University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Francesca Sterlacci

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Francesca Sterlacci is the CEO of University of Fashion (UoF) which she founded in 2008 as the first on-demand online fashion video library bringing the art and craft of fashion design and business to schools, libraries, organizations and the general public. As owner of her eponymous label for ten years, her collection sold in fine stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Barneys and Nordstrom. As a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology for 11 years, she became Chair of the Fashion Design Department where she initiated the complete revision of their AAS and BFA degree programs, as well as wrote three certificate programs: Leather Fashion Design, Outerwear and Haute Couture. Francesca has also taught graduate level fashion design at the Academy of Art University San Francisco for six years, both on site and online. Her publishing accomplishments include: Leather Apparel Design, the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry (First and Second Editions), the A-Z of the Fashion Industry, Leather Fashion Design and a 3-volume beginner series on Draping, Pattern Making and Sewing designed to complement the UoF lessons. She has also made literary contributions to both the Encyclopedia of Clothing & Fashion and You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Women. Francesca holds an AAS, BA and an MSEd (master’s degree in higher education).

What is a Visual Merchandiser & Why Should I Care?

Visual merchandising is one of those design disciplines that benefit both retailers AND fashion designers, alike. Whether you have your own brand and are lucky enough to afford your own retail store, OR you’re a brand who plans on selling to retail stores, our 9-part visual merchandising series provides valuable information to help you succeed. Visual merchandising is the very plan to use to communicate to the customer what the brand is all about.

Fashion designers benefit from the study of visual merchandising because it helps them understand the mind of the retailer, especially as the retailer plans their retail open-to-buy for a particular season. This blog post will provide you with a taste of what you’ll learn by viewing our 9-part visual merchandising series taught by Marcie Cooperman (author of Color: How to Use It) and who has been teaching this topic at UoF and at Parsons for years. Sit back and enjoy… get the popcorn popping!

University of Fashion's 9-part Visual Merchandising series poster frames University of Fashion’s 9-part Visual Merchandising video series (Photo images: University of Fashion videos) 

The Psychology of Visual Merchandising

So, it all starts outside the store, with the entrance and store windows. You’re walking by, and suddenly you see a terrific display window that makes you stop and look.  What did the trick?

Maybe it was the perfect dress or coat that you’d been thinking you need to find. Or… maybe it was the colors in the display, or something fun about it.  Or maybe, it was even a sale sign.  If it made you decide to go inside, that’s a successful display window.Example of colorful store window

Examples of colorful & eye-catching store windows (Photo excerpt: University of Fashion video)

And, when we walk into a store, we usually know within about three seconds whether we want to stay there and shop, or whether we just want to turn and leave. We know right away whether we are going to find something we like, or whether it’s going to be a waste of time.  It’s all about the store’s interior design. Does it look organized, so that we might feel confident about moving around easily without asking for help?  Or is it a messy store where we are not clear on how to find things?

Example of a messy store display

Example of a messy & uninviting in-store display (Photo excerpt: University of Fashion video)

In retail visual merchandising, there are two essential parts of the store interior to think about:  merchandising presentation and visual merchandising.  Although they work together, they are actually two different activities. To keep the store fresh, both elements should be updated frequently. That encourages customers to come back to the store often to see what’s new.

Example of an interesting store display Example of an interesting, in-store thematic merchandising presentation and visual display (Photo excerpt: University of Fashion video)

The Planogram

In-store visual merchandising begins with the planogram. The planogram is a detailed set of drawings of a store with two main goals:  to plan the use of the space, and to make decisions on where to place all the merchandise.a planogram image

Example of a store planogram (Photo excerpt: University of Fashion video)

 

Using Color & Texture plus Graphics & Signage in Visual Merchandising

For starters, and to really understand the power of color, view our lessons entitled: Color Relationships and Color Theory-The Basics.

Color Relationships and Color Theory Lessons

Color and texture are critical tools to use in visual merchandising, because when you put wonderful colors and textures together in a display, it sends customers the feeling that this brand is organized and beautiful. That makes the customer feel positive about the brand and makes her want to shop there.

 Visual merchandisers like to use textures that contrast with the merchandise, because they highlight the qualities of the products, and help customers see them.

Image of good use of color and texture

The successful use of color and texture in store windows. (Photo excerpt: University of Fashion video)

Using Line, Shape & Balance in Visual Merchandising

Lines and shapes are the basic building blocks that visual merchandisers use in putting together a merchandising display. We see them on tabletop displays, on walls, and in display windows.  Lines and shapes can be created by clothing on mannequins and on garments hanging on racks or walls, and they can even come from the shelves and the store furniture.

Balance means that every line and shape of the display works to support the whole display, and every part is integral to the entire display. We must be able to look around the entire display, and all the lines will keep leading our eye back to the central focal point.

Examples of Line $ Shape

The use of line and shape in visual merchandising (Photo excerpt: University of Fashion video)

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little snippet of what you’ll learn as you make your way through our visual merchandising series. With over 5 hours-worth of instruction, and hundreds of store display images, you are sure to be inspired and enlightened on the role of the visual merchandiser. Heck, it may even encourage you to want to pursue it as a career!

