CAD for Fashion is all about nurturing new talent from the fashion industry so we were delighted that our founder Erica Horne was recently asked to be a judge at the Midlands Fashion Awards.
What are the Midlands Fashion Awards?
Move over London Fashion week, the Midlands Fashion Awards are the ultimate destination for discovering the country’s most talented creatives.
Recognised as a leading platform, the Midlands Fashion Awards is well-known for promoting and increasing the visibility of the region’s most innovative fashion and accessory designers. As well as offering accolades for stylists, make-up artists and photographers.
Each year, the Midlands Fashion Awards culminates in an annual awards ceremony (usually held in Birmingham) where nominated designers and creatives can showcase their collections on a catwalk, exhibit their brand and potentially find a buyer for their products amongst an audience of over 300 visitors.
Who were the winners at the 2019 Midlands Fashion Awards?
CAD for Fashion was so excited to attend this year’s award ceremony as a judge for three different categories. It was hard to narrow down a winner from such a talented bunch of finalists, but this year’s incredible recipients are:
CAD for Fashion will be keeping in touch with all the winners and is delighted to announce we’ll also be mentoring Isabelle in order to support her next steps in the fashion industry. We may have convinced her to pop along to our bestselling Jess Priest workshop too…
How to get involved with the Midlands Fashion Awards
If you’re a designer, maker or creative from the Midlands, why not get involved with next year’s Midlands Fashion Awards?
There are tons of opportunities to showcase your work and plenty of categories to nominate yourself for. And if you’re lucky enough to be shortlisted, Erica will be there to say a friendly hello as she’s been asked to support with planning and judging the event next year too.
Don’t forget to check out our upcoming workshops here.
One of the trickiest aspects of being a designer, maker or brand owner? Finding suppliers you can trust. That’s why we were super-pleased to discover GB Labels; a friendly neighbourhood branding specialist just round the corner from the CAD For Fashion Derby studio.
GB Labels is a family team of weaving experts with around 50 years of experience between them. Peter Gregory started the business decades ago and has now passed the reins over to sons Luke and Jason Gregory.
Along with the rest of the team, Jason and Luke provide branding products to some of the biggest companies in the world. But their signature range of woven labels, cotton labels, swing tickets and ribbon has found cult status amongst the Instagram makers community too.
We caught up with Jason to ask him six quickfire questions. Here’s what he had to say…
Hey Jason, firstly, why is branding so important?
“If you think about those huge household names, they all have that memorable logo and identifiable colour palette. This is something even the smallest brands can replicate.
Branding matters because it’s the one thing that instantly makes you stand out from competitors. Whether that’s at a trade fair such as Top Drawer or on a shelf in a local boutique such as Design at 44.”
What products should every small business have?
“The branding products you choose need to elevate your brand and make it look professional and consistent. A woven label or cotton label adds quality, a swing ticket is something your customers can linger over, ribbon shows them you lovingly wrap each order and a wash care label is something you need to be transparent with your customers.
Probably the most common mistake we come across is designers buying bulk labels after a quick Google search then being disappointed with the quality. My tip would be to do your research because your branding should always be high quality and well-crafted. It represents your brand after all!”
Where do you source your products from?
“Our office is based in Derby, that’s where we store all the labels. In a secret studio in Wales, you’ll find our state of the art loom. Most of our product range is made there which is why we describe ourselves as ‘beautifully British’.
But it’s important we’re transparent with our customers. We aren’t fussed where a product comes from as long as it’s the best quality and made responsibly. So if we need to source an element from overseas, we’ll let our customers know.
We also try to be sustainable where we can. People may assume having branding products creates waste. However, our cotton products are kind to the planet, our swing tickets can be made from recyclable cardboard and things like ribbon can have hundreds of uses after they are used for the first time. It’s about doing what feels right for your business”
How do you help brands achieve branding success?
“We work with all types of brands. From film studios and fashion houses to student designers and startups based in garden sheds.
There’s room for all sorts of creativity and entrepreneurship within the industry, but it’s how you present and market your products that’s important. Unfortunately, branding is probably one of the main things a designer forgets. You wouldn’t believe how many calls we get hours before fashion week!
Luckily nurturing new talent, student designers and side hustlers is something we really enjoy. You don’t have to know anything about branding to place an order with us. We offer free sample packs, regular discount codes, a logo design service – and we’re always on the other end of the phone when you need advice.”
Where are some of the more unusual places your woven labels appear?
