University of Fashion Blog

Category "Fashion Business"

Move Over Hollywood- There’s a New Act in Town

Apple TV+’s  production of  The New Look, is one of a growing number of fashion entertainment projects. LVMH is now developing its own film production company. (Photo Credit: Apple TV +)

If you are an avid follower of fashion then no doubt you’ve have already watched all 10 episodes of  The New Look (Apple TV+). The clothes, the history, and the acting were all superb (despite its 57% average Rotten Tomatometer score). And, if you haven’t already viewed these 12 other must-watch fashion films, well…what are you waiting for? Get out the popcorn and get going: Cristóbal Balenciaga (2024-Disney+), Westwood: Punk Icon, Activist (2018-Amazon Prime); McQueen (2018-Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+); Saint Laurent (2014-Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+); Coco Before Chanel (2009-Amazon Prime, Apple TV+); Martin Margiela: In His Own Words (2019-Amazon Prime, Apple TV+); Lagerfeld Confidential (2007); Dior and I (2014- Apple TV+); Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008); House of Gucci (2021- Amazon Prime, Apple TV+); and although Bill Cunningham wasn’t a fashion designer, he was instrumental in putting many a young designer on the map, including UoF’s founder, Francesca Sterlacci, so you’ve got to watch The Times of Bill Cunningham (2020).

Image of Bill Cunningham movie

The Times of Bill Cunningham a film by Mark Bozek (Image courtesy: Greenwich Entertainment)

 

It was only a matter of time that the fashion industry, who have been dressing Hollywood’s glitterati for decades, would cross-over into the world of film making. One could argue that the  MET Gala started it all with their coverage of fashion’s version of the Oscars, which is live-streamed on DirecTV, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV and Sling. The MET turned their bi-yearly fashion exhibitions into red carpet media productions, with reported costs for mounting each exhibit upwards of $7 million. This year they raised $26 million just from the Sleeping Beauties show Gala. Ticket sales for the exhibition itself will be icing on the cake! By the way, if you ever wondered what goes into the making of a MET exhibition be sure to watch The First Monday in May (2016- YouTube) documentary

FASHION BRANDS TAKE ON HOLLYWOOD

Once confined to runways and glossy pages, fashion companies are now venturing into the entertainment industry and capitalizing on the connection between fashion and film. From established luxury houses to avant-garde designers, the allure of storytelling through film has become a captivating new frontier. Let’s take a look at how some of the biggest names in fashion are effortlessly infiltrating the entertainment space.

TOM FORD

Nocturnal Animals is Tom Ford’s second film. (Photo Credit: Focus Features)

Renowned for his impeccable taste in fashion, Tom Ford has made a remarkable mark in the world of cinema. Transitioning effortlessly from designing stunning couture to crafting compelling narratives, Ford has proven himself a visionary filmmaker. With critically acclaimed films like A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2016), Ford’s unique blend of style and substance has captivated audiences worldwide. His films not only showcase his talent for storytelling but also serve as an extension of his distinctive aesthetic, making him a true icon in both fashion and film.

SAINT LAURENT PRODUCTION COMPANY

The poster for Strange Way of Life, a new film by Pedro Almodóvar. Photo (Credit Saint Laurent: Productions)

Saint Laurent, the epitome of Parisian chic, has expanded its influence beyond the runway with its own production company. Led by creative director Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent Production Company delves into the world of film with a focus on creating visually stunning content. From short films to documentaries, each project reflects the brand’s signature edgy glamour. With a roster of talented directors and actors, Saint Laurent’s foray into filmmaking offers a fresh perspective on the intersection of fashion and cinema.

The company screened three films at this past Cannes Film Festival, including David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds, which stars Diane Kruger and Vincent Cassel, and Jacques Audiard’s Emilia Perez with Zoe Saldana and Selena Gomez. It’s a clever way to strengthen a company’s Hollywood ties while recruiting prospective brand ambassadors.

LVMH’S 22 MONTAIGNE

Antoine Arnault will lead LVMH’s new Hollywood production company called, 22 Montaigne Entertainment. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

When two icons meet, the world pays attention. LVMH, with its constellation of 75+ luxury brands, and Hollywood, with its global influence, are joining forces to create something truly spectacular. The name itself, 22 Montaigne, resonates with heritage and prestige. It’s the address of the iconic Dior headquarters in Paris, a symbol of elegance and creativity. And now, it’s making waves in the world of entertainment.

22 Montaigne Entertainment is not just about fashion. It’s a groundbreaking collaboration, in partnership with Superconnector Studios. Co-founders Jae Goodman and John Kaplan will work with LVMH North America Chairman/CEO Anish Melwani to find the right match between its brands and creators, producers and distributors. LVMH will co-develop, co-produce and co-finance these entertainment properties. Directors, writers, actors, and fashion designers will be working hand in hand to craft immersive experiences that captivate audiences on and off the screen. It’s a fusion of storytelling and style, where every detail, from costumes to set designs, becomes a work of art.

NICK KNIGHT’S SHOWSTUDIO

Step through the looking glass and backstage with Naomi Campbell in this Nick Knight and SHOWstudio fashion film. (Courtesy of Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio)

At the forefront of fashion innovation, Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio is a digital playground for creatives. Through groundbreaking projects and collaborations, SHOWstudio explores the intersection of fashion, art, and technology. From live-streamed photo shoots to experimental films, Knight pushes the boundaries of visual storytelling. With its dynamic online platform, SHOWstudio invites audiences to engage with fashion in a truly interactive way, bridging the gap between virtual and reality.

