a $50 donation to Fempower, an organization that is helping arrested Black Lives Matter protesters with their legal expenses.

His followers were outraged. The designer’s estimate worth is over $4 million, and his measly $50 donation couldn’t even buy you an Off-White face mask.

One Twitter user wrote: “So Virgil really donated LESS THAN the equivalent of an Off-White keychain to the bail fund?? Smh wow. Don’t buy his trash, y’all.”

Virgil Abloh, creative director of Louis Vuitton Mens and Designer of Off-White, takes a stand against looters. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Fashion’s Colin Kaepernick: Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond

Kerby Jean-Raymond, the designer of Pyer Moss has always used his collections as a platform against injustices. Here are the bloody boots in his police brutality collection from his
spring 2016 runway. (Photo Credit: Joshua Lott for Getty Images)

On September 11, 2015 – Kerby Jean-Raymond staged a political commentary on police brutality and racism for his Pyer Moss spring 2016 runway show. His shows are and have been a call to action for the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2017, he focused on depression, both personal and cultural. Erykah Badu helped style that collection which brought to light things that keep us down, set to the sounds of a choir singing Future’s “Trap Niggas” and the Black National Anthem, (Lift Up Your Voice and Sing, written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) in 1899.)

Protesters, Looting & Retailers

While most of the protesters were peaceful, there were agitators that caused chaos and the destruction of churches, monuments, car fires, and store lootings, unfortunately were part of it. No store was safe. Looters destroyed little mom and pop shops in their communities, as well as major department stores and luxury retail brands. Manhattan’s affluent Soho boutiques were ravaged. The city looked like a war zone with broken glass everywhere and boarded up storefronts.

Looters hit luxury retailers, like Chanel and Rolex, in lower Manhattan.( Photo Credit: New York Magazine)

But even with the rioting and looting, designers and brands still supported the Black Lives Matter movement; brands like Nike, Adidas, and Michael Kors lent swift public support to the protests. Plenty of other designers followed, although some lagged in their response and consumers took note.

Michael Kors supporting Black Lives Matter. (Photo credit: @MichaelKors Twitter Account)

 

Stylist Law Roach and Zendaya. Roach took action by starting a fund with his own money to rebuild Black businesses that were destroyed in the protests. (Photo Credit: Teen Vogue)

Jon Batiste (band leader for Stay Human & the  Late Show with Stephen Colbert) at the ‘We Are’ March, New York. City (Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin for Shutterstock)

The protests succeeded in sending the fashion industry a message loud and clear. Consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Zers are the ones to watch. They are faithful to brands that they believe are making a difference. This cohort are focused on movements that work toward the realization of a world where all members of a society, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual preference or religious background, have basic human rights and equal access to the benefits of society. Just as movements of the 20th century spurred change (Woman’s Suffrage, Women’s Liberation, Civil Rights, Anti War, We Are and Gay Rights, to name a few), so too will the 21st century bring change. Movements like Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Times Up, Equal Pay For Equal Work, Gender Equality,  Gun Safety, Marriage Equality, Occupy, Climate Change, Criminal Justice Reform, Indigenous Peoples, Immigration Reform, Pro Life/Pro Choice and the Anti-Racist movement will spur brands into action.

In the world of social media transparency, the fashion industry will have to do more than just speak up for the Black Lives Matter movement. They’ll need to advocate and implement change within their companies and provide support to Black-owned businesses.

Funding opportunities are a great way for the fashion industry to support the movement. Shockingly, to this day, Virgil Abloh (Louis Vuitton) and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing are still the only Black creative directors at major brands (an abundance, compared to high fashion’s zero BAME CEOs) and Edward Enninful, the only Black editor-in-chief (British Vogue) of a major fashion magazine, until the recent appointment of Samira Nasr announced on June 9th (Harper’s Bazaar).  

