John joined the first cohort at The Tailoring Academy studying for the then newly launched qualification in September 2018, as a recent fashion design graduate from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. During his admission interview, he explained he was looking for solid traditional tailoring skills, as well as training in pattern construction – both areas the more conceptual BA fashion design courses do not generally deliver.

His admiration for meticulous hand craft was immediately evident and he knew that adding this specialist expertise to his existing skill set would enable him to follow a more ambitious career path than the fashion degree alone would have afforded him.

John’s previous experience in design and garment making helped him hitting the ground running. His diligence and inquisitive mind played a significant role in maximising the learning opportunities the qualification has on offer. He was particularly appreciative of the fact that the academy delivers both pathways of the qualification – the cutting and tailoring route – to all students.

From the second term onwards, John began working on customer commissions within the academy’s ‘Community Tailoring’ scheme. He engaged in bespoke selling, advised customers on style options, material choices and technical detail concerning individual figure and posture. He carried out cost calculations, provided quotations and placed orders for materials with suppliers. He then moved on to tailor, fit and supply the bespoke garments.

John worked hard and achieved extremely positive outcomes on each occasion, which was evidenced in the feedback he received from customers – valuable experience he will be able to build on in the future. He passed the final assessments with flying colours in July 2019. His practical work is of professional standard and his exemplary portfolio received particular praise: meticulous and beautifully accomplished, it will serve him as reference throughout his future career.

The Level 5 curriculum is an intensive programme, hands-on and within the real environment of a working bespoke house, with all the challenges this entails. It is designed to equip graduates for a career role with considerable responsibility, including setting up their own bespoke business, if they so wish.

John made full use of this opportunity and we were delighted to learn that, following his graduation from the academy, he accepted the offer of a tailoring position within the men’s costume department at the prestigious Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

The application process at Glyndebourne involved two interview stages, both entailing a practical exam. John was able to demonstrate his proficiency on both occasions owing to the practical skills training he received as part of the qualification.

John was generously supported by a student grant made available by the CapitB Trust, in recognition of the fact that the qualification, designed by the Savile Row Bespoke Association as an alternative to the traditional apprenticeship, is becoming available outside of London.

Thank you to Brita Hirsch, Director at The Tailoring Academy for submitting this news story.

Find out more about the Level 5 Diploma in Bespoke Tailoring here.