when line + dot met
cad for fashion
CAD for Fashion is a studio and academy teaching the fashion industry the most efficient way to use Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. We caught up with Erica, C4F owner, at Cartwheel Cafe where she gave us exclusive insights into C4F.
Now in the style of Line and Dot, we had to add in a wild card. The interview ended with us drawing self portraits with our left hands and a 60 second ‘draw what you do’ challenge.
1// How did you get to this stage in your career?
I worked as a garment designer for 5-6 years in a company that supplied clothing to high street stores and I learned a lot about the areas I didn’t know about CAD and how to use it in fashion. I soon realised that lots of other people wanted to use it more efficiently too, so I started to research the best tools, short cuts etc and decided to pass those learnings on to others.
2// What made you want to pursue cad for fashion and start your own business?
I really enjoyed using the software when I was at uni, it was quite geeky. Some of my friends really struggled with it and I started to help them out. When I got into the industry I realised that a lot of people weren’t using the programmes to their maximum potential. When I started creating quality CAD drawings, I was able to sell designs before we even had the garment samples which cut out a lot of waste and time. I realised there was a lot of potential in teaching other people in industry - that already know how to use it but not necessarily in the most effective way.
3//What designers do you look up to or influence your work?
I use a lot of the Fashionary products, they’re really useful for us. To be honest I’m a designer and I know what good aesthetics are and I like creating them, but I don’t look to other designers for inspiration. I enjoy more of the problem solving side of it rather than the jumping on the bandwagon. I’d like to say that I find inspiration the old fashioned way- on the college course I did we had to print out 10 of my own images and just play around with them.
4//So what's in store for your future?
We’re planning on building up CAD for Fashion more. We’ve run lots of courses over the past 2 years but it has been secondary to teaching at universities, my freelance work, product development and design.
We’ve slowly and steadily been building our community. We don’t want it to be people who have just come for a course and then never hear from us again, we tend to keep in touch and they can come to us for support at any time.
Another thing we’re thinking of doing is having annual parties. The last one was really fun and once a year is a nice number to have. In the fashion industry we don’t tend to network, but we like to meet new people that make us excited about what we do.
5//What advice would you give others looking to follow a similar career path?
*whispers* Don’t do it haha. I think a lot of people are a lot braver than I was. I did it very slowly, it was a transition between employment and starting my own business. I actually couldn’t have done this if I hadn’t had worked for someone for that long. It allowed me to build my business at my pace because the work was a bonus and I enjoyed it.