“You may think branding is all about every day clothing labels, but you’d be surprised. Our labels end up on dog collars, tents, bicycles, wedding dresses, racing cars, sofas… the list is endless! We even started a hashtag #ShareYourLabel to keep track of where all our products end up.”
What’s the best thing about being a family-run business?
“Unlike companies based overseas or bigger garment label factories, we’re always able to offer the personal touch and guide a designer through the label ordering process step by step. And of course, we’re always honoured to work with prestigious names, which we do on a daily basis.
Mainly we really enjoy seeing people’s reactions when they see their label for the first time. This is because often it’s a major step forward for their brand or signifies a poignant event like their first trade show or graduation from a fashion design course.
That’s probably why we love our Instagram community so much. There’s lots of talent out there and the future is bright for independent brands.”
Follow GB Labels on Instagram or get in touch via their website. And keep an eye on their social media for some exciting updates coming soon…
What a month it’s been! It feels like last months event and the Adobe Textile Designer demo was so long ago now, but what a fantastic night it was.
In July we celebrated CAD for Fashion Academy’s 1 year anniversary with an event called ‘A Year in the making’. The event was a chance for us all to look back on the last year and see how far we have come. Learners, industry friends and C4F Tutors were all there to raise a glass for everything we have all achieved! From small hurdles, slow and steady progress to complete shake-ups of life, work and personal development.
We are grateful to all of you who were able to join us on the evening to raise a glass! and to those who sent their congratulations.
Adobe’s ‘Textile Designer’
At the event, we were treated to an exclusive Demo from our resident fashion print and graphics expert Stephen Rose. He told us all about Adobe Photoshop’s ‘Textile Designer’, formally known as ‘Project Paras’. This new plugin is going to change the way you create your repeats in Photoshop for the better! He showed us how easily it allows you to capture different colour combinations and also how it gives you full technical control over your output when you are ready to print.
Have a go in the studio!
After the talk, we opened up the studio to let everyone have a go at using the new plugin. We provided a demo file and simple instructions which meant everyone was able to have a play and see how incredible the new features could be when it is finally rolled out in the main program.
It’s fair to say there were some pretty excited faces in the room…
“This is how excited I am about the preview I’ve seen tonight of the new Adobe software – Adobe Textile Designer. This is gonna change my life! @cadforfashion 🖤🖤🖤” Alix Webb
Overall the event was a great success and it was our genuine pleasure to share it with you all. It also attracted a fair bit of interest outside our little community; including a little company called… Adobe! Next week myselfand Stephen will be on a video conference to California to speak with Mike Scrutton; Director of Print Technology and Strategy at Adobe. He is in charge of developing the ‘Textile Designer’ plugin and wants to speak to us about what we think!
Over the last few weeks, we have been collecting feedback from you guys on Instagramand Facebook so we can help to make this feature the best it can be before its rolled out in the next major update. If you have any feedback or suggestions we would love to hear from you and will be passing all of this on to Adobe next week. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
CAD for Fashion is very happy to announce our collaboration with Line + Dot Creative! Creative director Alexandra Hardwick is going to be sharing her skills and expertise to help you develop your concept and execute your text-based, brand logo using Adobe Indesign.
Alex is the driving force behind Line + Dot, with more than ten years’ industry experience working with brands including Adidas x Stella McCartney, Hugo Boss and Disney within a global fashion branding agency. She believes in insight-led concepts, creativity and thoughtful design. Her skills span across, website design, Logo and style guide creation, branding application and market research.
Why Adobe Indesign?
Adobe Indesign is the industry standard for fashion branding. It allows you to create high quality, print ready artwork for your fashion promotional materials. InDesign provides the tools necessary to design pages and create visual layouts that can be used for both print and digital media. It bridges the gap between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator with some fantastic applications within the world of graphic design and fashion.
Adobe InDesign for Fashion Branding – Beginner 27.04.2019
Would you like the power to realise your own vision? This Adobe InDesign for Fashion Branding Course will give you the skills to create and explore the potential of powerful mood boards and thoughtfully designed text-based logos for your fashion brand.
Whether you are a fashion startup looking to create a logo for your business or an established brand looking to refresh your look. This course will take you through the essential processes needed to produce professional and relevant branding materials. All we ask is that you have a brand name decided upon and that you have some idea of your market positioning. Not sure if you are ready? Or if this course is for you then please get in touch here, we would be happy to advise.
What will I learn?
In the morning Alex will take you through the basics of understanding your brand; defining your target audience and helping you to pick out key messages and aesthetics you want to carry through with your branding. You will then use Adobe InDesign to create moodboards portraying the direction of your brand. In the afternoon Alex will guide you through the software to explore and create a text-based logos inspired by your morning’s work.
