“I graduated from the Grafton Academy in 2009 having studied under the wonderfully talented Patricia Kelly. After graduating, I moved to Manhattan where I began an intensive internship at the fashion house of Zac Posen. From there, I went on to work at the amazing design studios of Rag & Bone where I was immersed in the world of high fashion. In 2013 I became the Senior Designer at DL1961 premium denim in the heart of Manhattans fashion district. Our brand is sold in 37 countries around the world, in over 1000 stores. My studies at the Grafton Academy provided me with the design and pattern making skills required to have a successful career in one of the most competitive fashion workplaces in the world.”
– Sara Swan
“When I applied for the Academy, I was delighted to be accepted as I knew of the Academy’s long term contribution to both the national and international fashion scene. The Academy evokes a strong ethos of allowing its students to think and create their own individualised work through guidance and garnering ones own ideas. This allows a broad spectrum of styles and fabrics to be used and a confidence in your developing skills. We were always encouraged and shown how to incorporate the use of painting, printing and appliqué. These facets meant that in my graduating year it allowed each of the students including myself to design and assemble strong and unique final collections needed to forward into our careers.
The exceptional practice based teaching I received lead me to being put forward for my first studio based role through the Academy’s network working in established studios in Dublin. My career and expertise progressed in a far ranging portfolio to include studio work in Dublin and Sydney, retail & buying, producing fashion shows, workshops to receiving a future Masters and working with The Crafts Council UK. These opportunities all began with thanks to my education and time at The Grafton Academy.”
– Katorina Lea
“I graduated in the year 2000 with a Diploma in Fashion Design from The Grafton Academy. I knew from a very young age I wanted to work in the fashion business. The three year journey was inspirational. The highlight for me was seeing my own designs on the catwalk. The course provided me with an invaluable foundation to my current daily work as a Pattern Maker, Grader and Garment QC. The pattern technique taught at the college is timeless, and to this day on occasion I refer to our college notes as a base for some designs. The tutors offer much support and guidance. I would highly recommend the course for anyone who has a flair for fashion.”
– Claire Davies, Avoca
“The Grafton gave me the foundation to embark on my fashion career and after 20 years of international experience, I still reference to the training I was given at the Grafton. The focus and expectations my teacher had on best finish and quality was key to my successful career in the fashion industry and helped me to weather many storms.”
– Annique Lambe Acar, Chicos – Black Label Collections
“I loved my time at the Grafton Academy. With the excellent tuition I received I feel completely confident in my pattern making and sewing skills to go on and work in the industry. The standards of the student’s work was first class and I feel very lucky to have been surrounded by such a level of talent.”
– Jennifer Massey
“The Grafton Academy is in many ways, a unique learning environment for fashion students. It is a college which is very highly technically driven and is renowned for its excellence in traditional tailoring and drafting skills- but it is not limited to these. Ultimately, the experience and knowledge I gained in these principles while studying here helped me to form the steps towards a much greater knowledge of the technicalities involved in the fashion industry.
The small pupil numbers and class sizes allow for a constant interaction with the tutors and helped me, I feel, build a confidence and competency I would have struggled to develop elsewhere. Throughout my diploma course I learned to design, draft, cut, sew and finish to the high standards demanded of the college whilst being allowed the freedom to develop my own personal style and skill set to suit my aesthetics. It’s not always easy but there is always a guiding hand and a constructive opinion. I loved every minute.”
– Catherine McEvoy, Student 2014
“My studies at The Grafton Academy were fundamental in the building of my career. The training and skills I acquired whilst studying there have helped me in all forms of my career experience. As a designer for 8 years and now in my role in buying, the techniques and knowledge I gained here help me in my everyday tasks.
But education is not the only thing I gained from my time here. Some of my dearest friends have been formed whilst studying in the Grafton. I only have the highest recommendations for this college, its attention given to individual students daily, to the support you get even after graduation. It’s a great college that I’m proud to have attended and honoured to still be a part of.”
– Karen Kealy, Penneys / Primark
I enjoyed every single minute of my 3 years training at the Grafton Academy! I used all I learned there from the fab tutors and successfully opened Jeutonic Bridal & Evening Wear in Kilkenny and still 16 years later Jeutonic is going from strength to strength!
Caroline Barcoe, Kilkenny