What current fashion graduates learn today from their fashion institution is very different from reality. Many people have asked me, “What does a designer actually do in their day-to-day work?” My answer is always, “We draft, grade pattern or French drape and then we cut and sew.” In fact, the majority of designers spend 95% of their time just doing those things. We have clients waiting for us to fit or deliver their garments; we do not waste time illustrating, reading, writing, weaving, dyeing, etc.

Surprisingly, many fashion design schools’ standard of teaching falls far below the international fashion industry standard and practice, which is why there is a huge abundance of their fashion graduates unable to gain employment. The schools’ curriculum focuses far too much on arts, theories, history, and impractical ideas that do not reflect the reality of how the whole body of the fashion industry operates. Even if you recently graduated from a prestigious fashion design institution, to be very blunt, in Southeast Asia or in Europe, nobody knows and nobody cares. Most people there likely have never heard of your school because they have never visited or worked in your city/country. Therefore, how would these potential employers know about your fashion school if they have never been to your city/country or met a graduate from there?

The majority of the courses/subjects that you study in a traditional fashion school are actually irrelevant to your job. It would be far more important to focus on and master your sewing, pattern drafting, French draping and grading skills. In the real world of fashion, those are the technical skills you need to design and create a garment from start to finish. In reality, nobody cares how well you draw, paint, weave, etc. Your clients and buyers are solely interested in the finished garments that they can wear or sell. No matter where you work in the world, these technical skills (sewing, pattern drafting, French draping and pattern grading) are a definite mandatory requirement for your career. I always say that, when a designer cannot sew, draft, drape or grade, they are not a real designer and are, in fact, useless.

If you are investing between $45,000 and $150,000 in any fashion design program, but you graduate not being able to sew, pattern draft, French drape and pattern grade, you are literally wasting your time and money.  It is very unfortunate that many fashion students do not realize that until it is too late to withdraw from their design program. They have invested their money in these fashion schools, but what they get in return is quite often of far less real value than what they paid for. Vancouver Sewing Classes (VSC) is completely different. We are not a school and we charge a lot less in intuition fees. In addition, we provide FREE bonus gifts (BRAND NEW PROFESSIONAL sewing machines, dress forms, sewing and drafting tools), as well as up to 45 fashion textbooks for our clients to expand their knowledge and gain experience. We do not have any extra hidden fees or charges like the fashion universities and colleges out there. Furthermore, we provide 100% hands-on learning in sewing, pattern drafting, French draping and pattern grading, during the entire program, as well as preparing Tech Pack and Production in Southeast Asia. We focus solely on the hands-on learning of technical skills, and we certainly do not waste time on ‘trash’ courses or anything else that does not relate to the fashion business. We guarantee that you will get far better value for money when you invest in VSC than at any fashion design school in the world. Furthermore, all of our instructional classes are one-on-one, and we provide a very flexible schedule so you can have a balanced study/work/play lifestyle.

– Chris Falcon is a Canadian designer and fashion educator with over 30 years of experience in the garment design and manufacturing business.