KERING

Salma Hayek with François-Henri Pinault whose company Kering now owns CAA Talent Agency. (Photo Credit Getty: Images)

Beyond its portfolio of luxury brands, Kering has diversified its reach by acquiring CAA Hollywood Talent Agency. With a roster of A-list actors and directors, CAA represents some of the biggest names in entertainment. By merging fashion and film under one umbrella, Kering has created a synergy that opens up endless possibilities for collaboration. From red carpet appearances to brand partnerships, Kering’s presence in Hollywood solidifies its status as a powerhouse in both industries.

Hollywood and Fashion find a new synergy with Kering’s acquisition of CAA Talent Agency. (Photo Credit: The Wrap)

The convergence of fashion and entertainment has given rise to a new era of creativity and collaboration. Whether it’s through filmmaking, production companies, immersive retail experiences, or talent agencies, fashion companies are leaving an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. As these boundaries continue to blur, one thing is certain: the marriage of style and cinema is here to stay, captivating audiences and inspiring creatives around the world.

So, tell us, do you have a fav fashion film?

 

 

 

HONORING EARTH DAY- The Rise of Fast Fashion: How Did We Get Here, and Where Do We Go?

image of planet and with text Planet vs. Fashion

In honor of Earth Day 2024, on April 22, we thought we might take a look at the rise of fast fashion and what we can do about it. As fashion students, designers, educators, retailers and as citizens of the world, we owe it to our planet!

 

The Rise of Fast Fashion

Neutral-colored clothing hangs on a store rack (Photo Credit: Pexels/Rachel Claire)

Neutral-colored clothing hangs on a store rack (Photo Credit: Pexels/Rachel Claire)

Did you know that over 100 billion new garments are manufactured globally each year?

Unsustainable practices, like overproduction and unethical manufacturing, have become commonplace in the world of fast fashion. Today, fast fashion is a prevalent part of our world, but it wasn’t always this way.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay this way, either. In this article, we’ll explore how fast fashion rose to prominence, the issues that came with it, and how we can make change to create a more sustainable future for fashion, where ethical and sustinable practices become the new norm.

The Origins and Expansion of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion companies prioritize rapid production methods to make inexpensive, low-quality clothing. They typically copy popular styles of other designers and make them at lower costs through mass production.

Before the Industrial Revolution, new clothing was mostly handmade by skilled workers, accessible primarily to the wealthy classes. With the rise of new technologies in the early 20th century, fashion production began to see big changes. Manufacturers found ways to lower costs through new machinery and outsourcing to low-paid workers.

Men pull racks of clothing through the Garment District, New York City, in 1955 (Photo credit: World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna)

Men pull racks of clothing through the Garment District, New York City, in 1955 (Photo credit: World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna)

In the mid-20th century, fashion companies shifted to global manufacturing, leveraging overseas production to pay workers lower wages. This sparked a new wave of clothing production, where clothes were made faster and at a lower cost.

By the 1990s, this trend was accelerating rapidly. One notable player is Spanish fashion brand Zara. Founder Amancio Ortega began his company by making lower-cost versions of already popular designer looks, which were created in small batches to get them into stores as fast as possible.

Rows of jackets hang in a Zara manufacturing facility (Photo credit: Business Insider/Mary Hanbury)Rows of jackets hang in a Zara manufacturing facility (Photo credit: Business Insider/Mary Hanbury)

In 1989, shortly after Zara expanded to New York, the New York Times referred to the company as “fast fashion,” thereby naming the movement.

In the years that followed, fast fashion would come to drastically change the industry: the clothing itself, the societal view of clothing, as well as the impact on the planet as a whole.

Environmental Issues and Social Impacts of Fast Fashion

As clothing prices changed, so did societal attitudes. The view of clothing changed from something to be cared for to something to be disposed of.

This leads to increased consumption and higher waste, which is especially problematic given the high environmental toll that fast fashion practices take: an estimated 2-8% of annual global carbon emissions come from the fashion industry alone.

Fast fashion also prioritizes the use of cheaper fabrics. While both natural and synthetic fabrics can be used sustainably,fast fashion companies opt for cheap and low-quality options. This often means non-organic cotton, which is referred to as the world’s dirtiest crop due to the high amounts of pesticides used, or cheaply made synthetics like polyester, which rely on high amounts of virgin fossil fuels and cause microplastic pollution.

Fast fashion is also harmful to garment workers. It’s estimated that only 2% of fashion workers worldwide are paid a livable salary, and many work in unsafe or unhealthy environments.

Transitioning Towards a More Sustainable Future

Though the current state of fast fashion may seem grim, as awareness begins to grow around these issues, times begin to change.

Advocacy groups like Fashion Revolution and Good On You bring light to these issues and highlight brands that produce clothing more ethically.

Woman holds a bag made from Econyl, a recycled textile (Photo credit: econyl.com)

Woman holds a bag made from Econyl, a recycled textile (Photo credit: econyl.com)

 

Innovative materials are having an impact as well. For example, Econyl and rPET (recycled polyester) are creating new fabrics from post-consumer waste, like recycled fish nets and water bottles.

Yellow jacket by Danish brand Ganni made in collaboration with Polybion from their bio-based textile, Celium. (Photo credit: Ganni/Polybion)

Yellow jacket by Danish brand Ganni made in collaboration with Polybion from their bio-based textile, Celium. (Photo credit: Ganni/Polybion)

Sustainable alternatives to leather and pleather are also on the rise. One example is Polybion, which is growing a plant-based leather alternative from fermented fruit waste.