By the end of the day, you will have a professional looking logo that represents your brand, that can be used across your print and digital materials such as your website, promotional materials, labels, and of course social media.
We’re lucky enough at CAD for Fashion to have a resident fashion print and textile expert, Stephen Rose, who tutors our digital print and textile design courses. Stephen is a mine of information and knowledge, with vast industry experience which he is more than happy to share with those taking our digital courses.
While many believe that CAD software is difficult to use, you will find that if you’re taught the right tricks and techniques and the correct way of doing things from the start, rather than being clumsy, frustrating and time consuming, these programmes are incredibly quick, efficient and effective to use for fashion and textile design. And Stephen certainly is an expert in his field! Founder and owner of Now! Design, Stephen has 20 years’ experience of developing and designing placement prints and repeat pattern fabrics for everything from fashion apparel to sportswear and soft furnishings for countless high street stores and well-known brands – with many of his designs becoming bestsellers in stores and online.
In addition to his incredible talent, Stephen’s a thoroughly nice guy with a calm and patient teaching style. Whether they’ve come in as complete beginners or designers wanting to refresh or top-up their skills, most of our course attendees come away amazed at how much they’ve learnt and managed to achieve. You really can get to a higher level, faster if you’re trained by experts!
Driven by his passion for print, Stephen has also co-founded Graphic Moda, a creative marketplace for digital fashion print, which brings talented designers and buyers together to supply commercial fashion retailers with exclusive high quality designs at fair trade prices.
“I’ve dedicated my career to digital fashion print design and I really enjoy taking courses at CAD for Fashion and helping others to learn what’s possible – seeing them realise what the software can do (or, rather, what they can do with the software!), achieving new things, finding shortcuts that will help immensely in their day-to-day work, creating something that looks amazing… it’s incredibly rewarding. It’s my passion and if I can help to fuel that in someone else, well, there’s nothing better.”
Thanks Stephen – it’s great to have you on the CAD for Fashion team!
Find out here about our forthcoming courses or sign up for our newsletter to be amongst the first to hear about new and exciting courses and workshops planned for 2019.
CAD for Fashion is a warm and inviting space making it easy to learn. Erica is a dream of a teacher- She is so patient... and knowledgeable, I didn't want to leave at the end of the day! I would highly recommend any of the classes- you'll come away feeling inspired and confident with your new (or refreshed) abilities, just like me :)read more
I did a 2 day course with Erica at CAD for Fashion, it was super informative and enjoyable; and I learnt more tips,... tricks and techniques using Illustrator over those 2 days than I did during my entire 3 years at university!
It's really great that the class sizes are so small too, it means you can really get some one-on-one guidance tailored towards what you need from the course.
I would 100% recommend CAD for Fashion to all industry professionals, from beginners to those looking to hone their skills - Erica is a welcoming and patient tutor with so much helpful knowledge.
Totally worth it for the memory stick full of handouts, templates and illustrator brushes alone! ;)
Thanks again Erica - hoping to come back again soon!read more
I had the great pleasure of attending one of CAD for Fashion Illustrator workshops to update my skills and style when... creating technical drawings. Erica's skills and experience in teaching clients of all levels is second to none leaving you wanting to learn even more. By the end of the workshop you are equipped with great notes and confidence to apply new techniques in your work. Happy to recommend CAD 4 Fashion!!read more
Erica is one of the most talented designers, illustrators and trainers I have ever come across in my career. Her... attention to detail, knowledge of the subject, patience and work ethic is admirable. I would highly recommend Erica/CAD for Fashion to anyone wanting to learn Illustrator or Photoshop at any level.read more
I would highly recommend Erica & CAD for Fashion with help in improving or developing your current skills throughout... Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop. I attended one of her short course's and i was thoroughly impressed with what was covered in the couple of days. Her knowledge is amazing and i came away with a lot more confidence and an ever-growing set of skills needed for a career in the Fashion Industry. Her studio is modern, fresh & a very peaceful environment to learn. I will definitely be attending more short courses in the near future :)read more
CAD for fashion is a perfect place to learn new skills! Erica has set up a studio in a funky but very historical... building- which goes perfectly with her creative business. Recently, I went to a workshop that Erica had put on with Jess Priest. The hospitality, support and attentiveness that Erica had shown with her team was lovely and I am now looking forward to book future workshops. Definitely a place to further/refresh your skills.read more
Cad for fashion taught me loads of cheeky techniques to speed up my designing, I’ve been designing 8 years now and... it’s great to have access to Erica who is so up to date with the latest developments in both illustrator and photoshop for myself. My team really benefitted from this and already use these techniques daily.