Edward Enninful Vogue editor-in-chief (Photo credit: Hypebae)  Samira Nasr editor-in-chief Harper’s Bazaar (Photo credit: The Cut)

On June 10th, Harper’s Bazaar published a list of 10 Black-owned fashion brands to support and invest in.  Other ‘call-to-action’ lists have emerged encouraging consumers on how to support local Black-owned businesses, such as grocery stores, hair salons, clothing stores, etc. Another way to support Back-owned businesses is to write positive reviews of those businesses, follow them on social media, engage in their posts, sign up for their newsletters and tell your friends and family to do the same.

The Industry Puts Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

The trendy direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier announced that it would donating $500,000 to organizations fighting racial injustice and another $500,000 to BAME-owned beauty companies. (BAME stands for Black, Asian and minority ethnic).

On the brand’s social media channels, Gucci posted a poem by Cleo Wade, a Black artist who also co-chairs the brand’s Changemakers Council, a group of community leaders backed by $5 million in charitable funding established in the wake of Gucci’s blackface sweater scandal: “We need to end racism. Start by healing it in your own family.”

Gucci has also established a fellowship program which is intended to recruit underrepresented talent from fashion schools for full-time positions. But fashion must make measurable commitments to hire Black people to their senior ranks and not just in their lower-level positions.

Aurora James, a designer and creative director of the shoe label Brother Vellies, created the “15 Percent Pledge,” which calls on major retailers to give that amount of shelf space to Black-owned businesses. (Fifteen percent of the United States population is Black.)

A lookbook image from Brother Vellies. (Photo Credit: Brother Vellies)

James is calling on Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Sephora, Saks, Net-a-Porter, Barnes & Noble and Home Depot to take part.She hopes that her 15 Percent Pledge will “deliver more money to Black communities.”

Amazon stands with the Black Community. (Photo Credit: Amazon)

Sportswear giant Nike committed $40 million over the next four years to support the Black community in the United States on behalf of its Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse labels. The funds will support organizations focused on social justice, education and addressing racial inequality in America, Nike chief executive officer John Donahoe said in a message to the company’s staff.

Internally, Donahoe said, the priority is to “get our own house in order. Simply put, we must continue to foster and grow a culture where diversity, inclusion and belonging is valued and is real. Nike needs to be better than society as a whole. Our aspiration is to be a leader.”

He added: “Systemic racism and the events that have unfolded across America over the past few weeks serve as an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society. We know Black Lives Matter. We must educate ourselves more deeply on the issues faced by Black communities and understand the enormous suffering and senseless tragedy racial bigotry creates.”

Nike and Michael Jordan speak out against racism. (Photo Credit: US Magazine)

In a WWD article, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, founders and creative directors of Proenza Schouler said in a statement, “We unequivocally believe any form of racism or discrimination has no place in our word and we proudly stand with the entire Black Lives Matter movement. We affirm our commitment to supporting the entire Black community, both in terms of what we share with the world externally and how our organization is operated internally.” The designers said they are supporting blacklivesmatter.com, naacpldf.org, blackvisionsmn.org, joincampaignzero.org, libertyfund.nyc, and brooklynbailfund.org/donate.

WWD also reported that PVH took part in the National Day of Mourning, which coincided with the memorial services for George Floyd. PVH North America associates from its retail stores, offices and warehouses were invited to observe eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence Thursday, June 4th at 2 p.m. ET during Floyd’s memorial service. In partnership with BRAAVE (Building Resources for African American Voices and Empowerment), PVH has created a task force inclusive of leadership, HR, Inclusion & Diversity, The PVH Foundation, legal and corporate responsibility teams to ensure they are taking the right steps to make the most impact. The PVH Foundation is donating $100,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, impact litigation and education and seeks to achieve structural changes to advance democracy, eliminate disparities and achieve racial justice. It is also donating $100,000 to The National Urban League.

The PVH Foundation will also match 100 percent of North America corporate associate charitable donations throughout the month of June. The company has also compiled resources to help educate itself about racism and bias and will be sharing it with its employees. This includes an Anti-Racism Resource Guide, Associate Check-in Guide, PVH U course offerings, videos, podcasts and articles.

