About the Fashion Center
In 1925, when the fledgling Southern California apparel industry was in dire need of well trained professionals, a unique partnership began between education and industry. Local garment manufacturers offered financial support for Frank Wiggins Trade School to expand the offerings in apparel arts. As history unfolded, Frank Wiggins Trade School became Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and the Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising departments have continued to offer local manufacturers graduates that are thoroughly prepared to meet their demands.
The Fashion Center at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College offers instruction in all phases of the apparel industry. The 13 full-time instructors, along with a full compliment of part-time instructors, come to the classroom with a wide variety of industry experiences to introduce the student population to real work world situations. On our faculty, we were fortunate to have Helen J. Armstrong (Emeritus), author of the most widely used pattern making book, Patternmaking for Fashion Design and Draping for Apparel Design.
The introduction of technology brought a new wave of course offerings to the department, and over the past decade instruction has increased to include a wide variety of apparel software programs, such as, Gerber Garment Technology, Lectra, and Tukatech. The department intends to add the Pad Systems software classes, making The Fashion Center the only design school to offer instruction in all major software titles. Classes in computer grading, marker making, and patternmaking have been in our catalog for many years, but new to the schedule are courses developed for textile manufacturing and design.
Technology plays a major role in Fashion Merchandising as well. Instruction on Aims software is currently in our catalog and courses covering EDI are in the planning stage.
The Merchandising department is unique in that our instructors have experience in manufacturing and retail. This unusual mix offers students an overview of the apparel industry from both perspectives.
Classes are offered at convenient times to fit the needs of all perspective students. The full-time program is offered both morning and afternoon sessions. A full range of evening and Saturday fashion classes is offered to fit the schedules of industry professionals returning to the college to upgrade or learn new apparel skills.
Local industry continues to support the department with donations, participation on our advisory committee, and offering expert critiques while judging entries for our fashion show. Many of our graduates who are working at area manufacturers or independently are among those who assist us twice a year in judging the graduate work that is featured in the Gold Thimble Fashion Shows.
The faculty and staff are extremely proud of the services we offer our students. The majority of faculty members are graduates of the program and are dedicated to preparing our graduates for a successful career in the fashion industry.