University of Fashion Blog

Category "Fashion Education"

Catch UoF at the Upcoming American Library Association Annual Conference

university of Fashion's American Library Association Makerspace announcement

If you find yourself in or near San Diego, California, from June 27th thru July 1st, then please stop by booth #2653 at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition, held at the San Diego Convention Center (111 Harbor Drive).

Librarians, teachers and students from high schools, colleges, public libraries and makerspaces from around the world gather annually at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition to participate in discussions on timely and enduring issues related to the ever-evolving role of libraries. They get updates on relevant legislation and policies relating to books and libraries, as well as learn the latest trends in book publishing and online technologies. Approximately 25,ooo people attend the ALA conference, which includes in depth information on educational programming, created and curated by library professionals, and their Library Marketplace where exhibitors share the latest in products, services, titles, authors and technology.

Full Registration rates to attend the 5-day show vary, based on whether you are an ALA Member ($520) or Non-Member ($720), an Other-Member (non-salaried, retired, student, support staff or trustee – $320) or an International Member ($360) or Non-Member ($540). You could also choose to attend one day only (ALA Member $295, Other-Member $195 or Non-Member $395).

As part of the Full Registration package, you have access to educational programming; exhibitors and LIVE stages in the Library Marketplace; Opening and Closing sessions; ALA President’s Program; Featured Speakers; the Job Placement Center; and so much more. Full Registration covers Thursday, June 27 thru Tuesday, July 2, and all sessions except for Preconferences and optional Ticketed Events.

 

poster frame of the ALA - Library Marketplace showing exhibits, stages & resources

The Library Marketplace at the American Library Association Annual Conference with over 550 exhibitors, including University of Fashion. (Image Credit: ALAannual.org).

A less expensive option is to attend ALA’s Library Marketplace (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) which is priced at $159 thru June 21st, or $179 onsite. At the Library Marketplace you’ll gain access to more than 550 exhibitors (of which UoF is one) and you will be able to interact with representatives from book publishing houses, book sellers and online services and technologies. You’ll hear from exciting authors and illustrators on eight live, genre-specific stages. You’ll be able to meet various authors and take photos or have your favorite books autographed. Some of the other attractions are ALA’s new STEAM Pavilion! and The Beach @ALA! In addition, you may be able to pick up ARCs (advanced release copies of books), explore donated original artwork and handmade quilts from the ALA Biblio-quilters at the Christopher J. Hoy Scholarship Silent Auction.

 

MEET THE UOF TEAM – LEARN ABOUT OUR NEWEST FASHION VIDEOS

We are so excited to be exhibiting at the ALA conference this year and welcome the opportunity to not only meet our current schools and public librarians, (many who have been subscribers since 2013), but look forward to showing off our University of Fashion online fashion education video library to everyone else! You’ll get a chance to meet our sales team, Myna Dorfman and Margaret Lester and UoF’s co-founders Francesca Sterlacci and Jeffrey Purvin. You’ll get to hear about our newest lessons, our companion books, our certificate program, our makerspace programs, our school, group and library free trials and discounts, as well as what we have in store for UoF going forward. Oh, and be sure to stop by our booth (#2653) to pick up your free gift!

poster frame of University of Fashion list of lesson disciplines and books.

VIEW OUR COMPANION 3-BOOK BEGINNER TECHNIQUES SERIES: DRAPING, PATTERN MAKING & SEWING

 

LEARN ABOUT OUR MAKERSPACE OPPORTUNITIES

University of Fashion is celebrating its 16th year in business. Over the years, our content and our instructors have been involved in a number of arts & craft workshops, makerspaces, career-based lecture events, after school programs and youth summer camps.

Libraries from around the world, having been using UoF to create makerspaces to attract career-minded patrons who don’t have the time or who can’t afford or gain access to traditional career or trade education. They are also a vehicle for community-building.

A fashion-focused makerspace attracts patrons interested in learning how to design and make clothes, how to repair, upcycle or recycle old clothes and how to create new fashion designs, both on paper and on computer. Other goals for creating makerspaces are: personal skill development, career opportunities and potential entrepreneurship.

See ya at the show!eam of UoF

 

poster frame of University of Fashion Makerspaces

University of Fashion – a great content resource for library makerspaces

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?