As consumers, there are steps we can take to avoid fast fashion as well. From learning how to identify ethical companies to supporting small-scale designers, even a small step is a step in the direction of a more sustainable and ethical fashion future.

So, tell us, how will you choose to embrace sustainable fashion?

 

 

 

UoF Launches Adaptive Fashion Series

Poster frames of UoF 5 lesson Adaptive fashion seriesUniversity of Fashion launches their 5-part Adaptive Fashion Series taught by Tracy Vollbrecht of Vollbrecht Adaptive Consulting (Photo courtesy: University of Fashion)

Did you know that there are more clothing options available for dogs than there are for people with disabilities? It took a long time coming, but the fashion industry is finally addressing the needs of the disability community, which is known today as Adaptive Fashion.

Thanks to our expert Tracy Vollbrecht, the University of Fashion is launching its 5-part Adaptive Fashion series to help educate the industry in the Adaptive Fashion marketplace. Our new series covers: the history adaptive fashion, how to design & develop adaptive fashion and how to merchandise and market product for the adaptive fashion consumer.

Headshot of Tracy Vollbrecht - instructor at UoF

Tracy Vollbrecht of Vollbrecht Adaptive Consulting and University of Fashion instructor (Image courtesy: Vollbrecht Adaptive Consulting)

Our series begins with the terminology used when referring to various types of disabilities. Ms. Vollbrecht also offers a downloadable Terms and Definitions document to help understand  appropriate language and terms used is this specialized market segment.

Molly Farrell, a white woman with brown hair, is shown in this photo wearing ULEX, one of the brands Tracy designed and helped launch. Molly is wearing a royal blue wrap cardigan and gray pants, while seated on bleachers. She is smiling brightly and her pink forearm crutches are visible in the photo.

Adaptive fashion designed by Tracy Vollbrecht for Yarrow featured on the Canadian TV show Fashion Dis (Image courtesy: Tracy Vollbrecht)

Ms. Vollbrecht’s history of the adaptive market covers such innovators as Helen Cookman, who in 1955, began researching the market potential of adaptable clothing at New York University’s Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after being recommended for the role by New York Times style editor Virginia Pope. Cookman would spend the next four years developing a collection called Functional Fashions, which was a collection of 17 items designed to help disabled people dress independently. However, Ms. Vollbrecht explains that upon the passing of Helen Cookman and Virginia Pope the functional fashion movement began to fade and was replaced with clothing intended to make dressing easier for the elderly. It wouldn’t be until 2004-2007 that The Adaptive Fashion Showroom and the company Wheeliechix-Chic, founded by Louisa Summerfield, came into being and would take adaptive fashion to the next level.

Monica Engle Thomas, a white woman with curly auburn hair, is shown in this photo wearing a white Yarrow sleeveless button down that Tracy designed. Monica sits in her black and white manual wheelchair. She also wears sunglasses and jeans, while holding the leash to her small dog.

Monica Engle Thomas wearing a white Yarrow sleeveless button down designed by Tracy Vollbrecht (Image courtesy: Yarrow)

Tracy Vollbrecht Interview

UoF founder  Francesc Sterlacci sat down with Tracy Vollbrecht to learn why she became interested in designing for the adaptive market and her thoughts on where the market is headed.

Francesca: Were you formally trained as a fashion designer and if so, where? What motivated you to pursue a career in adaptive fashion?

Tracy: I am! I graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. At Kent, I had the opportunity to conduct research on adaptive fashion, which was still in its second-wave infancy. I say second-wave as there was a first wave of adaptive fashion in the 60s (check out the history of adaptive fashion lesson to learn more!). Within the research I conducted, I spoke to over 75 people with varying disabilities to learn about their challenges with clothing. My research culminated in a universally designed collection shown at Kent’s annual fashion show, a published research paper, and presenting my research at various conferences, including the International Textile and Apparel Association’s annual conference. The work I did at Kent showed me that clothing challenges weren’t just an issue my dad, who had MS, had experienced, but an issue that so many people face. This motivates me every day to continue the work I do – clothing should allow everyone to express themselves and feel good, not just some of us.

Francesca: How in demand are designers with adaptive fashion expertise? How did you connect with the companies that you have designed for in this space?

Tracy: Unfortunately, adaptive fashion is still very much a niche portion of the fashion industry, which is what myself and others are working to change. There isn’t a high demand for adaptive fashion designers yet. I’m hopeful that the niche will grow and there will be more demand for designers, merchandisers, buyers, marketers, etc with adaptive fashion experience. The companies I’ve worked with have either sought me out, were referred to me, or that I connected with them through network connections.

Francesca: Can you name the companies that you have designed for and/or who you are currently working for? Are their dedicated online and brick & mortar stores exclusively selling adaptive fashion?

Tracy: My first adaptive fashion role was with Juniper Unlimited where I designed and helped launch their brands’ Yarrow and ULEX. In my consulting work with Vollbrecht Adaptive Consulting, I’ve developed training resources for Target, taught lectures at IFA Paris, conducted research for Open Style Lab, and more. I can’t share who I’m working with at the moment, but I am definitely excited for what’s to come! At this stage, adaptive fashion is almost exclusively online. As we talk about in our merchandising lesson, online shopping has both pros and cons for the Disabled consumer. It’ll be great to see brands start to carry adaptive products in store, where the shopper can find them organically.

Francesca: What are the biggest challenges in designing for people with physical challenges?

