Today, we are celebrating the 1st anniversary of the opening of Fashion Forward, our training facility based in Leicester. Needless to remind everyone that because of the current restrictions in place, we had to postpone a number of courses and close Fashion Forward temporarily. We are also unable to throw a party for the time being but we are planning an event in September to celebrate what has been an amazing first year.
Fashion Forward trained more than 70 attendees from July 2019 up to March 6th 2020. We have been concentrating on the skills of digital pattern cutting, digital grading, lay planning, etc. and these short courses have proved very popular. We also have a secret weapon called the Drop-In Fridays: we open our doors to attendees who want to practice what they have learnt during their course. No pressure, just turn up and a tutor is always there to help.
Most of our candidates have come from university or from the industry and after the course, go straight into jobs on Vetigraph, nationwide. Others use our courses to re-train or update their fashion skills. The courses have attracted many great reviews from participants from all over the country and we have a long waiting list of people ready to join us when we are able to operate again.
During the current challenging times, the industry had to be even more creative and adapt to a situation that changed daily. At Fashion Forward, conscious of the dangers of Covid-19 very early on, we organised ourselves with social distancing in mind, offering training to smaller groups with the availability of hand sanitiser gel and masks. We decided to shut down the facility weeks before the lockdown was officially announced but since mid-May, we have been providing remote training.
We are now planning an expansion of Fashion Forward with more space, more equipment and more courses. We will be teaching manual pattern cutting and grading, draping, 3D virtual sampling, 3D body scanning, Critical Path management, and a lot more. Government guidelines allowing, this new expansion will be taking place over the next couple of months. So, watch this space.
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