 

 

 

The Future of Fashion Education

image of The Future of Fashion Education As the founder of University of Fashion, a former fashion design professor/chairperson at FIT (18 years) and a graduate level instructor at Academy of Art University (6 years), as well as a fashion entrepreneur with an eponymous brand for ten years, I am often asked about the future of fashion education as it relates to the needs of the current fashion industry. Although my thoughts have changed over the years, as our industry has moved further into technology, one thing remains constant – teaching solid foundational skills are a MUST!

Before the advent of the computer, high schools taught students how to sew. Eventually, both sewing and art classes were replaced with computer science classes, leaving many aspiring creatives to fend for themselves. If a high school was even lucky enough to keep an art class, those instructors were ill-equipped to mentor students in the fashion arts, especially when it involved preparing a portfolio for a fashion college application. Enter University of Fashion (UoF), a fashion education learning platform that brought college-level fashion education to everyone in 2008.

Since then, UoF has not only been assisting and educating high school and college teachers and students, but we have expanded our reach to trade associations, industry personnel and, through our library partnerships, to their patrons and makerspaces. By offering a certificate for any/all lessons completed at UoF, students get the benefit of working toward a goal for their efforts.

Where online learning was once a stepchild to onsite learning, the pandemic proved otherwise. We at UoF like to think that we were trailblazers in this space. It was with great pride that at the start of the pandemic that we offered our lesson content for free to all high schools and colleges so that their instructors could finish out the academic term. Since then, many schools have become UoF subscribers and are using our content in hybrid classrooms, as well as a supplement to their existing curriculum.

In addition to our schools, groups, and libraries, UoF has spurred a cohort of fashionpreuneurs who have started their own brands, many in the sustainable design space. With the downsizing of the global fashion industry from the 90s to the present, and due to seismic shifts in consumer behavior, the number of available jobs, compared to the amount of fashion college graduates attempting to enter the work force, has greatly diminished. Therefore, many aspiring designers are opting to start their own businesses. It’s the new normal.

TECHNICAL SKILLS NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE

Image of Sue Lamoreaux a top recruiter

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

In a recent UoF blogpost, the fashion industry’s top recruiter, Sue Lamoreaux of Solomon Page stated:

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.”Solomon Page banner

As a former professor at FIT and chairperson, I’ve had firsthand knowledge at how challenging it can be to find teachers who possess the required technical skills to teach in the classroom. I also discovered how resistant to change faculty can be when it comes to updating curriculum, embracing technology and including sustainability classes. In fact, it took a total of eight years to revamp FIT’s AAS and BFA curriculum as curriculum committee chair and later as department chair. That is not a formula for success, for both the school and the student. Things need to change.

ARE DESIGN SCHOOLS DESIGNERSAURS? 
image of Simon Ungless

Simon Ungless – former Director of Fashion at Academy of Art University San Francisco (Image credit: SFGATE)

One of the first fashion educators to question the role fashion education plays within the fashion industry was Simon Ungless, who in 2018 was the Director of Fashion at the Academy of Art University. Referring to fashion college students, Ungless was quoted in 1 Granary as saying, We are setting them up for an industry that doesn’t exist.

Ungless also stated: “The fashion education system is outdated. In an industry where fame and celebrity are valued more than raw skill, it is apparent that PR cannot provide the longevity young graduates require to sustain a brand. In this ego-centric habitat, we must question whether what fashion institutions provide is more self-serving to the university as a business than to their students’ skill sets. Press show runways provide an unhelpful conclusion to a degree. Early coverage is dubious: premature, immediate exposure can damage graduates’ prospects. Fashion education needs to be more introspective than promotion-centered.

“I’ve been in education quite a long time now and I see the desperate need for change”.   Simon Ungless

Ungless left fashion education in 2023. In a 2024 WWD interview he said, “I think education globally has turned into just another level of toxic business. Fill seats, pass people through classes, nobody fails. You know, resources cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. I’ve lost so many of my team — 17 in one day. And then just the expectation that I could keep going.

Today, he questions the viability of the system with so many more fashion programs graduating students each year to fewer opportunities and more debt.

Since stepping down from his position at AAU, Ungless has created his own line, When Simon Met Ralph (@whensimonmetralph). His company focuses on fashion, textiles, accessories and home products with a sustainable bend. All items, prints and treatments are one of a kind and are designed to lengthen the lifespan of vintage, discarded or deadstock products. He is also the first artist-in-residence at Atelier Jolie in NYC. Ungless is doing what should be taught in fashion schools and he has the skills to do it!