Tracy: The biggest challenges for creating adaptive fashion are the variety in needs and the fashion cycle. Within the disability community and even within the same disability (physical or not), there is so much variety in clothing needs, body shape, and challenges. No two disabilities are the same, which is why it’s so important for brands to work with people with disabilities. However, the time and effort needed to properly develop clothing that actually works for all is at odds with the fast-fashion, trend driven nature of the fashion industry currently.

Molly Farrell, a white woman with brown hair, is shown in this photo wearing ULEX, one of the brands Tracy designed and helped launch. Molly is wearing a royal blue wrap cardigan and gray pants, while seated on bleachers. She is smiling brightly and her pink forearm crutches are visible in the photo.

Molly Farrell wearing a top designed by Tracy Vollbrecht from ULEX- one of the brands she helped launch (Photo courtesy: ULEX)

Francesca: Do you see the adaptive market growing since companies like Tommy Hilfiger and other big brands have become more inclusive?

Tracy: Definitely! There is so much potential for brands to tap into the unmet needs of consumers with disabilities. Just because a few brands have gotten into the space doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more brands, all brands really, to get into the market. There will be “enough” adaptive fashion when consumers with disabilities have the same amount of choice in brand, price, and style as consumers without disabilities.

Francesca: What advice do you have for our students who may be interested in designing adaptive fashion?

Tracy: My advice to any student is that adaptive fashion is more than just adaptive design. Every role within the fashion industry (merchandising, product development, buying, marketing, etc.) is needed to make sure adaptive fashion gets into the hands of the consumer. If you have an interest in adaptive fashion, pursue it! Follow Disabled creators on social media; stay up to date on what brands are doing; volunteer for fashion shows. For designers specifically, adaptive fashion is still fashion. Getting experience working for fashion brands is essential. Since the adaptive market is still growing and there aren’t many adaptive design roles, take advantage of learning the process of design and development for non-adaptive fashion as that process still applies to adaptive fashion.

To learn more about Tracy Vollbrecht:

Cell: 732-632-7071

Website: www.vollbrechtadaptiveconsulting.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-vollbrecht/

Company LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/vollbrecht-adaptive-consulting

Learn More About the Adaptive Market

Read the book: All About Adaptive by Michele Chung

Learn how a new store in Pasadena, California caters to Adaptive Fashion consumers: Sewn Adaptive

So, tell us, how will you be pursuing a career in the Adaptive Fashion market?

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?

 

 

 

The Vital Role of Back-to-School Fashion in the Ever-Evolving Fashion Industry

Gen Z is embracing the Y2K trend. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for the NY Post)

As the sun-kissed days of summer begin to fade, a palpable excitement fills the air. It’s that time of year again – the season of fresh starts, eager minds and boundless possibilities. Back-to-school, a tradition as old as academia itself, has transformed into a runway for the fashion industry, a crucial showcase of innovation, style, and adaptability. In this era of constant change, where trends emerge and dissipate at the speed of a mouse click, back-to-school fashion stands as a testament to the fashion industry’s vitality and enduring relevance.

Back-to-school fashion acts as a playground where designers, retailers, and consumers alike come to play. It’s a symphony of colors, fabrics, and silhouettes, a canvas where creativity knows no bounds. The industry seizes this opportunity to flex its design muscles, concocting garments that mirror the hopes and aspirations of a new academic year. And has traditionally been a major marketing season for the industry. This year is no exception.

Olivia Rodrigo is a punk rock cutie. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

For the 2023/24 back-to-school season, designers have reimagined classic staples – from plaid skirts and varsity jackets to crisp button-down shirts – infusing them with a modern twist that reflects the evolving tastes of  Generation Z (1995 to 2009) and Generation Alpha (2010 to 2024). These reimagined classics become more than just clothing; they become statements of individuality and belonging. This fusion of timelessness and innovation is a reminder that fashion is, at its core, a celebration of the present, while embracing echoes of the past.

Bella Hadid’s preppy with a twist vibe will surely be a back-to-school hit. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The back-to-school rush serves as a microcosm of the industry’s intricate dance with trends. It’s not merely about forecasting the next big thing; it’s about deciphering the intricate tapestry of consumer preferences. As students head back to their classrooms, they’re not just armed with textbooks – they’re equipped with an arsenal of trends, ready to express themselves in the ever-evolving language of style.

Industry leaders meticulously study the back-to-school market to identify patterns that offer insights into the future. The colors that capture attention, the fabrics that evoke emotion, and the styles that foster confidence all act as signposts, guiding the fashion world towards the next chapter of its narrative.

NUTURING BRAND LOYALTY AND IDENTITY

Nike back-to-school promotional looks. (Photo Credit: Nike)

Back-to-school fashion transcends the realm of aesthetics; it’s an exercise in identity formation. As students walk through the school gates clad in their carefully curated ensembles, they’re broadcasting more than just fashion choices – they’re showcasing their identities, their aspirations, and their stories. This emotional connection fosters brand loyalty that can last a lifetime.

For the industry, this loyalty isn’t just a fleeting affair; it’s an investment in a lifelong relationship. The brands that succeed in capturing the hearts of back-to-school shoppers often become woven into their stories, becoming trusted companions on their journey through life.

SUSTAINABILTY AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Levi’s sustainable denim looks. (Photo Credit: Levi’s)

In recent years, the fashion industry has faced increasing scrutiny over its environmental and ethical practices. Back-to-school fashion serves as an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and responsible production. Brands that prioritize eco-friendly materials, ethical labor practices, and conscious consumption are not only shaping their own narratives but also contributing to a broader movement of positive change.

