Meet Julia Burrows Senior Tutor at the FTA

Career routes in the fashion sector are diverse and numerous, each week we will introduce an individual that works in the industry to gain an insight into their fashion world. This week it's the turn of Julia Burrows, Senior Tutor at the Fashion Technology Academy...

Q What time does your alarm go off?

J: 5.45.

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, 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.