DECIPHERING THE DESIGN SCHOOL OF TOMORROW

Image of Steven Faerm, author and professor at Parsons

Last month, I had a chance to speak with Parsons professor Steven Faerm about the future of fashion education. I received a copy of his new book Introduction to Design Education: Theory, Research, and Practical Applications for Educators and was most impressed. In his book, Steven Faerm examines the future of U.S. design education and how it will transform teaching and learning. According to Prof. Faerm, “It will come as no great shock to read global fashion education is, well, at a crossroads, to put it mildly. Since the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, nearly every design school has been rattled to its core. We continue to feel reverberations while squinting ahead through an opaque fog to learn what’s in store—and how to best prepare.”

image of Steven Faern's book, Introduction to Design Education

Introduction to Design Education: Theory, Research, and Practical Applications for Educators by Steven Faerm

Prof. Faerm is a veteran fashion designer and educator. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, he has worked for numerous designers, including Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. He began teaching at Parsons as an adjunct faculty member in 1998 and, shortly after his transition into education full time in 2005, he served as the Program Director of Parsons’ esteemed undergraduate fashion design program while completing two graduate degrees in education. Both of his textbooks about fashion design are featured on international college-level required reading lists, and his scholarly work is widely circulated in academic journals and editorial publications.

Throughout his career, Faerm has become a frequent guest educator around the world, having taught and lectured for Harvard University (he is an alumnus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), The University of Buenos Aires, Polimoda, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and scores of other institutions.

QUESTIONS DESIGN SCHOOLS MUST ANSWER

For fashion educators, these past few years have amplified key questions about the future of design education.

  • What is the future of design higher education?
  • How can educators, administrators, advisors, and deans devise a more viable, sustainable future?
  • In what ways will the shifting political, social, economic, and cultural norms transform our academic environments?
  • How can we better understand, attract, train, and retain top faculty and students?
  • In what manner is the role of the design educator evolving?
  • How can we prepare for this increasingly complex, multi-faceted role?

If these questions feel daunting, rest assured support is here. In Introduction to Design Education, Faerm offers remarkable insights and speculations that will benefit fashion educators and administrators alike. The book, which is at the forefront of advanced research, addresses these and many other complex, pressing questions that face design education both today and tomorrow.

According to Prof. Faerm, the idea for Introduction to Design Education grew out of his 20-plus years of mentoring faculty at Parsons and other design schools around the world. “As teachers in design higher education, we are typically hired for our professional experiences and/or our scholarly research. It’s widely assumed by school administrators that because we know how to do ‘X,’ we know how to teach ‘X.’ Over and over, design teachers are hired and then dropped into a classroom without any preparation or training. They’re left to ‘figure it out’ on their own—just as I was!” Faerm said via telephone interview. His past experience (which will feel familiar to many readers) is discussed in his recent article for Harvard University’s Ed Magazine. In it, Faerm cites the dire need for design schools to fortify their faculty with advanced pedagogical training—the core thesis of this new book.

In my opinion, Introduction to Design Education is an outstanding contribution to the field of design education and a great start to the process for change within the fashion ed community. It is a must-read for anyone teaching design today. The book has great potential to transform, for the better, the ways in which design schools and their constituents operate, plan, and remain relevant in the years ahead. Professor Faerm has delivered a formidable, compelling book that is expertly researched, beautifully written, and remarkably insightful from start to finish. What distinguishes Faerm’s contribution to the vast library of books and articles about teaching is his contextualization of pedagogical strategies with the emergent Gen Z student’s unique attributes, values, and beliefs. His is not a “one-size-fits-all” guide to teaching so much as it is about how future design schools, and their faculty can bolster their current practices while adopting and activating new, more effective ones that directly target this increasingly complex demographic.

Readers will undoubtedly find it enlightening and gain significant idea, tools, and concepts that they can directly apply to their careers and design classrooms today and in the future. No matter their level of experience in design education, there isn’t a teacher out there who will not have their teaching greatly enhanced, strengthened, and even revolutionized by this book.

image of Francesca Sterlacci, founder of University of Fashion

Francesca Sterlacci- Founder University of Fashion (Image credit: University of Fashion)

As the founder of the first and largest online fashion education platform, I join my colleagues, Sue Lamoreaux, Simon Ungless and Steven Faerm in promoting change within the fashion education industry. It is my belief that as the fashion industry changes, we need to change, despite how hard as it is for many fashion schools to accept change. Fashion education should be inclusive, flexible, affordable, and not leave students with fewer job opportunities and in debt. These core principles have always been our   mission at University of Fashion.