Additionally I’ve been on the watercolour paint and photoshop manipulation course and found these highly enjoyable and inspirational. It’s great to add more to the portfolio that can open doors in the future.read more
Erica has helped me develop the skills I need to design using CAD. It is a brilliant and useful skillset, highly valued... by the industry. Erica's classes are great, the tuition is of a very high standard and her demonstrations are very clear. If you have questions, Erica will always make sure they are answered. I highly recommend her courses!read more
Although I’m not a designer, I have to use Illustrator & Photoshop most days at work to amend CAD designs &... promotional offers. Erica tailored a half day course to suit my needs & specific requirements. She was so helpful in demonstrating every step & explaining each of my queries. I have picked up so many useful tools & skills which has been amazing in aiding my work. Erica has also kindly assisted with any queries I’ve had since the course over email. I would definitely recommend her to anyone needing assistance with Illustrator/Photoshop. I’m amazed at what I’m now able to do compared to before with just a few hours tuition!!read more
Erica helped me build my CAD for fashion work for my portfolio. She helped me grow in confidence using adobe... illustrator. I learn loads of new skills which helped me hugely build my portfolio to a higher level.
She tailored the course to our own needs and what each client wanted to develop and benefit from. Erica was clear and accurate demonstrating technical skills which was very easy to follow.
I would highly recommend Erica if you are trying to build your CAD portfolio, she is extremely approachable and friendly.read more
Started with the lessons for my final year fashion collection project with the lovely Erika and gosh! I could not... believe what I can do and developed. I have definitely changed my portfolio game to the next level, I start from knowing the basics but now a lot more confident. Moving from relying on PowerPoint is definitely a game changer.
Hoping to do more lessons with her to keep my CAD skills up to date sometime in the future.
I would recommend CAD for Fashion to anyone at any level of CAD as Erika was very supportive even after each lessons!read more
Erica helped me to enhance my CAD skills. I would recommend her to students of all abilities as she provides the level... of tuition you require; whether you are at a novice or intermediate level.read more
If you are seeking step by step guidance in CAD Erica is the person to go for. Easy to talk to, friendly and with lots... of great tips. Being a fashion student she helped me out in various aspects of fashion design but certainly the most on how to build an amazing portfolio based on proper industry standards.read more
I recently had two sessions with Erica focusing on both illustrator and photoshop. Erica went at a pace I could follow... and I came away feeling much more confident. I couldn't recommend Erica enough and will be back to do more sessions in the future!!read more
I am a first year student studying fashion I'm going into my second year. I really struggle using Illustrator or any... type of software for that matter as, I'm very dyslexic and struggle to take in information. Erica was extremely helpful and Understanding and has managed to build up my confidence with using the software I couldn't recommend her enough and look forward to my next session.read more
I recently met Erica for a two hour Photoshop cad fashion training session. Having never used Photoshop software... before (and also being slightly scared of it!) I came away with complete clarity and a thorough step by step guide (and good notes) for the areas I needed to know.
I have now been able to use that knowledge and notes to sit down and create my first collection, something I had no idea of being able to do before the training.
Erica is an excellent teacher, quickly picking up how fast/slow to go and when to go over things if it hasn't quite sunk it. I will certainly be booking Erica again for the next time. A thoroughly enjoyable morning. Anna. The Little Style House.read more
I booked a series of sessions with Erica for portfolio work. She demonstrated different techniques to enhance my work... and made layout suggestions, sparking ideas and enabling me to develop my portfolio between each session. Her tips on scale, alignment and the positioning of text and images enabled me to create a comprehensive portfolio that I am really pleased with. Erica has the ability to take on board my needs and tailor each session to specific tasks. Her suggestions enabled me to think about how I could approach tasks in different ways, using a variety of techniques. Sessions with Erica built on my existing knowledge and increased my confidence when using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.read more
I'm currently studying Fashion at university and had a sound understanding of both Illustrator and Photoshop. However,... my work was fairly standard and I wasn't exactly sure where to progress. During the time I spent with Erica, I found this was no longer an issue. I saw a huge improvement in my CAD work through her tutoring, where she was able to give me guidance on both programs. She was gave me tips on different tools within the programs and advice on how to improve aspects of my work. I've found not only is my work a better standard, but I'm able to produce things a lot faster due to more efficient methods.
I'd wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone looking to advance their CAD work, especially given her friendly nature, patience and willingness to teach others.read more