Sarah Stavrow The Fashion Institute Interview
Have you always dreamt of a career in fashion? Longed to work for Vogue or be a celebrity stylist? If you've answered yes, Yes and YES then The Fashion Institute could be just the thing you've been looking for.
Sarah Stavrow is the founder of a new fashion college in Sydney called The Fashion Institute. It is a tertiary college for students wanting to pursue a career in fashion. Set to commence on the 31st of January, the college offers modules in Business, Design, Industry and Personal Development. The Fashion Institute is your best link to pursuing a career in the fashion industry. What better way to learn than from the industry professionals themselves.
Originally from a small country town, Sarah moved to Sydney with dreams of working in fashion but like many young people, didn't know where to start or how to go about achieving her dream. She eventually settled on a course in Business Marketing and PR, as she could find nothing that specialised in the serious business of fashion! Most of her learning's have come from on-the-job experiences during her time at some of Australia's leading fashion PR agencies. Sarah has worked as a Publicist for many high profile clients including Bonds, Seafolly, General Pants, Country Road, Berlei, Ella Bache, Sunsilk and Miss Louise. The Fashion Institute has stemmed from Sarah's desire to share her knowledge and industry experience with students. This college is exactly what Sarah wished for when she was starting out herself.
What makes The Fashion Institute unique is that students will be taught by industry professionals including fashion editors from top magazines, stylists, designers and PR professionals.
Duration: 1 year
Students can enrol in the course any day of the year and complete it at their own pace. The course is part-time, giving students the flexibility to work, study and undertake crucial workplace training. Subjects are broken into three modules.
Business Modules include Magazines, Styling, PR, Marketing Management, Visual Merchandising, Buying, Journalism, Online magazines/blogging, Model Management, Photography, Selling & Customer Relations, Retail Management, Financial Fundamentals, How to Start you Own Business, Creative Project Management.
Design Modules include Pattern Making, History of Fashion Design, Understanding Materials and Textiles, Illustration, Garment Construction (Personal Development Modules) Interview Skills, Personal Grooming, Personal Styling, Assertive Communication, Computer Skills. Industry Modules in which students will be able to take place in workplace training, internships and excursions and will also be privy to workshops from influential guest speakers from brands such as Ksubi, Sass & Bide, Bec & Bridge, Ellery, Bonds and Wayne Cooper.
Confirmed teachers include Fashion Editors from top national magazines; Stylists such as Kristen Denny (Principal Personal Shopper at Westfield Bondi Junction) and Designers such as Hamish Tame (Le Specs) and the Head Female Booker at Chic. PR teachers include Publicists from David Jones, ARC Factory, Maxted Thomas PR and Detail Marketing Communications to name just a few.
Location: 556 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW
Phone: 1300 FASHION (1300 327 4466)
Classes Commence: January 31st 2011
Interview with Sarah Stavrow
Question: What were your motivations behind creating The Fashion Institute?
Sarah Stavrow: After working in the fashion industry for a number of years I started to notice by speaking to work experience students that there was a lack of fashion colleges out there where future fashionistas could learn the craft.
This was also the case when I was trying to crack into the industry many years ago as well and I was surprised that more hadn't popped up over the years because there's such a high demand for it. I wanted to create a fashion college that taught students about working and gaining a career in the 'real fashion industry' - not the highly glamourised examples they see on TV and in movies.
Question: What exactly is The Fashion Institute?
Sarah Stavrow: The Fashion Institute (TFI) is a tertiary fashion business college offering students who want to pursue a career in the fashion industry the skills and training the live that dream. Our course is extremely flexible allowing students to work, study and undertake workplace training at their own pace.
Question: What qualifications will students have after the one year course at The Fashion Institute?
Sarah Stavrow: They will walk away with a Certificate of Completion in Fashion Business, which is Industry recognised - but our main goal is to have them working in the industry. Those in the industry know; it's not about what qualifications you have but doing work experience and getting hands on experience is key to gaining a job in the industry.
Question: How does the The Fashion Institute differ to other fashion institutes?
Sarah Stavrow: We offer our students teachers and course curriculum that is relevant to today's fashion industry. Our teachers are all leaders in the industry and are here to offer students guidance and mentor them. As a majority of our students are Generation Y we wanted to offer subjects that were relevant to them; the course includes an Online Media class, which will be taught be high profile bloggers and online magazine editors.
Question: Are there any plans to have The Fashion Institute feature, Australia wide?
Sarah Stavrow: Ultimately the goal is to take TFI nationally. I get calls from WA, VIC and QLD on a daily basis, there are so many people out there who are passionate about getting into the industry but unfortunately there aren't enough colleges out there. So stay tuned there may be a TFI heading your way very soon!
Question: How excited are you as to beginning the course on January 31st 2011?
Sarah Stavrow: I am a mixture of excitement and nerves! We've been very busy in the office making sure everything is ready and our students and teachers are prepared for the fun / busy year ahead.
Question: What industries can graduates of The Fashion Institute expect to work in?
Sarah Stavrow: There are so many industries and roles our alumni can work in, jobs include: Fashion Assistants at a magazines or for a stylist, Office co-ordinating roles at PR, Marketing and Event agencies, Junior Buying and Visual Merchandising positions, Design Assistants, just to name a few.
Question: Why do you wish there was something similar to The Fashion Institute when you began in the industry?
Sarah Stavrow: I was from a very small country town and had big dreams of working in the fashion industry, I moved to Sydney and there just wasn't anything out there like this to help me. I cold called anywhere I could think of and did a lot of work experience. I just don't want people who are in the same boat as I was feeling helpless and like it's all too much for them, that's where we step in; arrange their work experience, putting them forward for jobs and providing them with a well rounded fashion education.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about the high profile teachers you have working at The Fashion Institute?
Sarah Stavrow: Confirmed teachers include Fashion Editors from magazines including Yen, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Shop Til You Drop, Cleo, Grazia, Instyle, Madison, OK! Magazine; also on board is Donny Galella (Celebrity Stylist); Natasha Silva-Jelly (Fashion Editor at SMH); Elle Halliwell (Journalist at The Sunday Telegraph; Hamish Tame (Designer at LeSpecs); William Lazootin (Project Runway); Stephanie Somers (Buyer at General Pants); Nadine Andrews (Chic). PR teachers include Publicists from David Jones. Torstar, ARC Factory, Maxted Thomas PR, Tailormaid PR as well as Detail Marketing Communications to name just a few.
Question: What's your number one fashion rule?
Sarah Stavrow: Don't chase trends - wear what you feel comfortable in and suits your body shape.
Question: What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career in fashion?
Sarah Stavrow: Enrol yourself in a fashion course, do as much work experience as you can, be willing to work hard and do the 'not so glamourous' jobs (with a smile on your face).
We're still taking enrolments for Term 1, so call 1300 FASHION (1300 327 4466).
Interview by Brooke Hunter