Respectfully,

Francesca Sterlacci, Founder/CEO University of 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?

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

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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
in Connect with me

WEBSITE LINKEDIN FACEBOOK TWITTER INSTAGRAM

 

WHY THE LAGERFELD MET SHOW IS CALLED “THE LINE OF BEAUTY”

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty—Exhibition tour with Andrew Bolton. Video Courtesy of the MET’s YouTube video.

Have you already been to the new MET exhibit, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty, or are planning to attend? Lucky you. If not, then you must view Andrew Bolton’s tour of the exhibit on You Tube.

THE ‘S’ OR SERPENTINE CURVE

 

book Analysis of Beauty

The Analysis of Beauty by William Hogarth in 1753 . Hogarth considered line #4, the Line of Beauty”. (Image credit: ResearchGate.net)

The highly anticipated Karl Lagerfeld MET exhibit, which opened on May 5 and is on display until July 16, 2023, is a remarkable homage to the iconic designer and, for all you fashion illustrators nerds out there, a study in line, brushstroke and architectural principles. As the basis for the exhibition, the MET has focused on Lagerfeld’s interest in the work of William Hogarth (1697–1764), a British artist, printmaker and theorist, who published “The Analysis of Beauty” in 1753 and who is considered the initiator of line aesthetics, particularly the “S” or serpentine curve. Hogarth called waving lines, “lines of beauty” and serpentine-lines “lines of grace.”  He depicted seven waving lines, declaring line number 4 as the most beautiful and called it the “line of beauty.”

sculpture Venus de Milo- contrapposto pose

Venus de Milo sculpture – contrapposto pose (Image credit: Wikipedia)

Historically speaking however, the S-shaped concept actually dates back to the 4th century BC and is attributed to the famous Greek sculptor Praxiteles in the form of the contrapposto pose, whereby the figure is depicted as slouching, or placing the center of gravity to one side. Today it has become a very popular pose in fashion illustration.

THE LINE OF BEAUTY: AN ARTISTIC FOUNDATION

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty. (Photo Credit: MET)

The MET used Hogarth’s principle to skillfully intertwine Lagerfeld’s love of the Serpentine or ‘S’ line (the line of beauty) and contrasting it with Lagerfeld’s love of the Modern Straight line. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating connection between these concepts, highlighting Lagerfeld’s innovative vision and its impact on the world of fashion. We will also teach you more about the ‘S’ line and the Modern Straight line by referring you to our fashion drawing lessons on how to draw the “S’ and Straight line fashion poses and when to use each in your fashion illustrations. We will also point you to our lessons on  how to draft romantic sleeves and our beading and embroidery lessons so that you can achieve some of the looks featured in the Lagerfeld MET show. 

THE ROMANTIC SERPENTINE: EVOKING GRACE AND MOVEMENT

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty Exhibit. (Photo Credit: The Met)

The Romantic Serpentine or “S” line, represents a curvilinear aesthetic inspired by nature and organic forms. Lagerfeld skillfully infused this concept into his designs, allowing garments to embrace the natural contours of the body. The MET show did a great job of arranging Lagerfeld designs that in groups that demonstrated the Serpentine concept of flowing lines, delicate drapes, and soft textures that brought a sense of fluidity and movement to the exhibit.

THE MODERN STRAIGHT LINE: EMBRACIMG MINIMALISM AND PRECISION

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Invision)

In contrast, the Modern Straight Line gained prominence in the early 20th century with the advent of modernism. Characterized by clean lines, simplicity and precision, this style revolutionized the world of design with Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret among the the concept’s early-adopters. The MET show  masterfully showcases these sharp silhouettes, geometric patterns, and minimalist aesthetics, by juxtaposing Lagerfeld’s sleek designs against the backdrop of rectangular shadow boxes, creating a visually captivating experience for visitors.

