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There’s much more to being a fashion designer than having an eye for style and a flair for design. In an increasingly digital world a good working knowledge of CAD software is crucial but, unfortunately, it’s something that’s often overlooked on design courses.That’s why experienced designer, Erica Horne, has created an innovative new studio and training academy, CAD for Fashion, in Derby. Training can be hugely beneficial to fashion designers from students, to freelancers, to corporate teams and while specific computer aided design courses are popular in London there’s previously been little available in the Midlands.

Erica explains: “I studied fashion at Derby University and always particularly enjoyed using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. It wasn’t really covered in depth on the course computer-aided but I got on well with the software and began helping friends with it. When I graduated 6 years ago and began working as a childrenswear designer in Nottingham I continued to teach people how to use the software. Eventually, this led to teaching short courses at Nottingham Trent University, visiting lectures at Derby, Birmingham City Universities, and offering tuition to people at home. The demand was clearly there – this software can play a huge part in a fashion designer’s role nowadays and knowing how to use it properly, understanding the shortcuts, and using it in the same way as colleagues so that you can collaborate effectively makes life so much easier – so that’s why I set up the Academy.”

Erica Horne – Owner CAD for Fashion Studio & Academy
One of CAD for Fashion Academy’s resident experts – each one highly skilled and still practising as a designer in the Fashion industry.

As well as running the academy, through the studio side of the business Erica still works as a freelance designer and product development manager with award-winning Nottingham designer Fazane Fox amongst other brands. It’s this continued hands-on, industry experience that qualifies Erica to teach CAD in the most current and relevant way.

“I’m up-to-date with the latest versions of the software; I know how it works and what fashion designers need from it. It’s not bespoke software and most generic courses cover Illustrator and Photoshop for graphic design. The fashion industry has specific uses and requirements, so that’s what I focus on.”

Erica Horne – Owner CAD for Fashion Studio & Academy
Erica Horne – At the CAD for Fashion academy Launch Event helping some guests with the Adobe Illustrator challenge.

For businesses, Erica can work with whole teams to ensure that they’re all using the software efficiently and in the same way, leading to slicker processes and easier collaboration, as she did recently with Nottingham based MotoDirect. Courses cover all levels, ranging from complete beginner to intermediate or refresher, with corporate courses adapted specifically to a team’s needs.

If you would like to find out more about how CAD for Fashion Studio & Academy can support you and your needs please get in touch!