Do you know what’s the biggest selling color in fashion, and one that you’ll almost never see an entire store window devoted to and why?

 

 

 

UoF Instructor Update: Silvia Perramon

 

headshot of Silvia Perramon

Silvia Perramon – University of Fashion’s award-winning Master Designer Beader/Embroiderer
(Image credit: Silvia Perramon)

In 2014 we were fortunate to have been introduced to Silvia Perramon by Parsons instructor Darlene Donohue (also a UoF instructor). We were immediately blown away by Silvia’s multi-talents. We promptly signed her up and produced a six-lesson series that included beading and embroidery, using both embroidery hoop and Tambour frame, and fabric manipulation, whereby Silvia uses couture techniques to create her own unique textiles. In a world where handwork seems be on a slow decline, Silvia’s lessons are proof that Millennial and Gen Zers love and respect these crafts. Her lessons continue to be extremely popular with our students.

Poster frames shots of lessons: Beading Needle Embroidery and Silk Ribbon EmbroideryUoF Beading Needle Embroidery lesson                                        UoF Silk Ribbon Embroidery lesson

poster frames of lesson: Tambour Embroidery and Tambour Beading lessons UoF Tambour Embroidery lesson                                                  UoF Tambour Beading lesson

poster frame of UoF lessons: Frbric Manipulation- Swirl Pattern and Fabric Manipulation- Tier MotifUoF Fabric Manipulation – Swirl Pattern  lesson                      UoF Fabric Manipulation – Tier Motif lesson

Recently, UoF founder, Francesca Sterlacci, had a chance to sit down with Silvia to catch up on what she’s doing now. It turns out that since creating lessons for UoF, Silvia has won a prestigious Hand & Lockembroidery prize in 2018, lives in Milan designing embroidery and beading for many of Europe’s top fashion houses and continues to express herself through the most incredible beading and embroidery art pieces that are sought after by global collectors. Be prepared to be blown away!

Interview

Francesca: You were born in Spain, but where do you live and work now?

Silvia: I currently live in Milan and am Head of Embroideries of a hand embroidery studio, Atelier Aamir. We are based in the heart of the capital of fashion, which means we can get commissions and delivery projects for VIP, clients and show pieces in a short period of time. We work for couture houses from all Italy and, also, we receive commissions from European high fashion brands. On the other hand, I always keep my own art alive, producing pieces for my collection and private commissions.

Francesca: Where did you study embroidery?

Silvia: My teacher was and always will be Mr. Robert Haven of the Bead Embroidery & Design Studio in Kentucky. He taught me all the basics of embroidery, opening my career to an infinite of possibilities to experiment and discover. I studied architecture at Universidad Internacional de Cataluña, which means that not just design, but the technique, amazed me. I changed my path because I was in love with Lunèville technique, which is the French name of Tambour beading done with the hook. In 2017, I furthered my studies at Scuola di Ricamo Alta Moda in Rome. This technique, with a lot of work and discipline, is the one that made me arrive to work with all the couture houses that I am now collaborating. I had to work hard to enter into the fashion world without having a degree in fashion, I worked many years for free in workshops, to increase my knowledge and being able to have a proper resume to find a paid job, to the point that after five years being in the embroidery world, when I moved to Italy, seven years ago, in less than a month I got an offer from Dolce Gabbana Alta Moda, because of my experience. Since then, I work and have contact with many embroidery designers, who are also passionate for embroidery.

 

Silvia discussing her Hand & Lock first place prize on YouTube of Andy Warhol created with layers of embroidered seed beads, paillettes and sequins, all done on a Tambour frame. (Video credit: YouTube)

Silvia discussing her Hand & Lock first place prize on YouTube of Andy Warhol created with layers of embroidered seed beads, paillettes and sequins, all done on a Tambour frame.  (Video credit: YouTube)

Francesca: What was it like to win the Hand & Lock first place prize?

Silvia: Wining the First Prize at Hand and Lock in 2018 was such an honor. They are worldwide renown Institution of Embroidery. An amazing experience I would say. In addition, two of my embroidery students also won the price the following years.

Silvia Perramon’s Beaded & Embroidered Art Pieces

 

Silvia art work Male embroidery

Silvia Perramon- painted and embroidered art (Photo credit: Silvia Perramon)

Silvia Perramon- Tambour beaded & embroidered art of Diana Vreeland (Photo credit: Silvia Perramon)

Silvia Perramon- Tambour beaded & embroidered art of Diana Vreeland (Photo credit: Silvia Perramon)

Silvia Perramon- Tambour beaded & embroidered art of Rudolf Nureyev (Photo credit: Silvia Perramon)

Silvia Perramon- Tambour beaded & embroidered art of Rudolf Nureyev (Photo credit: Silvia Perramon

 

To learn more about Silvia

Check out her website: https://www.silviaperramon.com/designs

Instagram @SilviaPerramonRubio

If you would like to know more about entering your embroidery work in the 2024 Hand & Lock competition (first prize is $3,500), click this link: https://handembroidery.com/the-prize/faqs/

 

 

LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS – UNIVERSITY OF FASHION STYLE

 

UoF once-yearly subscription sale ends 12.31.23

 

If you’re like thousands of last-minuters…then, have we got some unique holiday gift solutions for YOU!

Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Christmas (or Festivas), we’ve all experienced the conundrum of either forgetting someone on our gift list OR worse yet, someone has gifted you and now you have to hustle, last minute, to come up with a gift that doesn’t ‘look’ last minute. University of Fashion to the rescue. We’ve got UoF subscription options and some of the best books that any fashionista would positively drool over.


stockings on a clothes line
Hurry, our once-a-year sale ends December 31, 2023

Get a yearly subscription for $149, that’s $40 off our regular price of $189. Use promo code: BEST

Or, get a monthly for $10 (first month only), was $19.95 monthly (recurring billing). Use promo code: BETTER

The best way to create a gift subscription for someone is to buy the subscription for yourself and then simply give the other person your subscription’s login credentials.

Here’s the process in more detail:

1. Go to our “Sign-up” page at https://www.universityoffashion.com/sign-up/, then click “Order Now” under either our “Monthly” or “Yearly” subscription options.

2. Fill out the order form using your own email address, name and address. However, when the form asks you to choose a username, choose a username that would be appropriate for your gift recipient. For example, if you’re giving the subscription to someone named, Sally Jones, create a username like “sjones”.  Use your credit card or PayPal to pay for the subscription.

3. Now for the fun part! Give your gift recipient the username and password you used to set up their gift subscription and tell them to login. They can easily change their new account’s name, email address and/or password by logging in and clicking “Edit Profile”.

 

Give the Gift of UoF Books that Compliment our Videos

University of Fashion beginner book covers- draping, pattern making and sewing

University of Fashion’s step-by-step Beginner Techniques: Sewing, Draping and Pattern Making

Our 3- part book series is the perfect gift for anyone interested in learning how to become a fashion designer. Techniques for Beginners: Sewing, Techniques for Beginners: Draping and Techniques for Beginners: Pattern Making are all step-by-step, frame-by-frame, compliments to our video lessons. Each book contains additional industry tips & tricks and tons of historical information. Our inspirational fashion runway images reinforce techniques used in the industry and at the best fashion colleges.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry book

Every fashionista MUST know their fashion history and the best way to learn it is by studying the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, Second Edition, co-written by University of Fashion founder, Francesca Sterlacci. Not only does the book cover the historical evolution of fashion, as well as the events, innovations and people that helped shape the fashion industry today, but also covers the vast number of careers within the field. This book is the A-Z of the fashion industry and is a valuable resource for the budding fashionista OR that ‘fashion curious’ person in your life. Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, Second Edition is available in hardcover and on Kindle.

Leather Fashion Design book cover

Leather Fashion Design, written by our founder Francesca Sterlacci

Leather Fashion Design is a practical introduction for students explaining how to make garments from leather, suede, and similar materials. It covers everything from what to look for in choosing a skin to work with, through pattern-making, sewing techniques, and finishing. The final chapter includes working with “leather-like” materials including Ultrasuede and faux patent leather. This book is a nice compliment to our video lessons, Leather: From Tanning to Types,  Faux Leather, Suede & Patent Leather Sewing Tips, Leather Sewing Techniques, and our series on planning a leather jacket, from Leather Sorting & Cutting, Interfacing & Stabilizing Leather Seams to our 4-part lessons on how to sew the jacket.

Click the links on the book titles above to the Amazon pages where the books can be purchased.

DID YOU KNOW? UNIVERSITY OF FASHION OFFERS A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM !

UoF Certificate(Image credit: example of University of Fashion Certificate of Completion)
Our subscribers had been asking us about how they could earn a certificate upon completion of our lessons. We get it, who wants to invest hours of time and money and not get a reward? Well, at last, and after hours of computer programming (and money), we are proud to announce our University of Fashion Certificate of Completion program, available to all our paid subscribers.
Sure you can attend fashion school and pay thousands (that is if you are lucky enough to get accepted), but for those in the ‘know’, why not take advantage of 500+ lessons all taught by top fashion college professors and industry pros, learn at your own pace any time of day or night, in the privacy of your own home, rewind and replay a lesson over and over until you get it, at a fraction of the cost of fashion school?
Ask any of our subscribers, UoF’s customer service is top notch! Have a question about one of our lessons? No problem, our teachers are ready, willing and able to answer them within 24 hours. We always love hearing from our students.

Now You Can Earn a UoF Certificate for Your Efforts


(Image credit: University of Fashion subscriber draping and sewing a dress)

How UoF’s Certificate of Completion Program Works

(Image credit: An example of a student’s My Learning page – listing lessons ‘in-progress’ & 100% completed)

All University of Fashion paid subscribers can now receive a Certificate of Completion for any and all completed lessons and lectures. You can track your individual progress toward earning a certificate by clicking on the My Learning tab on the left side of your Account page. Here you can track all of your lessons and your lesson progress.

(Image credit: University of Fashion student calculating fabric consumption & costing a garment)

 

Is there a Cost for a UoF Certificate of Completion?

