Well, you’ve got to admit, this was a year like no other!
Good riddance 2020. But before you go, we’d like to remember those who tragically lost their lives due to the pandemic and those of us who still mourn the friend or relative that is gone. Please accept our sincere condolences.
As we learned to adjust to the new 2020 normal, we gained insight into what’s really important in life. We even caught a glimpse what life might be like in the future. And there is some hope on the horizon.
We learned the term ‘essential worker’. Health care professionals and others who stepped up while many of us locked down. The ‘thanks’ list is long. From grocery store personnel and other service sector workers, to truckers, FedEx, UPS and Amazon workers, to farmers, meat packers and countless others. How can we ever repay them?
Schools and teachers found out what we at UoF have known for years…the future of education is online, and that content is King! When schools demanded their teachers start teaching remotely, hundreds of teachers from many different schools around the world wrote to us for help. We gladly gave free access to our content to help them through the semester. Many schools became subscribers as a result. In addition, we actively promoted Fashion Learning Pods on our blog page.
Parents became teachers and had to adjust to a whole new lifestyle, many with the help of UoF. In 2020, the HomeSchooling Parent Association certified the University of Fashion as a qualified educational provider for its members.
Our hearts were broken as we watched events unfold in May, beginning with the senseless killing of George Floyd. UoF responded to the #BlackLivesMatter movement by covering the fashion industry’s reaction on our blog and by offering free unlimited access to the UoF library to Custom Collaborative, a Harlem non-profit that advocates for women with low to no-income and immigrant women, to build the skills necessary so that they can achieve economic success in the sustainable fashion industry. We also gave free unlimited access to Black Fashion World an organization that provides black fashion professionals access to higher education, capital, mentorship and the advice of experts. We continue to showcase African American designers on our blog because together we can make a difference.
We were sad to hear that so many small businesses were forced to shutter and that some of our entrepreneurial subscribers and instructors with bespoke fashion businesses were completely locked down. We are hopeful that they’ll be able to reemerge and thrive.
Many of us made and wore masks, followed social distancing rules and continue to play by the rules. We watched in horror as others didn’t. Our mask contest in April brought out sewers from around the U.S and as far away as Africa, Iraq and Mexico. It warmed our hearts to see how the sewing community and the fashion industry stepped up to the plate. Our founder, Francesca Sterlacci, sewed 300 masks for her local nursing homes.
While we witnessed the most contentious election in our lifetime, we continue to have hope that as a country, we can unite and work together.
Now for some Silver Linings. The pandemic brought climate change into focus. The fashion industry is finally examining its carbon footprint and looking at textiles and technology to help. In March we reported how this is happening in our post Pandemic, Pollution – A Fashion Industry Wake-Up Call? Our 3-part series on 3D design explored how 3D design will help save the planet and our 3-part lesson series on how to design sustainably, taught by founder Noor Bchara of Upcycle Design School, continues to inspire designers to start their own upcycle/recycle brand.
So…the future. As we move into 2021, UoF is committed to delivering the best in fashion education with the best talent that our industry has to offer. Here’s a preview of a few new lessons and series that we’re working on:
- Intimate Apparel
- Advanced Draping
- Advanced Menswear
- Visual Merchandising
- Advanced Pattern Making
As we eagerly welcome the mystery of 2021 with open arms, we would like to thank all of our UoF behind-the-scenes professionals (especially Brad, Myrna, Chen, Toni and Barbara), our instructors, our individual subscribers and our many school, library and company subscribers.
We wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Francesca Sterlacci – Founder/CEO University of Fashion
Jeff Purvin – Executive Chairman