First memorial service for George Floyd held in Minneapolis. (Photo Credit: Fox17)

On June 4th, Columbia Sportswear temporarily closed 95 of its reopened retail stores from 1:00-3:00 PM CDT during George Floyd’s memorial service. “We stand against racism in all its forms, but in this moment, we want to be clear that we are proud to say black lives matter. George Floyd’s life mattered,” the company said in an internal memo from the company’s executive team provided to WWD.

In addition, Columbia said it will make donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Marshall Project “to advance our country’s understanding of racism and its root causes and to promote equal justice and opportunity.” It did not disclose the amount. It also said it will double match employee donations to any non-profits focusing on addressing racism, up to $1,000 through the end of July. It then provided a list of organizations such as,  Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, Equal Justice Initiative and the National Urban League.

Tory Burch is making changes within her company. The designer is offering counseling for Black employees and workshops on discussing race and bias for all employees. The company provided a list of resources to help employees educate themselves and their families about race in our society. The company will also work with outside moderators and continue its public work through the Tory Burch Foundation on unconscious bias. The company’s Embrace Ambition Summit focuses on shattering stereotypes and combatting bias in all of its forms, including racial discrimination, by looking at the impact of unconscious bias.

The Kering umbrella, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo, Queelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux and Kering Eyewear, have contributed to organizations focused on combating systemic racism and ending police violence toward the Black community across the United States. Kering has also made donations to the NAACP and Campaign Zero, an organization that aims to reduce police violence in the U.S.

And the list continues to grow every day as designers are looking to change the culture of the industry as a whole. By engaging in conversations that address bias and stereotypes in the workplace, by educating employees on how they can support communities and organizations in the fight against racial injustice, by hiring talented Black designers, buyers and CEO’s, as well as supporting businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs. We can all do our part in the fight towards making the fashion industry and the world an inclusive place for all.

It’s time for fashion brands to do more than just make statements. They must commit to doing the hard work it’s going to take to combat racism. Remember, racism is not just an American issue, it’s a global issue.

Juneteenth (Photo credit: mosaictemplarscenter.com) Juneteenth Flag (Photo credit: crreaearch.com)

As we approach Juneteenth (Emancipation Day/Black Independence Day) we will again be reminded of racial injustice. It commemorates the day that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, and read federal orders that all previously enslaved purple were free (2 year after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation). Maybe the campaign to make this day a federal holiday in the U.S.,  instead of a state holiday in only 46 states will come to fruition? Juneteenth celebrations are also held in other countries around the world, including Ghana, Honduras, Japan, Taiwan and Trinidad and Tobago.

University of Fashion has proudly donated to Black Lives Matter, NAACPLDF, Campaign Zero and the Liberty Fund. We will continue to promote Black fashion, fashion designers and instructors on our site and on our social media platforms. Together we can make a difference.

Black Lives Matter protests in Paris, France. (Photo Credit: Alfonso Jimenez for Shutterstock)

 So tell us, what are you doing to make a difference?

 

 

PROUDLY ANNOUNCING UoF FACE MASK CONTEST WINNERS

- - Contest

Nurses from Huntsville Hospital, Alabama, wearing Jennifer Coffman masks (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

On March 22, I learned that there was a need for face masks and that nursing homes were particularly hard hit by the virus. I immediately went into full production making non-surgical masks and started delivering them to two local nursing homes when it dawned on me, that if I was moved to action, so might thousands of our UoF subscribers. I was right!

Through a shout-out on our UoF social media channels, I announced a face mask contest (one year free all access to the UoF library) and immediately started getting responses. What really freaked me out was how many of these beautiful people had already been making masks and donating hundreds of them to hospitals, nursing homes, supermarkets and making them for friends and family to help keep their neighborhoods safe from the virus’s spread. I was literally brought to tears!

These incredible mask makers hail from countries all around the world, Ecuador, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico, Los Angeles, New York City, Cleveland and Pulaski, Tennessee. Our contest rules were that we would choose five winners but, you know what? They were all worthy!

Needless to say, each of these lovely ladies were thrilled when they learned that they now had full access to UoF for a whole year. Here’s their story, in their own words. Feast your eyes on their unique mask creations.