No. There is NO extra charge for a University of Fashion Certificate of Completion. If you are a paid monthly or yearly subscriber and completed one of our lessons, you are eligible to obtain a certificate. Our certificate program just launched and we have subscribers who have already earned 20+ certificates!

(Image credit:Example of a student’s My Learning page showing lesson discipline, certificate & date earned)

 

Benefits of a UoF Certificate of Completion

Beyond that feeling of accomplishment at having learned and mastered a new subject or technique, there are many other benefits to earning our Certificates:

  • Present your certificates to prospective employers, along with examples of your completed draped, drafted and sewn projects
  • Include UoF certificates to your portfolio for job application and college admission purposes
  • Frame your certificates as proof of your competence in multidisciplines to your clients
  • Export and email your certificates to your instructors for extra credit
  • Prove to your employer that you have up-skilled in a particular area
  • Demonstrate to a school administrator proof of your competence and proficiency in teaching additional subjects

More Good News

Now until 12/31/23 we are offering $40 off a yearly subscription to UOF. Was $189/Now $149

Use promo code: BEST

Sign up at https://www.universityoffashion.com/sign-up/

Spread the word! Start completing lessons and printing out your UoF certificates. Let us know how many you’ve earned!

OUR ONCE YEARLY HOLIDAY SPECIAL IS HERE!

 

At last! Our Once Yearly Holiday Special is Here

From now until December 31, 2023, you will be able to get $40 off a yearly subscription to University of Fashion’s 500+ fashion education video lessons

What was $189 for a yearly, is now $149.                        At checkout use promo code: BEST

We’re also offering $10 off a monthly subscription (1st month only).

What was $19.95 for a monthly (recurring billing) is now $9.95 for the first month.                At checkout use promo code: BETTER

UoF promo codes for yearly at $149 was $189 and monthly was $9.95 monthly (recurring billing) was $19.95

 

Give the Gift of Fashion Education

 Do you have a special someone in your life who is:

an aspiring designer

interested in a career in retail fashion

unable to afford fashion college

currently attending fashion school but needs help

a high schooler looking for fashion college admissions advice

a high school teacher looking for teaching inspiration

a college instructor in need of instructional content

a teacher or working professional looking to upskill

a designer who needs portfolio help

a designer hoping to launch their own brand

a current designer looking to upskill

interested in becoming a sustainable designer

looking to become a menswear, womenswear, childrenswear or accessories designer

among the fashion curious – interested in all things fashion

With 13 different disciplines, you will learn, online, 24/7, at your convenience, in the privacy of your own home or office. Choose from lessons in:
list of subjects taught at UoF

We also offer a certificate of completion for every lesson that you complete:

Sample of University of Fashion Certificate of Completion

Get a UoF gift for that special fashionista in your life…maybe even one for yourself!

Winter’s Coming: Why Not Draft & Make Your Own Coat or Cape?

poster frame for Wrap Coat lesson

University of Fashion’s new lesson: Drafting a Women’s Wrap Coat

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are falling and you’ve been looking for your next challenge – well, here it is! Why not draft and make your own coat or cape? We have just added a wrap coat lesson and a cape lesson to make that happen. Our wrap coat lesson teaches you how to draft a women’s belted wrap coat with an oversized collar, set-in sleeves and patch pockets. You will also learn how to draft a full lining for the coat. Wrap coats are great. No button and button closures to deal with (sigh!) and it is one of the most casual coats to wear. Whether you choose a soft wool gabardine or a medium weight cashmere, or even a velvet so you can wear it for formal occasions, a wrap coat is versatile. If you are a skilled sewer, why not even consider making it in faux suede?

In the lesson you will learn how to interpret our wrap coat sketch to determine such things as: the coat’s length, the collar width, the pocket size and placement, the belt width, and the amount of wrap underlay and coat sweep.

sketch of women wearing a wrap coat

University of Fashion wrap coat illustration by Steven Broadway

image of drafting a women's cape lesson

University of Fashion’s new lesson: Click to view the lesson preview: Drafting a Women’s Cape Coat

Our women’s cape coat lesson includes a hood and a full lining. You will learn how to interpret the cape sketch, starting with the cape’s length, its sweep, the pocket placement, hood height, button and buttonhole placement and how to draft a lining.

Capes can be formal or casual when made in either velvet, or a wool and wool plaid. And if you’re up to it, why not make it reversible, with one side out of a water-repellant material and the other side a lightweight wool? There are so many design options with this style. Let your imagination take over!

It All Starts with the Sloper Library

poster frames for lessons teaching how to convert basic slopers to coat slopers

University of Fashion lessons on how to convert Basic Slopers to Suit & Coat Slopers

As every smart designer/pattern maker knows, it all starts with the right slopers. Our coat and cape lessons are based off the slopers that we teach on the University of Fashion website. Starting with sleeves: how to draft a basic straight sleeve sloper from measurements, then how convert it to a fitted sleeve, then how to convert that fitted sleeve to a suit sleeve.

For the body, we start with drafting a basic bodice from measurements, and then convert it to a torso sloper. From there we convert the torso sloper to a suit jacket sloper, and then the suit jacket sloper gets converted to a coat body & sleeve sloper. Once your sloper library is complete, you’ll have a ball designing coats (and suits) to your heart’s content!

