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It’s Official – The Stitching Academy Has Launched



The Minister for Employment, Mark Hoban, ASOS CEO Nick Robertson, and our very own Director Jenny Holloway were joined by the likes of The Times, The Evening Standard, The Independent, The Telegraph and Drapers Record to launch the ASOS / FashionCapital Stitching Academy initiative. The first cohort of Stitching Academy students, along with the current batch were on-hand with their tutors to demonstrate their skills and give their feedback and comments.


Commenting on why ASOS has supported the initiative, Nick Robertson, ASOS CEO, stated: “ASOS is proudly committed to supporting British manufacturing in our industry by giving skills and job opportunities to the young people who will take it into the future. The Stitching Academy is one of many steps in the right direction and perfectly mirrors the objectives of the ASOS Foundation.”

Minister for Employment, Mark Hoban, added: “I’m determined to give young people all the help they need to kick-start their careers, so it’s good news ASOS are on board to give them a hand in learning the vital skills they need to get a job. British fashion is world-famous, so this is a great opportunity for aspirational young people to get their foot in the door of an exciting industry.”

The press turn-out was fantastic and the concept of moving British manufacturing forward and passing on key skills to our younger generation was met with enthusiasm. The newly qualified students were incredibly positive about the Academy and the skills they had amassed over the 6-week course.


First Level 1 Stitching Academy cohorts with Director Jenny Holloway and Tutor Leyla Mehmet

Here is what the first Level 1 cohorts had to say:

Sofia Silvestre: “I found the program has helped me a lot in gaining experience in the fashion industry. The ‘Stitching Academy ‘ has taught me a lot about stitching techniques and working with machines. Working at The Factory has raised my confidence and has helped me gain connections to further myself in fashion.”

Naomi Jade Davis: “In the past 6 weeks I have learnt so much at the Academy, Leyla our teacher has been amazing and can teach anyone, at any level, anything! I have learnt how to make a pattern from just measurements, insert darts and zips. Also how to thread and use an industrial flat bed overlocker, binding, button hole, and button machine. We created a portfolio of work through different tasks in our handouts and on completion the course I have made two skirts, a dress, a jacket for a pet and a top. After finishing the course I have had lots of support from Jenny Holloway, the Director of Fashion Enter and our IQA for our qualification. She has given me bucket loads of advice and opportunities to apply for.”

Amira Mehiaoui: I have found the ASOS Stitching Academy really fun and interesting. When I first started I didn’t know a thing about machines and 2 weeks into the course I learned how to stitch straight, I then started to create garments with my own designs. I have also learnt in just under 6-weeks how to use a machine and work in a factory environment, dealing with health and safety and I have also created a portfolio which has all my tops, skirts and dresses that I made along with the samples. This was an intense program where I learned every aspect in a factory from knowing how to use and fix an industrial sewing machine to quality control.”

Shana Tekila: “Studying at the ASOS Stitching Academy I have developed my skills in sewing – knowing the right stitch for my designs. I am able to be creative and use a range of colours and materials. I have become acquainted with these skills it has enabled me to make my most creative and visionary ideas into reality. Attending the six-week course at the Academy has furthered my thinking regarding what my own style is and who am I as a designer; what my aspirations are how to define and fulfil my professional goals.”

Sarah Sapu: “I got referred to this course by the Princes Trust when I did work experience at ASOS head office. I have really enjoyed the course; my time at the Stitching Academy was truly a great experience, even just being around the factory environment. I came into this course not knowing how to even stitch a straight line and now I have come out with a skirt and various other items that I have made by myself!”

Maja Balcerzak:Joe my career advisor at the Job Centre told me about the ongoing course at The ASOS Stitching Academy. The course has provided me with a great foundation knowledge of stitching skills, garment construction and an even bigger enthusiasm for the fashion industry. BIG THANKS goes to our tutor Leyla Mehmet. She inspired me with her amazing experience and knowledge in not only stitching but also designing, pattern cutting. She was keen to show us everything to make us confident in stitching and garment finishing and she pushed us to get the most of it.”

Check back for further press coverage and reviews on the launch of the Stitching Academy.


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