THE ECONOMIC BOOST OF BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING

Back-to-school fashion is an important sales and marketing tool for industry. (Photo Credit: SmartAsset)

The impact of back-to-school shopping on the economy is profound. In 2022, the back-to-school shopping season injected a surge of vitality into various sectors. From retail giants to local boutiques, the cash registers chimed in unison, contributing billions to the GDP. The ripple effect extends beyond traditional school supplies; it’s a time when electronics, clothing, accessories, and even home furnishing experience a surge in demand. The financial heartbeat of countless businesses races as they gear up to cater to the influx of eager shoppers.

According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, “back-to-school spending is expected to reach an unparalleled $41.5 billion, up from $36.9 billion last year and the previous high of $37.1 billion in 2021. Back-to-college spending is expected to hit $94 billion, about $20 billion more than last year’s record.”

Air Jordan’s and straight leg denim is a back-to-school favorite. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“Back-to-class shopping is one of the most important consumer shopping occasions of the year. Our research for 2023 shows American consumers are eager to jumpstart their back-to-school and college purchases early,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers have been preparing for months to ensure they are well stocked with essential items that families and students need for the school year.”

Since 2003, the National Retail Federation has conducted a thorough survey on back-to-class shopping trends. This year’s research included 7,843 consumers and was fielded June 30-July 6 with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Back-to-school shopping is well underway. According to the National Retail Federation, “as of early July, more than half (55%) of consumers who are buying for back-to-class said they have already started shopping. This is on par with last year, but is up from 44% in 2019, and is in line with the trend of consumers shopping earlier for major spending events. While consumers have started shopping early, as of early July, 85% said they still have at least half of their shopping left to do.”

Planned back to school Source NRF’s Annual 2023 Back to School Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $890.07 on back-to-school items this year, approximately $25 more than last year’s record of $864.35, and a new high. College students and their families are expected to spend an average of $1,366.95 per person, up from $1,199.43 last year, and a new record from the previous record of $1,200.32 in 2021. Since 2019, back-to-college spending has nearly doubled.

Kendeall Jenner’s chill Ninties Vibe. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

For many back-to-school consumers, the leading destinations are online, department stores and discount stores with the more creative and sustainably-minded, hitting up resale clothing shops or are making or upcycling their own clothes.  “Even though consumers plan to spend more on school and college-related items this year, they are still looking to find the best value and deals,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Consumers are stretching their dollars by comparing prices, considering off-brand or store-brand items, and are more likely to shop at discount stores than last year.”

So tell us, what are your back-to-school wardrobe plans? Will you be making or upcycling your own clothes? Thrift shop hunting? Or going traditional: online, department store or mass merchant store?

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.

 

 

Spotlight on Sustainable Designer: Eudora Tucker

image of Eudora Tucker

Eudora Tucker – New York City sustainable fashion designer (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

This week’s blogpost is dedicated to Custom Collaborative’s latest success story, NYC-based sustainable fashion designer, Eudora Tucker. But first, a bit about Custom Collaborative (CC).

Custom Collaborative is a Harlem-based non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 2015 by Executive Director Ngozi Okaro. The organization provides free training and ongoing support for women from low-income and immigrant communities through their entrepreneurship and workforce-development programs. Their Training Institute teaches the art, craft and techniques used in sustainable garment-making, as well as ethical business practices in the fashion industry.

 CC’s mission is to help women professionalize their sewing and design skills, overcome barriers to employment, and, ultimately, bring greater equity and inclusivity to the business of fashion.

University of Fashion partnered with Custom Collaborative in 2020, gifting full access to our fashion education content library. Since then, Custom Collaborative has graduated 10 cohorts of ‘fashion-preneurs’ who are making their mark by starting their own sustainable fashion brand.

Last week, I had the chance to interview Eudora and learned about her studies at CC, her design philosophy and her career aspirations. Here goes:

 Eudora Tucker’s Graffiti dress

Eudora Tucker’s Graffiti dress (Image credit: Camila Falquez)

Francesca: Tell me about your journey into fashion. Are you NYC born and raised?

Eudora: I was born and raised in Brooklyn. As a Native New Yorker, fashion has always been on my radar. I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer early on and attended The High School of Art and Design to study fashion illustration and then went on to study at FIT. Unfortunately, life happened, forcing me to pivot, but fashion has always been a huge interest. I started seriously getting back into fashion when my idol, Prince, died in 2016. As a lifelong fan, I was devastated when he passed away and I started making Prince themed jean jackets and outfits as a tribute to him. I wore them to different Prince related events that I attended. People seemed to love and admire my designs and complimented me on my creativity. That reignited my passion and pushed me to seriously pursue my dreams of being a fashion designer again. I was hand sewing and using adhesives to create my designs, which meant there were constant repairs and maintenance needed. I knew finding sewing classes would be the next step if I wanted to seriously start making custom designs for others.

Eudora Tucker’s Embellished Purple Vineyard Jacket (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

Francesca: Can you tell me about the program at Custom Collaborative? How rigorous was it and what types of things did you learn?

Eudora: The program is a 15-week course that meets Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm. It was a serious commitment, and it was truly intense. I had never used a sewing machine before so when our instructor, Delia Alleyne, showed us how to thread the needle on the first day, my head nearly exploded. I didn’t think I would ever be able to thread the machine, let alone sew something together. Fear and self-doubt overcame me, and I was questioning why I ever signed up. Delia encouraged and helped us overcome our fears and by the end of the day, I was able to successfully thread my machine. I knew it was going to be a tough road ahead, but I was up for the challenge. During those 15 weeks there were many tears shed out of frustration, but also with happiness when I was able to get through another tough lesson. In the end I completed the course with the ability to design and sew; a portfolio of work including illustrations for two collections, which included inspiration, mood and fabric boards; an awesome business plan that I wrote, and most importantly, the knowledge and confidence to go forward in pursuit of my dream.

