Fashion Retail Academy Tutors – Meet Our Team

FRA Students

Top marks for tutors – meet our team

Here at the Fashion Retail Academy, we consider our tutors as our greatest asset. Hailing from a wide and diverse range of fashion disciplines, from designing to merchandising, they have the knowledge, passion, and experience to help drive our students forward. Underneath their guidance, many of our alumni have gone on to achieve positions in their dream field, company or role.

What’s different about FRA tutors?

We’ve handpicked a dedicated team of tutors who all have an extensive background in the fashion industry, enabling them to give real-world advice backed up by experience. Many have worked within the fashion industry for over 20 years (and many still do), whether that’s as a buyer for an exciting high street brand or a personal stylist for a world-famous fashion house. They not only have the knowledge you need to succeed, but the experience and contacts too.

They’ve all been in your position before, so our tutors are there to support you through your FRA journey from start to finish, giving you the best chance of landing your dream job once you graduate.

Let’s find out a little bit more about just a few members of the team that make the FRA so special.

Tony Morgan – Visual Merchandising Tutor

After spending 18 years as Creative Manager at Selfridges, Tony went on to create the visual merchandising course he now teaches. His career took him around the world to find new and exciting creative approaches, and he still lectures and consults abroad. To find out more about Tony, check out one of his books: he’s written two, specialising in visual merchandising – Visual Merchandising: Windows and in-store displays for retail and Window Display; New Visual Merchandising

Judean Hallier – Level 3 Fashion Retail Tutor

Judean’s impressive career has spanned 13 years, during which she’s worked within the Retail Operations side of Whistles, Dune and LK Bennett. She has now found her calling in vocational coaching and career development. She has experience in a range of educational settings, such as apprenticeships and providing young people with retail, management and customer service training. Judean is the person to speak to when it comes to starting a business, retail operations or anything to do with customer service. 

Helen Farrington – Level 4 Fashion Retail & Garment technology tutor

After graduating from London College of Fashion, Helen went on to complete a design course very similar to the ones we offer at the FRA. Her 30 years in the industry have seen her work for a number of brands and also set up her own fashion business. For students looking to specialise in retail and garment technology, Helen is a fountain or knowledge and guidance.

Jo Reynolds – PR and Marketing tutor

Are you interested in getting to the marketing side of fashion? Jo will be your mentor. She studied Fashion Journalism and Promotion at the London College of Fashion before starting her marketing career. She now has over 20 years of industry experience to share with students. Much of that time was spent learning from exciting, forward-thinking and celebrated brands, such as Ben Sherman, Evisu Jeans, and Dr. Martens. The expertise she gained during this time allowed her to set up her own PR consultancy firm in 2011. She now represents brands like Vagabond, Sophie Harley and Fiorentini and Baker. We’ve been lucky enough to have her teaching at the FRA since 2009.

Debbie Taylor – Level 4 Buying and Merchandising Tutor

Debbie has been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, travelling the globe and working with world-famous designers. Having held positions in accessories, womenswear and design, and with a speciality in brand buying and trend development, her knowledge is broad and ever-growing. When you’re in a class with Debbie, you can be assured you’re in the best possible hands – she was awarded the Drapers Record Fashion Buyer of the Year award in 2000, and the FRA Teacher of the Year award in 2015.

Mikael Persson – Level 3 Fashion Retail Tutor

Want to know what it’s like to work for a high fashion house? Having worked for Alexander McQueen and Michiko Koshino, Mikael can give you the inside scoop. We’ve been lucky enough to have had him teaching here at the FRA for the last eight years, and he also runs his own clothing label, named Cloth & Vinyl, to keep expanding his knowledge and ensure he has an eye for the latest trends.

"Mikael’s experience of design software has helped hundreds of VM, buying and fashion design students build their portfolios and ultimately secure jobs in the retail sector, or gain a place at university."

Rachel Fernandes – Garment Technology Tutor

Garment technology is all about the fitting process of a piece of clothing, and the attention to detail required in order to ensure a product is just right. Rachel started out in Buying, but soon acknowledged her passion for garment technology and applied it to the wedding industry.

She has now helped hundreds of women to find that perfect dress and made sure it fits just right. She brings her meticulous eye for detail and wide breadth of knowledge to the garment technology courses at the FRA.

“Teaching Garment Technology at the FRA over the past six years has allowed me to share my knowledge and help hundreds of students – the majority of which are now in the industry. Having an understanding of fibres, fabrics and garment construction is extremely beneficial when starting a career in the fashion industry.”

What do our alumni have to say?

Our tutors have played a part in shaping the careers of so many of our successful graduates, many of whom have now gone on to land their dream positions. Here’s what they had to say about how our carefully curated team of tutors helped them during their time at the FRA.

“While studying at the Academy, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a number of industry experts which prepared me for what life in merchandising would really be like.” – Courtney Spellacy, graduated Level 4 Merchandising in 2013. She now works for M&S.

“The tutors are amazing because they are industry experts.” – Frankie Farmer, graduated from Level 3 Fashion Retail and Level 4 Buying in 2011. He now works for Office.

“The FRA was totally and utterly life-changing. Without the tutors and experience that I had there, my life would not be the same. They spotted skills that I didn’t even know I had – and they nurtured and supported me in my career choices.” – Thom Scherdel, graduated Level 3 Fashion Retail in 2006. He now works for The Idle Man.

“The teachers were from the industry, so their knowledge was from personal experience.” – Rosalind Shimmen, graduated Level 2 & Level 3 Fashion Retail and Level 4 Buying in 2010.

 Want to know more about the fashion industry or any of our tutors? Visit the Fashion Retail Academy website.

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