 

MEET JENNIFER COFFMAN

Jennifer Coffman and her daughter (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

My name is Jennifer. I’ve been making masks since March and donating them to local organizations in Pulaski, TN, and Huntsville AL. I’ve donated to local nursing homes, hospitals, health care facilities, shopping centers and friends. I’ve donated 225 masks between March and April. I’ve used cotton fabrics from my own collection of fabric, and I’ve purchased some cotton from a local quilting shop to help support her business. I would love to win the contest to work towards perfecting my dressmaking skills and my goals of being a professional dress maker.”

Jennifer Coffman masks (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

Jennifer Coffman and her daughters (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

Jennifer Coffman masks (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

Jennifer Coffman masks (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

Therapists wearing Jennifer Coffman masks (Photo credit: Jennifer Coffman)

“The pictures of the two ladies are the therapists that work in the clinic. They shared this photo on their Facebook page thanking me. I’m really excited to study the UoF classes. I can sew from patterns but I’m excited to learn to drape and draft my own designs and learn to draw my ideas on the croquis! Huge Thank you!! I will be happy to share the skills I’ve learned from the courses and promote University of Fashion!!”

 

MEET CRISTIANE HUSING

Cristiane Hüsing wearing her mask/headwrap combo (Photo credit: Cristiane)

“My inspiration comes from the rainforests of the Amazon & Pantanal, where I grew up. From the age of eight I spent hours drawing and designing clothes with shapes & patterns from the exotic nature around me. 

 I am now a mother of two, living and working in Germany for the past 20 years. Being a mum, I didn’t have the opportunity to go to a fashion school, but I have attended a part-time atelier course here in Hamburg. From my basement, with two sewing machines, I bring my designs to life – there is nothing more I love right now! 

 After lockdown I wanted to do my bit to help, so I designed and made a few masks for friends and family. The reaction was quite unbelievable, and people started asking for more! After that my machine has been going non-stop and I can’t keep up with demand! It makes me so happy to help people and for the first time in my life make a little money doing what I love!”

 

MEET HOPE NJUBIGBO

Hope Njubigbo wearing her mask (Photo credit: Hope Njubigbo)

“Hello. My name is Hope. An upcoming fashion designer in Nigeria. I have been producing my face masks and distributing to my neighborhood, also to my family and friends to ensure everyone is being safe. I also supplied to my mum’s supermarket to share out to others too. I derive so much joy knowing I am able to do this. My face mask is made from cotton material very breathable and also with an inner filter.

I will be glad if I am able to win the subscription as I have been wishing to learn from UoF but haven’t been able to afford the subscription. This will enable me to broaden my fashion design knowledge, and in the future, make an income from it and be able to afford my future subscriptions. Thank you.”

 

 MEET TEEMAH ABDULLAHI

“I was searching how to be a fashion artist on Pinterest and University of Fashion came up. So, I decided to check and follow on Twitter. I am using printed wax for the mask and head scarf. The head scarf is popularly known among the Nupe Women, a tribe in North Central Nigeria, where I’m from. The wax is normally worn during special occasions like a wedding, festival or cultural days. I have been making them for my friends and family and I have five pieces so far.

Awesome, I cannot describe the level of my excitement that I won a UoF one year subscription. Thank you so much!”

 

MEET ANNANEE WONG

Annanee Wong wearing her mask (Photo credit: Annanee)

I’m a native New Yorker, a fashion industry professional and worked as a lead technical designer for over 30 years. I currently live in Gramercy NYC, which is also where my studio is. 

I started making masks when I heard there was a call to action. I’ve personally donated about 50 pieces so far, (they take a long time to make). Working with a group of industry professionals, the masks were donated to nurses and nursing homes.  

Then, I started pulling out my collection of fabrics and started to put colorful combos together and family and friends started requesting them when It became mandatory to wear them in public. 

Posting on FB Instagram & Nextdoor, I  began taking orders and receiving payment by Venmo, Paypal, Zelle, and Cash app. I ship from my apt. using stamps.com, and it has been helpful in paying my bills. It’s been an interesting journey and I’m still a one-woman operation.”