 

Share your cape and coats with us on Instagram @uofprojects. We’d love to see how creative you can be!

Introducing Our New Instructor Lane Odom & CLO 3D Design Series

- - Uncategorized
Lane Odom Headshot

Lane Odom – UoF’s CLO 3D instructor (Photo courtesy: Lane Odom)

At University of Fashion, our mission has always been to prepare students with a solid foundation in on-the-table technical techniques, as well as computer-assisted design and pattern making skills. In 2022, with our industry embracing 3D design software, we added a 3D Browzwear lesson series, taught by industry pros Iris Hopkins and Brittany Gray.

We are proud to announce that we are expanding our commitment to 3D  by adding lessons in CLO 3D, taught by our newest instructor, Lane Odom. Lane’s series begins with an Introduction to CLO 3D, followed by How to Construct a Garment with Existing 3D Patterns and then How to Draft a CLO 3D Women’s Bodice Block. Lane provides instructions on how to purchase the CLO 3D software and demonstrates how you can actually draft a set of slopers, based on your avatar’s measurements from scratch, a rare lesson in the 3D space. Click on the link below each lesson’s poster frame to view a preview of that particular lesson.

2-PosterFrame-CA-CLO-001-Introduction to CLO3D

                                                                                  UoF’s lesson on Introduction to CLO 3D

 3-PosterFrame-CA-CLO-002-Constructing a Garment With Existing Patterns-LT

                                        UoF’s lesson Constructing a Garment with Existing Patterns

 

 

ABOUT LANE ODOM

Upon graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in International Studies, Lane enrolled at Parsons School of Design to pursue a A.A.S. Fashion Design degree. After four semesters, he graduated with honors and displayed his senior thesis collection with the Design x NYC student showcase.

Through the post-pandemic uncertainty of 2021, Lane started as an intern for Swiss apparel start-up Mover Plastic Free Sportswear. There, he quickly became a full-time employee and eventually assumed all responsibilities for product design, development and production, and managed a global supply chain of premium materials and top-notch European craftsmanship.

Lane Odom wearing a Mover Plastic Free Sportswear Jacket

Lane Odom wearing a Mover Plastic Free Sportswear jacket (Photo courtesy Mover Plastic Free Sportswear)

Lane eventually launched his own capsule collection online under the brand name Vane. Not only is Vane about my personal journey as a designer, but I want to establish a business that is going to nurture its community and make its corner of the world a better place” he says.

models wearing Vane collection

Lane Odom’s Vane collection (Photo credit: Vane)

As Lane advances his journey in fashion design, he hopes to continue to increase his involvement in the education of the next generation with the knowledge he has gained from his experiences in the industry.

In an interview with University of Fashion founder, Francesca Sterlacci, Lane shares his career aspirations and his interest in 3D design:

What made you interested in fashion after having graduated with a degree from Johns Hopkinson in International Studies?

I became interested in fashion from an entrepreneurial perspective during my second year at Johns Hopkins. I always had an active imagination and would find myself daydreaming a lot. I saw that fashion could be a great mix of creativity and business/analytics, and I quickly fell in love with sketching ideas. On top of that, fashion was going through its “streetwear renaissance,” where it felt like participation in the industry was opening up, and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring. I knew I wanted to have a career contributing to culture and leaving a positive impact; it just so happened I found my passion in fashion, and it has been a fulfilling medium after my time as an athlete.

What prompted your interest in learning 3D?

My Design Communication class at Parsons was my first introduction to the software. The class had a focus on CLO3D, with the final project to build an eight-look collection by the end of the semester. I took to the program immediately, thoroughly enjoying the ability to conceptualize designs beyond 2D drawings. Additionally, I already had a lot of interest in technical design. Since I came to fashion with an entrepreneurial spirit, I felt it would be important for me to be able to build garments on my own. 3D stood out to me as a tool for a less resource-intensive approach, in both product development and presentation.

Do you think 3D is as accepted in the fashion industry as it could be? 

I think naturally it is going to take time for industry professionals to get familiar with 3D, and how to integrate it into the design and development process, as well as establishing standardization across different software. While it is digital, 3D is still quite technical, not just in clothing design but in 3D modeling/animation as well, so I think it will always have a particular type of user. I think the first to adopt 3D is/should be technical designers and pattern makers, or any designers who are really into the making process. Then it remains to be seen how product represented in 3D will be received by fashion consumers. Again, it’s going to take time for people to build trust with 3D, just as it takes time for any brand to build trust with customers. All and All I think 3D is exactly where it should be, and it will be up to the early adopters to continue to prove its use cases.

What role does sustainable design play in your future aspirations as a designer? 

Mainly using natural materials as much as possible. If we can create more products with its end-of-life cycle in mind, then we can cut down on a lot of plastic pollution relatively easily. I love wool as a fiber for its versatility across knits and wovens and its interaction with a person’s body. I think that is a great place to start as an independent designer, and then continue to track our impact and continue to make responsible decisions as we grow.

Do you find your proficiency in on-the-table technical skills a big plus when working with 3D design software?