Eudora Tucker’s Rocket Man Jacket (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

Francesca: How were the University of Fashion lessons utilized at CC?

Eudora: We constantly referred to the University of Fashion lessons while studying. We used them to reinforce lessons that Delia taught us and to complete projects on our own. I am a visual learner, so it was a tremendous help and resource for me. The videos that were the biggest help were the lessons on the invisible zipper, pattern making and layout, and draping. These were life saving for me. Due to time constraints, and the amount of projects we covered, it was impossible to learn and complete everything in class. The videos allowed us to review the task, step by step, on our own time to complete the projects correctly.

 

Eudora Tucker’s Incomparable Lady Day Shirt Dress

Eudora Tucker’s Incomparable Lady Day Shirt Dress (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

Francesca: Can you tell me about your capstone project at CC?

Eudora: My capstone project was a hand painted, full length gown with a train. My design was inspired by the feelings of fear, uncertainty and sense of lawlessness in NYC post Covid-19. With the closing of so many businesses, the graffiti artists had once again transformed our city’s landscape with their artwork, reminiscent of the late 1970s and 80s. Using donated fabric that I treated to create the Ombre effect, the design ascends from darkness to light, reflecting the transitioning of Oppression and Anarchy, rising out of Out Rage and Despair, through Faith and Unity, to ultimately arrive at Love and Peace. My design was chosen as the finale of Cohort 9’s graduation runway show and was also featured in both Vogue Business and Harper’s Bazaar articles. Not only were these very proud moments for me, but they also serve as a testament that my perseverance and hard work are truly paying off.

Eudora Tucker’s Queen Bee Jacket (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

Francesca: What made you want to focus on upcycling and sustainable design?

Eudora: Custom Collaborative is an organization that is built on the principles of fashion sustainability. I never heard of fashion sustainability and, to be honest, I was a consumer of fast fashion without even knowing it. I had never heard of the term “fast fashion” until I came to Custom Collaborative. Once I found out what it was and how it affects the planet; coupled with the unfair labor practices that affect the seamstresses that work in the factories, I quickly got on board. I started changing my purchasing habits and decided to focus on upcycling and sustainable design. I truly enjoy taking a “pre-loved” garment and repurposing it into something new and creative. It allows me to create one of a kind, statement pieces that make my clientele feel special when they wear it.

Eudora Tucker’s Dear Mum Jacket (Image credit (Eudora Tucker)

Francesca: What is the hardest thing about being a sustainable fashion designer?

Eudora: The most challenging aspect of being a sustainable designer is figuring out how to alter an existing garment. When you are locked into a design it is sometimes hard to come up with creative ways to change the garment to fit your new design. You have to use your imagination and become an out-of-the box thinker and really think about the techniques to use in order to execute your new design with the least amount of complication and in a timely manner.

Eudora Tucker’s Ode to Jean-Michele Jacket (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

Francesca: What is your ultimate goal, or goals, as a designer in the fashion industry?

Eurora: I would like to continue creating one-of-a kind statement pieces and growing my fashion sustainability brand, Princess Arabia’s Atelier. I also plan to partner with environmental agencies in NYC to offer fashion sustainability workshops to teach others what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint through more mindful fashion practices. My ultimate goal is to travel around NYC and neighboring states to educate as many people as possible and bring awareness on how the fast fashion industry continues to proliferate the amount of waste in our landfills and how it is fueling the profound negative effects of climate change. This is my small way of giving back to the planet and carrying out my duty as a good global citizen.

 Follow Eudora on Instagram: @princessarabia9

The Rainbow of it All Vest

Eudora Tucker’s  The Rainbow of it All Vest (Image credit: Eudora Tucker)

Are you a woman from a low-income community interested in starting a career in fashion? Apply to our Training Institute.

If you are interested in providing paid internships for their students write to us at: CS@UniversityofFashion.com

Are you a small or start-up clothing business? Apply to their Business Incubator. They provide services including manufacturing, technical assistance, and consulting for those who need it.

Want to volunteer? Sign up here. They’re always looking for folks to help as teacher’s assistants, guest speakers, graphic designers, special event coordinators, or fabric inventory sorters.

Want to donate fabrics, machines, or supplies? Complete this form.

To support their work in supporting striving women. Donate today.

 

UOF INSTRUCTOR UPDATE: RISHABH MANOCHA

University of Fashion is proud and fortunate to have such a wonderful team of creative and entrepreneurial instructors willing to share their knowledge and expertise. In our 14th year as the first and largest online fashion education resource, we have maintained the of highest standards when selecting our teachers.

This week’s blog post is a continuation of our instructor spotlight series and will focus on the work of Rishabh Manocha, creator of our 13-part menswear series, whose passion and respect for bespoke craftsmanship has made him one of UOF’s most popular instructors.

RISHABH MANOCHA

Rishabh Manocha

Rishabh Manocha wearing his bespoke suit handcrafted in fabric by Dormeuil (Image credit: @kirktruman)

Rishabh Manocha is a New York City based designer and bespoke tailor who established his eponymous label in 2017. An alum of Parsons School of Design and Central Saint Martins, Rishabh credits his education with Savile Row tailors for the technical soundness that complements his conceptual designs.

