It is generally perceived that fashion designing and sewing could only be learnt from formal institutions or on the job. However, in today’s digital age, you can sit in the comfort of your home or office in that little corner of the globe to get all the training you need to become a professional fashion designer.
This new trend has been introduced in Ghana for the first time by the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design which is located in Accra.
Speaking in an interview with The Mirror, the President of the College, Ms Joyce Ababio, a renowned fashion icon in Ghana, said the college’s E-Learning portal is to bring fashion design to the doorstep of people with different professional background who have passion for fashion and aspire to learn from anywhere they find themselves.
“There are lots of people who wish they could add fashion designing to their career. However, due to lack of time to study on the job or at a college such as ours, they have shelved their dream. This is the reason why I decided to introduce the E-Learning Portal to make learning much easier.”
Touching on the process of the E-Learning programme, Ms Ababio said interested people may have to register and select a course, which spans between six to eight weeks; depending on the course selected. Wondering how the course would be, Ms Ababio went online to show this reporter, visuals that would enable a potential learner to know names of sewing tools and their usages; types of pressing irons and appropriate garments to use when ironing them.
“The intention is to use more visuals to make the course very practical and friendly for anyone who wants to learn. We believe at the end of the course you should be able to put together gathers, make accurate use of colours and perfect seam finishing, among others,” she explained.
According to her, fashion design is the art of designing clothing that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
“Fashion designers must study their craft well in order to be successful. A fashion design course can provide the introduction to further study in this high demand field,” she explained.
“A course in fashion design will teach you the basics of fashion designing. This can show a student whether or not a career in fashion design would be a good fit, or provide a foundation for future study in the field.”
The E-Learning Portal, which is formally being launched today, was made possible with funding from the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) Skills Development Fund to give hands-on information on how to be a Fashion Designer.
Changing face of fashion
Ms Ababio stated that “fashion education is fast becoming the new swag for Ghanaian students who want to pursue alternative careers and move away from mainstream traditional university courses that invariably equip students with employable skills and not entrepreneurial skills.”
Interestingly, the phenomenon of students shunning regular universities to study fashion design was championed by Ms Ababio over 20 years ago. Her motivation at that time was to see a new generation of fashion designers emerge from what was a critical misconception that fashion design was for school dropouts and those who couldn’t afford to get into university.
Vogue Style and Joyce Ababio changed the game and as a result many graduates and non-graduates found comfort in learning from one of the best fashion designers in the country at that time.
“Breaking down the barriers of doubt, misrepresentation and societal delusions was not an easy task but Vogue plodded on and the dream became bigger and much larger than anyone could imagine. Soon the likes of Christie Brown, Piistis, Brigette Merki and Bvenaj emerged, changing the local fashion scene and making waves internationally as well,” Ms Ababio stated.
She said that the school entered a new face of history when it was granted accreditation by the National Accreditation Board and was affiliated to the University of Cape coast. This has made it possible for the school to undertake Diploma courses.
A new campus welcomed a new set of students, with a rebranded name from Vogue Style School of Fashion and Design to Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design.
There is no doubt that these giant steps taken by Joyce Ababio will leave a lasting imprint on the minds and hearts of Ghanaians and open doors for those who over the years have looked down on a profession that clothes the nation.