Spero Villioti ELITE DESIGN ACADEMY

  

 

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NADINE BEETON 2006


Straight after I completed my studies I underwent an internship with CLEO magazine. I then went to travel around London for 3 months where I worked in retail and got a feel for how an international brand handles their daily operations and sales techniques. On my return to South Africa, I opened up my own boutique called 'The Changing Room'. This was a great experience for me, as I learnt how to start a business from scratch, right through to the promotion of the store's labels. After 3 years of having my store, I sold 'The Changing Room' and moved onto Australia. I have been here the last 2 years, and am working as a retail manager/ buyer for a popular boutique in Melbourne which stocks high end brands and caters to a specialized market. I love that I have had a feel of different areas of fashion, and I feel that I couldnt have gained the confidence and experience from anyone else other than Spero. The high level of work that was expected at the Elite Design Academy has carried through into my career and will always play a role in my fashion business decisions. Even though you may take a different path in your career, Spero Villioti's teachings still have an impact on every dimension of the industry. In my 2nd year at Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, I came 2nd in the bridal competition, LABRORIE YOUNG DESIGNERS AWARDS, in Cape Town. I was also lucky enough to show at Cape Town Fashion Week in my final year of studying in 2006. My range was published in 2 Newspapers in South Africa, including The Star Newspaper. While I owned 'The Changing Room' I managed to become one of the monthly contributors of Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Elle Magazine. It was always exciting to see which pieces of the store had been featured! 'The Changing Room' was also featured as Cosmopolitan's shop of the month. In the next 5 years I am looking into the possibilities of perhaps opening my own agency which brings in different labels and promotes them around the country. I love taking on new challenges and I feel confident with the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my studies and also thereafter.

 

 

IYESHA STOLARCZYK 2007


After completeing my three years at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, I was appointed Spero's assitant for Spero Villiot Couture, where I managed the workroom, liased with customers, co-ordinated models and fittings, designed for fashion week and drafted patterns for various customers as well as fashion week collections. The following year, I was promoted to a lecturers position within the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, specialising in textiles, research, computer graphics and pattern making. This was an exciting opportunity for me and I embraced it with passion and an open mind. While I was working for Spero Villioti, I was also seeing private clients and furthered my experience as a dressmaker and designer with numerous wedding, bridesmaid and matric dance dresses. I was promoted a year later and appointed lecturer for pattern making and grament construction, computer graphics, research and textiles. Studying at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy opened many doors for me in the world of credits, awards and nominations within the fashion industry. I was named runner up in the 'classical bride' category for the bridal africa competition, successfully completed the international programme with Parson's New York that the academy hosted for just over 20 students and I have been awarded the chance to showcase on fashion week numerous times including Joburg Fashion Week and Cape Town Fashion Week. I am currently the head lecturer at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy and I enjoy every minute in the fashion environment and continue to learn from Spero Villioti with every passing day. In 5 years time, I wish to continue being a valuable asset to the company and be involved in the company's expansion, especially in a senior management position. In the near future I wish to successfully launch a swimwear and lingerie label, featuring my exclusive designs.

 

 

MINETTE MEYER 2010


My 3 years spent at The Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy must be the three most enjoyable and enriching years of my life.  I really enjoyed my study experience I had at the academy. In my graduation year at Spero Villioti, I successfully completed 2 parsons NY programs which was of high value to me and really broadened my design skills. Towards the end of 2010, I was placed as a top 10 finalist for the annual Bridal Africa Competition with my finale dress from my collection. I went on further to graduate top of my class, cum laude, in 2010 and it must have been the most exciting and blessed time of my life! Graduating top of my class saw me soar to new heights within the fashion industry and I was honoured to receive the Truworths Award for Most Fashionably Commercial Collection in 3rd year from the organisers. I will also never forget how my heart sank when I got the phonecall from AFI(the organisers of Johannesburg Fashion Week) asking me to showcase a full range at the Johannesburg Fashion Week 2011!  Wow!  I have always been one to design out of passion and not for reward, but being recognised for the passion and hard work I put into fashion really put a joy in my heart and made me just want to work ten times harder. I then got the chance to be employed as the Fashion Assistant to Spero Villioti and what an amazing learning experience. From cutting fabrics and patternmaking, to time management and business skills, i found myself furthering my knowledge and skills within the fashion industry under the watchful eye of Spero himself. I also chose to further my studies and complete an advanced programme with Spero Villioti diving into the business of fashion, retailing, forecasting and many more. I am currently working as fashion co-ordinator with Spero Villioti specialising in events management and customer relations. Although I have started a small business from home as well, my dream is to transform the fashion industry with the passion I have and own a number of successful boutiques and brands.