Yes, definitely. If anything, the 3D software has been a vital tool to practice my on-the-table technical skills more efficiently. Being able to study different pattern drafting methods before needing to cut and sew is a big plus. The 3D simulation not only shows you silhouette, but also where fabrics are falling, bunching, or stretching around the body. It will always require technical know-how to correct or alter your garment. Even though it is digital, when you know what you are looking for, you have to take the right steps to achieve a good result, just like you would on the table.

Follow Lane Odom:

IG @vanestudiosofficial

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lane-odom-431243115

TikTok @lernonvane

 

BREAKING NEWS – BACK-TO-SCHOOL DEAL

Breaking news- UoF offers a back-to-school special to all students

School has begun and our mission is your success. If you are a student in high school, college, or at a fashion school from anywhere around the world, and you are looking for help with your projects, then we’re here for YOU!

We have 500+ on-demand video lessons in 13 different disciplines all taught by fashion professors & industry pros:

  • Draping
  • Pattern making
  • Sewing
  • Fashion Drawing
  • Knits
  • Menswear
  • CAD Art: includes 3D design, textile design, etc.
  • CAD Pattern making
  • Accessories: includes handbags, shoes & small leather goods design
  • Product Development
  • Childrenswear
  • Fashion Business: includes business start-up, retailing, branding, licensing & more
  • Lecture series: includes color theory, trend forecasting, textiles, visual merchandising, etc.

We usually only make this offer once a year (during the Holidays), BUT to give students a head start this year, we are so, so, so, happy to offer ALL students a $30 discount on a yearly subscription to UoF.

SPECIAL UOF DISCOUNT - $30 OFF A YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION WAS $189 NOW $159

Click the link to sign-up: https://www.universityoffashion.com/sign-up/

REMEMBER: THIS OFFER EXPIRES 9.21.2023

 

Announcing UoF’s Newest Lessons: Drafting Cut & Sew Knits – Part 1

Since launching the University of Fashion in 2008 the mission of the company has always been to preserve the art and craft of fashion design. Now, as we enter our 16th year in business, I am proud to say that we are not only holding to that mission, but have expanded into other areas of fashion education, including fashion retailing and merchandising, visual merchandising, fashion law, influencer marketing and the newest fashion industry area;  3D digital design.

We now have over 500 lessons in 13 different disciplines and we continue to add additional content to our library monthly. In fact, we recently filmed an entire cut & sew knit lesson series in response to student suggestions. From learning about knit fabrics and stretch ratios to drafting knit slopers – you asked & we delivered.

Your Knit Journey Starts Here

Poster frames from 2 lessons : Intro to Knits & Knit Fabric Principles and Introduction to Knit Fabrics preview                                      Knit Fabric Principles preview

The first step when designing a cut and sew knit garment is to learn about knit fabric. In our lesson entitled, Introduction to Knit Fabrics, we demonstrate the difference between woven and knit fabrics and how knit fabric is structured. You will learn the meaning of terms like knit and purl, wale and course and how a weft knit differs from a warp knit. We will teach you about different types of yarns and how knits are made so that you will make the best knit fabric choice for each of your designs.

In our lesson, Knit Fabric Principles, you will learn more about designing with knits. We’ll teach you all about the four characteristics of knit fabrics, what it means when a knit fabric has 1-way, 2-way or 4-way stretch, as well as the six categories of stretch ratio percentages, so that you will be able to draft your knit design for your knit fabric choice.

How to Draft Your Knit Slopers

poster frames of lessons Drafting a Women's Fitted Stable Knit T-shirt from Measurements & Drafting a Women's Relaxed Fit Knit T-shirt from Measurements

Drafting a Women’s Relaxed Fit Knit T-shirt from Measurements

Drafting a pattern from body measurements can be challenging, but not at University of Fashion. When you draft your T-shirt slopers from our lessons, Fitted Stable Knit T-shirt and the Relaxed Fit  T-shirt from Measurements, we provide downloadable charts and diagrams to help you locate all of the key measurement-taking points. We also provide downloadable worksheets so that you can easily record your measurements. The women’s fitted stable knit T-shirt sloper will become the basis for all of your knit designs for 1-way and 2 way stretch fabric.

Body measuring points diagram

Drafting a 4-Way Knit Stretch Sloper

Converting a Stable Knit T-shirt & Sleeve Sloper to 4-way Stretch Knit Sloper preview

Once you’ve drafted your Fitted Stable Knit T-shirt sloper, you’re ready to learn how to convert that sloper to a 4-way knit stretch sloper. Our lesson, Converting a Stable Knit T-shirt & Sleeve Sloper to a 4-way Stretch Knit Sloper, results in a sloper that can be used for all of your activewear, shapewear and swimwear garment designs.

Designing & Drafting a Cut & Sew Knit Legging & Unitard

poster frames for Drafting a Legging lesson and Drafting a Unitard lesson

Drafting a Women’s Knit Unitard preview                                   Drafting a Legging preview

By combining the 4-way Stretch Knit Sloper, drafted in our lesson Converting a Stable Knit T-shirt & Sleeve Sloper to 4-way Stretch Knit, with the legging drafted in our lesson Drafting a Legging, you’ll learn how to combine the two slopers to draft a unitard from our lesson, Drafting a Women’s Knit Unitard.