 

man buttoning suit jacket

Rishabh Manocha (Image credit: @kirktruman)

Artisanal integrity, sartorial heritage and the form-function dialogue, are integral aspects of Rishabh’s work. Expounding norms of bespoke tailoring as a means to understanding the human psyche is a fundamental tenet of the label. Rishabh travels extensively to research Italian French and UK mills and denim from Japan.

A Rishabh Manocha bespoke suit in pre-fitting (Image credit: Rishabh Manocha)

 

As a master of bespoke tailoring techniques, Rishabh carries out these techniques personally for his men’s and women’s bespoke commissions across the United States, UK and the Middle East.

suit basted

Bespoke tailoring techniques by Rishabh Manocha (Image credit: Rishabh Manocha)

men's collarless suit basted

Rishabh Manocha’s basted bespoke suit (Image credit: Rishabh Manocha)

 

Deeply driven by sustainability, ethical sourcing practices and transparent supply chain, Rishabh recently co-founded Lehzaa, (in Urdu means individual style), an e-commerce women’s ready-to-wear label with Omani business partner Mrs. Mrunal Khimji. Watch for their soft launch in May 2023 at www.lehzaa.com

Co-founders of Lehzaa - Mrs. Mrunal Khimji and Rishabh Manocha

Co-founders of Lehzaa – Mrs. Mrunal Khimji and Rishabh Manocha (Image credit: Rishabh Manocha)

In addition to his bespoke business, last year Rishabh branched out into leatherwork, creating wallets and briefcases to compliment his clothing.

wallet and briefcase

Rishabh Manocha leatherwear: wallets & briefcases (Image credit: Rishabh Manocha)

According to Rishabh, the world is changing. He claims that in addition to his clients having an eye for craftmanship, they seek sustainably made clothing that can stand the test of time… and they are willing to pay for it. His design philosophy encompasses:

  1. Using sustainably sourced fabrics from Italy and England
  2. Focusing on silhouettes designed to flatter every body type
  3. Making garments from recycled and upcycled real fur that are made in NYC
  4. Creating a range of bespoke leather goods for the discerning accessory wearer
basted men's jacket

Rishabh Manocha pad-stitched bespoke suit jacket (Image credit: Rishabh Manocha)

When not with his measuring tape, Rishabh devotes time to learning yoga, languages, and gastronomy. His vision is to see a more conscious and empowered consumer, ‘one garment a time’.

View Rishabh’s UOF menswear lessons:

More about Rishabh

Rishabh Manocha frequently teaches one-on-one online lessons in pattern drafting and tailoring. For more info contact him directly at info@rishabhmanocha.com

Follow him @rmanochabespoke

Visit his website rishabhmanocha.com

HOW INDIA IS BECOMING THE NEXT BIG LUXURY MARKET

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

By now, every dedicated follower-of-fashion has seen the extraordinary Dior Pre-Fall show images from Mumbai that flooded social media with the iconic Gateway of India as backdrop. Having spent seven years working/designing in India, the Dior show was of particular interest to our founder Francesca Sterlacci (FYI-the Taj Mahal hotel is across the street from the Gateway). Francesca’s love of Indian handicrafts, the preservation of those crafts, and female empowerment within the fashion industry are all missions she shares with Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The March 23rd Dior show was not only a celebration of Indian culture and craft, but of its women and its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Created by women for women, the show reinforced India’s long-standing role in manufacturing European high fashion and the growing power of its luxury consumers. The Dior/India collaboration was a showcase for all the ways the French Maison is interlinked with the artisanship of Mumbai, specifically the Chanakya School of Craft.

Behind the scenes of the Dior and Chanakya School of Craft collaboration. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Originally founded in 1986 by their father Vinod Shah, daughters Karishma Swali and Monica Shah established the Chanakya School of Craft (CSC) in 2016; a foundation and non-profit school dedicated to craft, culture and women’s empowerment and whose mission is to preserve and promote the age-old heritage of hand embroidery.

Today, the school has educated over 700 women providing them with employable skills and autonomy over their lives and their future, making embroideries for international labels such as Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Valentino, Lanvin and Prada. An immersive one-year program on master crafts covering over 300 techniques is taught, while also covering modules on business acumen, basic finance and starting new ventures. The benefit is twofold: ancient techniques and skills are revived while also being rejuvenated by the joy and ambition of those who have finally been empowered. Women of all communities in India can now create their art safely, transforming not just their own lives but the lives of those around them.

The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

Chanakya School of Craft- Mumbai India (Image credit: Chanakya.school)

The show was a testament to Chanakya and Dior’s shared commitment of promoting female empowerment, diversity and inclusivity. In addition to the beautiful embroideries made by women, Dior’s casting of models for the show were a mix of Indian and Western models in a diverse range of body types and skin tones.

Dior’s landmark Pre-Fall 2023 collection was also a celebration of the luxury house’s commitment to sustainability. The brand has been making a concerted effort to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable fashion and the show featured pieces made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton. Dior announced its commitment to using only sustainable cotton by 2025.

 

A look from from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

The Dior collection was a beautiful tribute to India’s vibrant and colorful culture and its women. It was also a perfect example of how fashion can be a powerful tool for cultural exchange. Models walked down the historic square dressed in sari-inspired drapes, kurta shirts, Nehru jackets, sherwanis and lungi skirts in a color palette of rich reds, blues, greens, and golds, featuring intricate embroidery work created by hand, by female artisans from Mumbai.

