Made aims to foster the start-up designer, dressmaker, or home sewer for a career path into entrepreneurial fashion. Through a hands-on teaching approach, students learn high fashion sewing skills and techniques that will match their creative vision. Started in 2012 by Designer, Rachel Ford, Made strives to provide a comfortable and fun environment for students to bring their creative goals to realization.
Ms. Ford is a fashion and costume designer with a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design from Drexel University. She currently makes costumes for The Opera Company of Philadelphia, in addition to freelance designing for movies and music videos. She also teaches Advanced Sewing and Fashion Design for Continuing Education at Moore College of Art. Previous experience includes assistant designing at Free People. Philadelphia is a great city to foster big ideas. We are a city of resourceful people, who are willing to put in the work to attain our goals.
With my experiences teaching and mentoring in Philadelphia's fashion industry, I saw a hole in finer garment making knowledge (i.e. evening wear, corsetry, and tailoring). I truly respect the art of fine craft. We as a country have forgotten what a well made garment even feels like. We can only improve as designers through a higher understanding of quality in garment making.
Through working at the Philadelphia Opera, I've had the pleasure to work with some of the most talented tailors, pattern makers, and stitchers in the field. Education is a great way to connect people and ideas while creating a community of like-minded folks. I am so excited to connect these talented people as professors with students hungry for knowledge.
I believe that all start-up fashion businesses should aim to manufacture domestically. We have the resources, but the skilled artisan work is dying as generations pass. Here at Made, we are working to restore the worth and beauty of the phrase "Made in America".
At the end of the day, the goal is to give students the knowledge to make beautiful work. As they emerge as designers, Made can offer them small production and sample-making abilities, thus hiring former students as stitchers and tailors. I believe that any education system should have job placement as an end goal.