Designing a Cut & Sew Knit Hoodie

poster frame from lesson Drafting a Hooded Top

Drafting a Hooded Knit Top preview 

Using the sleeveless stable knit T-shirt sloper drafted in our lesson, Drafting a Women’s Fitted Stable Knit T-shirt from Measurements you will learn how to draft a hooded knit top made of a cotton/Lycra single knit jersey. We’ll teach you how to interpret a sketch to so that you can ascertain key measurements, such as the neck drop, the neck opening and the height and width of the hood.

Stay tuned for more cut & sew knit lessons: Drafting a Camisole with a Shelf Bra, a Racerback Halter Tank; and a knit neckline series that includes: how to draft an Asymmetric, Built-up, Boatneck, Collared, Cowl, Crewneck, Off  Shoulder, Scoop, Square, Surplice, Turtleneck and a V-Neckline.

 

 

Fashion Industry’s Top Recruiter: Sue Lamoreaux

 

Sue Lamoreaux Managing Director at Solomon Page

Sue Lamoreaux – Managing Director at Solomon Page (Image credit: Solomon Page)

If you have been working in the fashion industry for a while, then you probably already know that the best executive recruiting firm is Solomon Page. And, if you’re lucky, you may have already met Sue Lamoreaux, one of the founding members of Solomon Page.

This week’s blog is dedicated to Sue, who is celebrating her 32nd year with SP. She has been placing candidates in roles ranging from Presidents, VP’s, Directors, Chief Commercial officers, Supply Chain, Marketing leads, Global Sourcing, ECommerce, Chief Digital, General Managers (GM’s), Product Development, Creative Directors, in addition to strategic mid-level positions across all disciplines in the fashion industry.

In 2022, and for the sixth year in a row, Forbes named Solomon Page as one of America’s Best Professional Recruiting firms.

I have personally known Sue for years, ever since I was chair of the Fashion Dept. at FIT. Sue regularly gave of her time critiquing, advising and guiding graduating students on their portfolios, resumes and interview preparation (she has been doing the same for Parsons for the past 10 years).

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Sue to talk about the job market, current and future hiring trends in the fashion industry, and how the industry is utilizing University of Fashion for upskilling its personnel. Sue is a treasure trove of information, and I am thrilled and honored that she has agreed to share her knowledge with us. Here goes:

Francesca: What are the main jobs you recruit for in the fashion industry?

 Sue: I recruit Design Directors, VP of Design, Creative Directors, Merchandising, Planning, Digital Marketing, Brand Marketing, Ecommerce, Technical Design, Sales, Global Sourcing /Production, Supply Chain/Operation. These would be the most frequent, but there are plenty of other titles and categories in Fashion that I place.

fashion industry job titles

Francesca: Can you give salary ranges for each job?

Sue: This is a tricky question since the salaries vary from city/state, companies, associated benefits packages, a job’s specific responsibilities, if it’s hybrid or on site (salary adjustments post Covid). The hot topic right now is salary equity for those who are back in office versus those who are permitted to remain remote or hybrid (as commuting and tax situations can result in cost differences). I have found that many candidates are assuming that they will still have the option to be hybrid or remote when seeking a new job, but the majority of New York area companies have a return to office directive and new employees will especially have even less flexibility than most. It’s always best to ask upfront about specific related policies, since this is not a negotiating point for most companies.

Francesca: How important is going to a fashion school for someone looking for a job as a designer, a product developer, etc.?

 Sue: Very important… Some companies even have a baseline requirement for a bachelor’s degree, or at least an associate’s degree, and there are many competing candidates who have master’s degrees that you will be competing with for candidate selection. But the relevant skills are still critical in your application.

I know many graduates of design schools who needed supplementary technical construction training, since many of the schools don’t spend enough time in the semester honing the craft. I always recommend taking that needed course with University of Fashion so you can be confident in your skills. Prospective employers expect you to know garment construction and specs before you start working and not to be learning/teaching on the job.

Francesca: Are there certain fashion schools that employers value most? And why?

Sue: There’s a wide variety… FIT, Parsons, CSM, SCAD, Otis, RISD, Kent, Marist College, University of Cincinnati, among others.  Sometimes it’s the knowledge and endorsement of the faculty, or the hiring manager is an alumnus, or sometimes it has to do with the way the programs are structured, and they know the students have worked substantive internships all 4 years. Companies like when they can hire a graduate who has had work experience at a brand they know. Or even stay on part time during the school year, post working in the summer of junior year work experience.  Brand experience matters much more than a study abroad program your junior year of college, if you are weighing out whether or not it’s worth it or will make a difference in your application.

list of fashion schools

Francesca: For product development positions, do companies require hands on knowledge of on-the-table skills such as pattern making, sewing, and draping?

Sue: Yes, it’s very important for product development people to have foundational knowledge of garment construction. Many times, they are involved in the fit sessions and it’s important when they are looking at cost, fabric capabilities, what will work, and offering options/alternatives for better pricing etc.  Sometimes companies forgo the designer and just have a product developer who could be creating private label for their accounts and are adapting and modifying garments for the client. They don’t always need to sketch, and many times have a great overseas partner to work with.