 

LAURA BAIROS 2009


2009 saw the end of an amazing 3 years I experienced at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, were all my hard work saw me graduate top of my class, cum laude. The year after graduating, I completed a Research dissertation in order to obtain a degree in Fashion, which was a great and rewarding challenge for me. I then got a fantastic opportunity working for a well-known South African brand who also forms part of the House of Busby Group, 'Marion and Lindie', where I gained experience as a product merchandiser.  I decided to then gain more experience in a different field to merchandising and was employed as a 2nd year lecturer at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, teaching and guiding students through patternmaking and garment construction.  Its funny how even after you've graduated, you get to learn something new everyday, even in a familiar environment.  During my studies at the Academy, I was awarded the opportunity to feature some of my work at Johannesburg fashion week in 2009 as well as be a selected finalist in the Bridal Africa Competition. I currently run my own Company "Bairos Couture".  Bairos Couture offers the classic - yet fashion conscious, stylish female, a combination of haute couture as well as ready-to-wear designer clothing.  The ready-to-wear range is available to purchase straight off the rail and is compiled of 'one-of'-a-kind' items, sourced internationally.  Haute Couture garments are made for the clients specific measurements, for any occasion.  My business is run not only on the work experience I've encountered along my journey, but on the business principles I was able to learn at the Academy and from Spero himself.  Apart from women's wear, Bairos Couture also offers bespoke clothing for men; specializing in tailor made suits, shirts, waistcoats, ties, cravats, jackets and trousers.  With a plentiful choice of imported quality fabrics, the tailor made suits and shirts ensure that men are also noticed for their sophisticated fashion sense.

 

SHAUNA KELLY 2010


I graduated from The Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy in 2010, and since I've left, I have networked with different people and companies managing to do a few things to gain experience in the fashion industry. Firstly, within my first month of graduating, I was lucky enough to work as a personal shopper and image consultant for Stuttafords, where I gained a lot of confidence in myself, as well as in my knowledge of clothing. As I was fresh on the scene and wanted to do everything all at once, I then got an offer to work for BUSBY in store at 'Forever New', learning the 'ins and outs' of how to run a fashion retail store. Once I had my 6 months experience in store, it was time for me to dive into the world of internships. While networking in the store I met 2 fashion stylists, who I then shadowed for a month, which was very exciting. One of which was for the local TV soap "7de Laan". What a great experience!  Wardrobe styling was a lot of fun and very interesting to be a part of, and really broadened my understanding into styling and 'what works' in putting an outfit together. After my internship, I got offered a job as a CAD designer for an amazing company, which includes the MR Price group, where I started off as an assistant designer.  I am now designing as well as assisting for four different accounts, namely Jet Girlswear, Exact for Foschini, Makro clothing and my favourite account, Polo Girls.  I have come across an amazing opportunity within this company and I am extremely happy with where I am only a year and a half after graduating. I played many different fields, tried all aspects of the fashion industry and I have now found what I love!  This company has a lot of growth opportunity and I can definitely see myself being a fashion merchandiser, fashion buyer or even head designer within the next 5 years!

KUTLOANO MOLOKOMME 2010


Young fashion designer Kutloano Molokomme was one of the chosen graduate designers to be showcased at the Fast Track show at Fashion Kapitol, for Joburg Fashion Week 2011. It was his first-ever show where he showcased a full collection. He has always been a very talented illustrator and showed immense talent in drawing and photoshop skills. "Drawing was a huge passion of mine, though I did not come from a creative background. It is only when I enrolled at Spero Villioti, a fashion design school, that I started dealing with sewing clothes." He says his motivation for designing clothes lies in the idea of creating garments that are practical yet still have a streak of exclusivity. He attributes his nonconformist designs and fashion vision to the nonconformist spirit of where he comes from. His attention to detail and eye for styling got him noticed when he made it to the top 10 at the competitive Elle New Talent Competition in 2010. He entered again in 2011 and was chosen as the runner-up in the very popular competition, competing with top talent from all over the country. After a few years of hard work, he is now safely among the list of those young designers who not only have a lot of potential but also a lot of promise for the future of the industry.  Determined to create his own fashion label and make his very own place in the fashion world, he possesses several skills, including pattern cutting, garment design and the use of industrial machines. But his favourite is drawing. It's these qualities that helped him gain instant market credibility. He made fashion waves when he designed a condom dress for a competition. His condom dress was so exciting that it was immediately picked up by Lindiwe Mabuza-Suttle, one of the most fashion forward musicians. "This was the pinnacle of my career. I used more than 3000 condoms. It was hard work but looking at it on glossy magazines make me feel fulfilled. Lindiwe carried the dress very well." He continues to labour diligently at home. He says his vision is to expand into a huge brand with shops around the country. "I'm committed to driving my vision and brand to new places and making the women that wear my clothes feel more confident and beautiful.