LAGERFELD’S VISION: BLURRING BOUNDARIES AND REDEFINING FASHION

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty exhibit. (Photo Credit: The Met)

Karl Lagerfeld’s exhibit not only paid homage to the historical artistic concepts but also demonstrated his ability to push the boundaries of fashion. By intertwining the Line of Beauty with the Modern Straight Line and Romantic Serpentine, Lagerfeld challenged conventional ideas and redefined the way we perceive fashion and design. His innovative approach encouraged the fusion of diverse styles, allowing for endless possibilities and a new era of creativity.

VISITING THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty Exhibit, Floral Lines. (Photo Credit: The Met)

The Karl Lagerfeld Met Exhibit stands as a testament to Lagerfeld’s exceptional talent and his ability to draw inspiration from various artistic movements. By channeling William Hogarth’s Line of Beauty and seamlessly blending the Modern Straight Line with the Romantic Serpentine, Lagerfeld created a mesmerizing display of fashion that showcased both precision and grace. The exhibit not only honored Lagerfeld’s legacy but also served as a catalyst for future designers to explore the intersections of art and fashion, challenging traditional norms and fostering innovation in the industry. To learn more about Lagerfeld’s fashion illustrations read our earlier blogpost, Celebrating Karl Lagerfeld: As Both Illustrator & Designer.

LEARN ABOUT LAGERFELD’S DESIGN CONCEPTS THROUGH THESE UOF LESSONS:

Learn more about LINE and how to draw the S curve and the Modern Straight line silhouette. Try your hand at some of Lagerfeld’s BIG sleeves like the Leg o’ Mutton and other decorative sleeves and learn how to bead and embroider by viewing these lessons:

SO TELL US, are you an ‘S’ curve or a Straight Modern line fan?

INNERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR: THE SIZZLING TREND OF SUMMER 2023

Left To Right: Looks from Vera Wang, Dion Lee, Gucci, and Ermanno Scervino. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree. Collage Courtesy of Fashionista)

From the boudoir to the street, lingerie-inspired fashion is creating a mini-revolution, blurring the lines between intimate apparel and outerwear. Lacey lingerie looks celebrate extreme femininity while evoking the tantalizing allure of self-confidence. It takes a strong woman to pull off these looks and designers are having a blast using innerwear fabrics like laces and sheers, to create bralettes, blouses, slip dresses and trousers…all worn out not in.

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

THE RISE OF THE SLIPDRESS

A look from Burberry’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

Slip dresses, once confined to the realm of intimate wear, have emerged as the epitome of contemporary elegance. Crafted from satins, charmeuse and sheers, these ethereal garments are adorned with lace trims and effortlessly skim the body, exuding an air of romance and femininity. Versatile in nature, slip dresses can seamlessly transition from daytime chic to evening allure with the addition of accessories and layers.

YOU’RE SO TRANSPARENT

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Sheer fabrics take center stage in the lingerie-inspired fashion trend of 2023, enticing fashion enthusiasts with their sheer audacity. Gossamer chiffon, delicate tulle, and diaphanous organza, create an alluring veil that leaves just enough to the imagination. From blouses with sheer sleeves to skirts with peek-a-boo panels, these transparent elements add a touch of mystique to any ensemble. Why not dare to bare?

BRALETTES AS TOPS

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Once hidden beneath layers of clothing, bralettes have broken free from their intimate confines and are taking their rightful place as statement tops. These delicate, lace-adorned wonders now stand proudly on their own, lending a touch of sensuality to any outfit. Paired with high-waisted bottoms or layered under blazers, these bralettes exude confidence, empowering the wearer to embrace their body and celebrate their individuality. Unleash your inner vixen and make a bold statement with a bralette as a top.

SENSUOUS TEXTILES

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

In any lingerie-inspired fashion trend, you don’t have to look far to see tulle! This fabric always plays a pivotal role in creating an ambiance of sensuality. Embrace a touch of opulence as you envelop yourself in tulle and feel the luxurious caress of silk, satin, chiffon and lace. Let your senses revel in the sheer pleasure of delicate fabrics that speak to your inner goddess.

CORSET REVIVAL

A look from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

In a nod to history, corsets have resurfaced as a symbol of empowerment and self-expression. A modern interpretation of the corset combines the classic hourglass silhouette with contemporary aesthetics. These structured pieces, often adorned with delicate lace and intricate details, sculpt the body while allowing freedom of movement. Corset-inspired tops and dresses redefine femininity, celebrating the beauty of every curve and reminding us that fashion can be both captivating and comfortable.