Check out Annanee in a new video about the NY Garment Center!

Annanee’s reversible brocade & lace masks (Photo credit: Annanee)

Annanee masks (Photo credit: Annanee)

Annanee reversible mask (Photo credit: Annanee)

Annanee masks (Photo credit: Annanee)

 

MEET ESTER ADIKE

Ester Adike wearing her mask (Photo credit: Ester Adike)

Wow. Thank you so much. I am thrilled that my little contribution to help some people in my neighborhood stay safe has been greatly rewarded. 

I am a dressmaker and a ‘fashionpreneur’ in the making. I make my clothes for my customers with plans to expand my business and offering to include a physical fashion center with teaching aides and sewing facilities for aspiring fashion designers. I have had various local training but I eventually trained under a fashion designer who is good in pattern making. Since then my focus has been making pattern-made dresses. 

I got to know about the University of Fashion while searching for a credible online fashion academy to further improve on my skills. I am thrilled at the extent of the international standard of exposure I have had since I enrolled and been receiving training from the UoF learning platform. I had desired this degree of exposure, now I am getting it from the comfort of my location. Most of the lessons on the UoF platform were new to me. Since then, I have studied consistently especially pattern making, sewing, draping, and other lessons. 

Now, with this new opportunity, I will continue my lessons to perfect pattern making, draping fashion art, and working with knit fabrics. The lessons are quite detailed and insightful, and I am glad my classes continue. 

I started a summer fashion coaching classes for young aspiring fashion designers with the experience I have gained so far at the UoF.  The last summer session was a success. I desire to spark the drive and passion for fashion design for these young lads. The idea is to get them as early as possible. By the grace of God, I plan to grow it into a fashion school and hope there will be an opportunity in the future to partner with UoF in using the videos as part of our training tools.”

 

MEET EVELISSE MOSQUERA

“My name is Evelisse Mosquera and I started off by making masks for my family and my local community but now my goal is to expand and make sure everyone is safe! All of our masks are made of cotton fabrics (except for the ACTIVO [ACTIVE] ones made of Neoprene).

We at MOSQUERA are making stylish yet protective face masks for everyone in the family (adult and children sizes)! Not only do I want to provide the public with cute but safe masks, I also wanted to include more so I put together face mask kits. In each mask kit there are PM 2.5  filters and a waterproof pouch, to store your mask(s) and to prevent contamination.

I am creative director and CEO of MOSQUERA the brand. I am of Ecuadorian descent (Middle of the Earth Ecuador, South America). I also work with my talented seamstress, Teresa, who has helped me with making the present mask designs. We actually only met due to these special circumstances that I am, in some way, thankful because we have been working in a partnership ever since @mosquerathebrand.
I have been following UoF’s Instagram and I love their useful content.”

 

MEET LAUREN FONVILLE

Lauren Fonville and her daughter Alice (Photo credit” Lauren Fonville)

“I made my fabulous caftan/tunic and mask from beautiful fabric my friend brought home from India years ago. I’ve been raiding my stash during the pandemic and making incredible discoveries right in my own sewing studio. This look has gotten compliments everywhere I go, which is mostly the grocery store and on hikes with my little daughter. I place a lot of self-worth in my sewing, so the praise is nice to hear and helps me remember who I am. 

I’ve been costume designing for theater, film and television in Los Angeles since 2009. After joining our union, Motion Picture Costumers IATSE Local 705 in 2018, I made a big leap toward sewing full time by becoming a custom-made costumer. (In our union, one can either be a “finished” or “custom-made” costumer, but not both). I worked primarily as a set costumer and shopper. My credits include “Star Trek Beyond,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Jane the Virgin,” “One Day at a Time,” “Last Man Standing.” “The Mandalorian,” “Star Trek: Picard,” “Deadwood: The Movie,” ‘Superstore,” “Hollywood” and for TV “The Late Late Show with James Cordon.”    

