Fashion Inside Out: Five Minutes with Julia Burrows, Senior Tutor at the Fashion Technology Academy
Q What time does your alarm go off?
Q What’s a typical day like for you?
J: Starting around 8am, planning and getting ready for my class that day. Students arrive around 9.30 to get themselves prepared for the class, which starts at 10am. I will then teach them block making, pattern adaptation, or I will work with student on a 1 to 1 basis as they work independently.
Q Tell us about your career route, where did it all start for you?
J: I studied Fashion Design in South Africa, when qualifying I went into industry, working as a designer/pattern maker (all designers cut their own patterns “in my day”. Generally designers stopped cutting their own patterns when production went off shore). I worked for companies that supplied the high street multiples.
I moved to the UK, where I continued as a Senior Designer, moving up to become Head Designer and Department Head. I have designed a range of different product types. In the UK I worked predominantly for M&S suppliers. After having children I left full-time employment and became freelance. I have now turned my hand to teaching at the Fashion Technology Academy, which I love. I am lucky to have had a wonderful career. Traveling to many interesting countries, meeting and working with talented teams and always learning.
Q And did you spend any time completing work placements / experience?
J: No, I was employed straight from University.
Q What key skills / attributes would you say are essential for this role?
J: An open mind, tolerance and understanding. Being well prepared, but adaptable.
Q What is your most memorable work moment?
J: So many to quote!
Q What is the worst part of the job?
J: The paperwork!
Q Best piece of advice you have been given?
J: Enjoy your work, be prepared and work hard. Embrace new things, as you’ll only regret the things you haven’t done.
Q Is there anyone in the fashion sector that you think is inspirational?
J: Alexander McQueen – he certainly knew how to cut a pattern.
Q After work you like to…
J: Spend time with my family, cuddle my dogs and cats or meet friends.