CELEBRITIES EMBRACING THE LINGERIE-INSPIRED TREND

Kate Moss and Lila Moss embrace the innerwear as outerwear trend. (Photo Credit: Popsugar)

Gigi Hadid rocks the innerwear as outerwear trend. (Photo Credit: The Kit)

Kerry Washington goes full-on innerwear as outerwear in this look. (Photo Credit: The Kit)

Margot Robbie (Barbie) wear a new twist on the corset dress. (Photo Credit: Glamour)

Yara Shahidi wears a corset/shorts/skirt look. (Photo Credit: The Kit)

Kendall Jenner- A mish mash -is it a tank, a bustier/romper and a thong? (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Emily Ratajakowski – gotta love the mesh opera gloves, the bustier, and the over-the-top pearl and chain necklace and bracelet look. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

A corset-ish look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

ARE YOU READY TO CREATE YOUR OWN LINGERIE-INSPIRED LOOKS?

To create these and other innerwear as outerwear looks, you’ll need to know your way around cutting, sewing and finishing sheers and laces, and how to drape and sew corsets and bras. What better place than University of Fashion to learn it. We’ll teach you the correct sheer seam and hem finishes, the proper way to sew lace, the tools and supplies used in the intimate apparel market, how to drape bias charmeuse and the correct needles, threads, pins and stitch lengths for these delicate materials. Check out our video lessons below and get smarter.

So tell us, will you be making you own innerwear as outwear collection?

 

FLOWER POWER: THE HOTTEST SUMMER TREND

From left to right: Prada, Chanel, and Acne Studios. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Whether it was the 1700s author Jonathan Swift, Winston Churchill, Mark Twain or Steven King who is credited with saying “everything old is new again“, the quote perfectly sums up the fashion trend cycle. For the past few seasons Y2K fashion has been ruling the runway and blowing up our Instagram and TikTok feeds, specifically, the flower embellishment trend. For summer 2023, the Y2K handmade flower, popularized in the early aughts by Carrie Bradshaw (of Sex and the City fame) is back. This trend is growing (no pun intended) and taking the fashion world by storm.

Carrie Bradshaw had a love for oversized flowers. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

From delicate lace and chiffon to bold leather and paper, handmade flowers are the rage. Rosettes, camellias, carnations and abstract versions thereof, are all timeless motifs that can be incorporated into any outfit. At UOF, we provide lessons on how to create these handmade embellishments to liven up any garment or accessory. We’re seeing them on everything…from basic t-shirts to little black dresses. Here’s some inspiration:

ROMANTIC AND ELEGANT

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Whether you choose to adorn a little summer dress or a blouse with delicate flower details, this flower power trend is perfect for adding a touch of sophistication and grace to your wardrobe.

VERSATILE AND ADAPTABLE

A look from Sandy Liang’s Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

Another great thing about adding flowers is that they are incredibly versatile and adaptable. Whether you prefer bold, statement-making flowers or more subtle and understated versions, there’s a style and size for every taste. Use them as a simple accent, or go all-out with an outfit that’s covered in them.

PLAYFUL AND FUN

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan)

Add flowers strategically to certain areas of a garment, or on sandals, shoes, handbags and hats. Handmade flowers are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and will add a touch of whimsy to any outfit.

AN ARRAY OF COLORS

Rocking Prada’s Spring 2023 Collection on the streets. (Photo: Credit Imaxtree)

Another idea is to use flowers in multi-colors or in different fabrics and other materials, like plastic, faux leather, patent leather or paper. Whether you prefer soft pastels or bold jewel tones, or, how about some psychedelic-colored flowers?

SUSTAINABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY

Roomshop Rosette Scrunchies. (Photo Credit: Anthropology)

How about making flowers with upcycled materials? Or for the eco-friendly designer, out of sustainable and natural fibers? It’s a great way to support these efforts.

CELEBRITIES EMBRACE FLOWER POWER

Celebs around the globe have been rocking the flower embellishment trend. Here are some samples:

Actress Zendaya at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

A slew of actresses wearing assorted flowers on the red carpet. (Photo Credit: Getty Images. Collage Credit: InStyle)

Harry Styles jumped on the flower trend for the 2023 Brit Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

As the flower embellishment trend continues to gain momentum, why not get in on the action by learning how to make your own handmade versions? Watch these lessons:



SO, TELL US, WILL YOU BE JUMPING ON THE FLOWER POWER TREND?