After 15 years as a home sewer, I decided three years ago to sew for a living, full time. I enjoyed working on set, but my passion was designing and sewing my own clothes and clothes for my daughter Alice, who came along in 2015. Spending long days in and out of malls as a shopper for TV shows, gave me insight into the incredible waste and toll the fashion industry takes on our environment and labor force. I resolved to never buy new garments for myself or my family three years ago and I haven’t looked back. I now sew only with plant-based, natural fabrics.   

I was a very good home sewer, but I didn’t have much formal training in patternmaking, construction and draping. So, I enrolled in Los Angeles Trade–Technical College of Fashion Design and watched dozens of UoF videos. (In fact, I learned about UoF from fellow students at LATTC.) Both programs enable me to keep working in my industry while taking classes, which means the world to me and my family.

UoF has been instrumental in helping me transition from hobbyist to professional. Their classes enable me to keep working while learning, which is huge for me and my family. Right now, I’m trying to use this time to learn Tukatech, which will hopefully be a skill I can use to work remotely.  

Of course, the pandemic has suspended all production in my hometown of Hollywood. I’ve been using the time to sew piles of masks, tackle new projects and learn TUKAtech on UoF. I miss working, but I’m hopeful we’ll be back bringing new stories and characters to life in the coming months. 

I can’t wait to see myself on UoF Instagram. My public IG account is @whatsshesewinginthere if you’d like to tag me. On Facebook and LinkedIn I’m simply “Lauren Fonville.” 

 

MEET AYOOLA HINDS

Ayoola Hinds mask/bonnet combo (Photo credit: Ayoola Hinds)

My name is Kimanya ‘Ayoola’ Hinds, originally from the island of Barbados. I now reside in what I call my creative inspiration, Cleveland, Ohio.  I started designing my own masks as soon as the crisis started. I used a regular construction face mask to make a template and then my face mask evolution journey began. As there was a shortage of ¼” elastic, I used a design with one piece of 1” elastic going behind the head. When my 1” elastic ran out, I started using ties. Also, I modified the design of the masks through watching YouTube videos and from various patterns that were surfacing. The end result is shown below.

Ayoola masks (Photo credit: Ayoola Hinds)

“I wanted to donate to hospitals, and I found an organization who was doing just that. I worked with them supplying masks to a local hospital. I am still making masks for the hospital and was doing so while doing my own production. Some of the masks are shown below.”


Ayoola masks (Photo credit: Ayoola Hinds)

“The creative bug inside chewed at my desire to make a mask unique to me and my character, so amidst all that was going on, I put together these two masks based on my brand, LIVE LIFE LIKE AYOOLA, because life is key. They are based off two other versions of the mask designs I created. One has a piece of elastic around the back of the neck, and the other has an adjustable closure with velcro.”

Ayoola masks (Photo credit: Ayoola Hinds)

“In addition, my cousin who is a health care worker asked me to create a covering for her, so I made a bonnet with matching face mask. As shown in this picture.”

Ayoola Mask/bonnet masks (Photo credit: Ayoola Hinds)

“As you may have deduced, I love designing. I am self-taught and would love the opportunity to further my knowledge in fashion design, especially pattern making. Remember that no matter what is going on you still have life, which means another opportunity to live your dream.”

 

MEET MARIA FERNANDA

Maria Fernanda wearing her “Give a Damn” mask (Photo credit: Maria Fernanda)

Hello! My name is Maria Fernanda, I am a second-year fashion student in Mexico. During this pandemic some of our classes were online like costs and trends, but some of our classes were not qualified to be taken online since it’s hands-on work. I am spending the summer quarantined and have been since mid-March. Having a subscription to UofFashion would allow me to continue practicing and allow me to gain more experience once I head back. I made this mask with an embroidered saying “Give a damn” and a smiley sun inspired by Lingua Franca because I want to emit the message that it is all right to care about things that might not be “popular” and to stay positive during these times. Thanks so much for your time and stay safe :)”

 

We congratulate all of these thoughtful, compassionate and extremely caring people who use their talents for a good cause. On behalf of all of us at University of Fashion we welcome you to the family!!