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Maria Grazia Chiuri took the final bow in the presence of a bevy of movie stars, influencers, royalty and, of course, the Ambanis (children of Mukesh Ambani, the richest person in India and Asia and the world’s ninth richest person). India has officially secured its place on the luxury fashion map!

 

OTHER LUXURY BRANDS THAT HAVE SHOWN IN INDIA

YSL 1989 show in India. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

While in the past other luxury brands have held shows in India (Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Prada), Dior was the first European luxury brand that held an official calendar show in India with their Pre-Fall 2023 collection.

WHAT DOES THE DIOR SHOW MEAN FOR INDIA’S LUXURY MARKET?

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 show in Mumbai was quite a success. The turnout of boldface names across industries was high, including India’s leading celebrity Virat Kohli and Bollywood stars such as Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.  The event was significant as it signaled India’s growing luxury status.

The Gateway to Mumbai. (Photo Credit: The National)

As luxury brands tap new markets in a hunt for their next billions, Dior became the first fashion house to unveil their latest collection in India.  The strategic and symbolic value of Dior’s staging their show at Mumbai’s Gateway of India monument is akin to when Fendi staged a fashion show on the Great Wall of China in 2007, a move that foreshadowed the importance of Chinese consumers to the luxury industry over the next decade.

The event was significant as it marked Dior’s entry into India’s luxury market which has been growing rapidly over the past few years. According to a report by Deloitte, India’s luxury market is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10 – 15% over the next five years. This growth is being driven by an increase in disposable income among India’s middle class and a growing appetite for luxury goods among younger consumers.

To learn more about the types of handicrafts used in the Dior collection, view our Tambour beading and hand embroidery lessons taught by Hand & Lock Award winner Silvia Perramon:

DO YOU BELIEVE INDIA WILL BE THE NEXT LUXURY MARKET HOT SPOT?

 

 

UOF Instructor Update: Jessica Krupa

The success of University of Fashion has always been about the talent and expertise of our instructors, their lessons and the high level of our video production. Now, in our 14th year as the first and largest online fashion education resource, we thought it would be of interest to share with our subscribers what a few of our very talented instructors are up to these days. Over the next three weeks, we will be spotlighting three of these very talented instructors and how they have continued to expand their creativity as entrepreneurs and artists. First up…Jessica Krupa.

JESSICA KRUPA

 Jessica Krupa is a graduate and former instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. With over 15 years of experience creating swimwear and intimate apparel collections for Fortune 500 companies, including Li & Fung, Jessica was awarded a bra design patent for innovation during her tenure at Victoria’s Secret. Needless to say, Jessica has tons of cred.

So, it’s no surprise that Jessica is crushing her new business venture, Panty Promise, the first seamless, certified organic cotton panty imported from Italy.     

UoF instructor and designer/founder of Panty Promise (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

In 2020, Jessica identified the need for better panty options for women without risking their feminine wellness and was driven to solve this; enter Panty Promise. Jessica consulted with top NY Gynecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck to make her vision come to life and took a year developing the best fabric and design, thus creating the first seamless certified organic cotton panty imported from a high-end mill in Italy.

Jessica’s design eliminates pesky panty lines and uncomfortable seams, like traditional cotton panties, resulting in a smooth and ultra-comfortable look and feel. Her design is Utility Patent Pending in the USA, Canada, EU and UK to keep the innovation and design protected against knockoffs.

Jessica Krupa launched her new brand Panty Promise in 2020 (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

 

 

 

 

Jessica Krupa and NY Gynecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

Panty Promise packaging/laundry bag (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

Panty Promise strives to be a leader in the biodegradable and sustainable mission to keep the Earth clean. They’re research and testing proves that their panties will biodegrade back into the earth in just 4-6 months, meanwhile synthetics take over 200 years and breakdown into harmful chemicals.

Jessica Krupa ‘s Panty Promise – the first seamless certified organic cotton panty imported from a high-end mill in Italy (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

Panty Promise is proud to be an affiliate of Cotton Incorporated, where the brand is a Cotton Leads Partner, ensuring ethical global harvesting of cotton trading and manufacturing through the commitment of Cotton Inc.

Jessica likes to say, “We’re saving the planet one panty at a time.”

Panty Promise panties sized XS-4X and in a variety of skin tones and styles: low, high, and mid-rise both in covered and bare bottoms. (Image courtesy: Panty Promise).

Panty Promise exhibits at the Curve Trade Show – Los Angeles 2023 (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

In her first year of business Jessica exhibited at the Curve Trade Show, which helped catapult the brand to over 65 retailers after winning the New Brand Audience award during Curve’s Pitch off Competition.

Panty Promise is currently sold throughout the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Iceland and the Middle East, in body positive sizes XS-4X and in a variety of skin tones. Panty Promise wholesale price points range from $11-$14, with style offerings from low to high rise in both covered and bare bottoms.

We are proud and fortunate to include Jessica as one of our very talented and accomplished instructors. Catch her extremely popular 9-part swimwear series:
Drawing A Bandeau Swim Top
, Drawing A High Waist & Hipster Swim BottomDrawing A One Piece Plunge Halter With Shelf Bra, Drawing An Underwire Swim Top, Creating A Swimwear Tech Pack In Illustrator, Drawing A String Bikini Bottom, Drawing A String Bikini Top, Drawing A Swimsuit Block Template In Illustrator and Drawing A Push Up Swimsuit.

Big congrats to Jessica for her talent, expertise & entrepreneurship!