Francesca: How important is a portfolio in a job search?

Sue:  A designer must have a portfolio; a pdf of work that is ready to go (and can be edited easily) and/or a website that is easy to access. Remember, many may be looking at your website from their phone, so be sure it’s easy to view from a mobile device.

 

portfolio

Francesca: Can you provide insight into what should be included in a portfolio for a design position?

Sue: It should be comprised of several components: Trend/aspirational boards showing images, color, fabric and details. Illustrations are important, flats and something technical to show you can execute a tech pack. Additionally, computer work, Photoshop, illustrator is a baseline requirement for everyone! As soon as your work is being viewed, it takes an experienced hiring manager seconds to determine if he/she connects with your style, your brand messaging, and your technical accuracy. If they don’t connect, you probably won’t be asked to interview.

View UoF’s 9-part series on how to plan a stellar portfolio:

Creating An Inspiration Board and Creating A Customer Board

Creating a Mood Board and Inspiration Board

Creating a Fabric Board and Creating a Color Story

Creating a Design Development Board and Flats & Figure Board

Creating a Fashion Figure Line Sheet

Francesca: How in demand is 3D design education in the industry?

Sue: Some companies have invested heavily in it and will only interview candidates who have been trained on it, since it’s expensive for them to train you and you will have a transition of time before you are proficient. So, if you have the opportunity to learn it, it’s in your best interest to learn it!

Browzwear: Introduction to 3D and V Stitcher

Francesca: Is agism a ’thing’ in the fashion industry?

Sue: Age and experience are not something to hide! Experienced people are the managers and leaders of companies. VP level, SVP, Chief, President, CEO’s all need experience in order to have earned that position. With that said, it is critical to stay up to date on key technology skills and things like industry trends and purchasing habits. Continuing to educate yourself ensures and protects your longevity in the industry.

Francesca: How hard is it for someone right out of school to get a job?

Sue: Right now, the hiring market is soft, but people who have work experience during college and have standout work in their portfolios, the right skills companies are in need of, and are seeking work in the growing disciplines, they are still getting jobs. If you don’t get hired full-time, see if you can get an entry level freelance job so you can earn some work experience and brand to document.

Francesca: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about a design job in the fashion industry?

Sue: Get your education at the best place you can, be sure you work during school and set your expectations realistically. You may not ultimately be a runway designer, but you could just as valuable as a technical design/patternmaker, who is the right hand to the Design Director. (i.e.: if the garment doesn’t fit, the customer isn’t buying it!).

tech pack for swimwear

University of Fashion’s lesson: Creating a Swim Bottom Tech Pack in Illustrator

Francesca: How can working with a recruiter help me in my job search and where can I go about making those contacts?

 Sue: Working with an experienced recruiter is a huge plus, but not every company will pay for the service. Many companies post jobs on their own website and LinkedIn. Entry level jobs are infrequently listed with recruiters and are addressed internally, generally. Sometimes I will get an entry level assignment because the internal recruiting has been unsuccessful, so always ask.

If you are able to work with a recruiter for a particular search the benefit will be that you will have guidance for interview preparation, portfolio recommendations, resume tips, salary negotiation assistance, etc. Honesty, it is very important in this partnership. Please know that if you have already submitted your resume to a company on your own, your recruiter will be blocked from representing you for that role.

Solomon Page logo

Francesca: What are some things I should be sure to highlight in my resume, cover letter, and portfolio that employers look out for? And how can I make myself stand out to an employer when I am one of so many candidates applying for a role?

Sue: They look for relevant experience to their brand identity and the specific position they are recruiting for. Research the company and say something about them. Look at their job post. For example, if they want 3D experience and you don’t have it, you probably won’t get flagged to interview. Or if your portfolio work is so different than their aesthetic, you may not be selected.

 Francesca: What advice would you give to someone going on an initial interview?

 Sue: Remember, first interviews are still predominantly video. Be prepared for that.  Make sure that you can upload everything smoothly and quickly while you are speaking.  Be sure to load whatever video format the company is using to your computer well before the interview, so it’s ready to go (I have 5 different brands loaded on my computer, so don’t assume that everyone uses, Zoom) And of course the obvious, research the company!

Computer interview

 

Be sure to subscribe to the Solomon Page Blog, where you’ll find lots of free tips:

Francesca: What is your outlook for the future of employment within the fashion industry? Which sectors do you predict will grow and which do you think may decline?

Sue: Marketing is still the biggest department for fashion companies. Looking for work in this area and all of the subsets (i.e., brand marketing, digital marketing, performance marketing, social, ecommerce, communication, etc.) gives you a better chance of finding work. Some departments, such as sales, have shrunk (but not gone away) as more companies are direct-to-consumer (DTC), although there still is a need for good salespeople to be represented in a brick & mortar setting.

Many thanks to Sue for sharing her expertise with our UoF subscribers and followers. Here is Sue’s contact info should you want to thank her yourself:

Susan Lamoreaux

Solomon Page

P (212) 824-1580 x2582

C  (908) 451-5537
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