Quentin Felix left a job as a robotics engineer in Switzerland in 2018 to take up a level 5 apprenticeship in bespoke tailoring at The Tailoring Academy in Macclesfield and is now passing on his knowledge and experience to new budding tailors.
Prior to taking up the apprenticeship, Quentin studied engineering for six years, in both France and Germany to achieve a master’s degree, and worked for two-and-a-half years in Switzerland.
His interest in sewing started at an early age and he commandeered a sewing machine at home that no-one else in his family could use. He taught himself to use the machine, through a combination of technical patterns, online tutorials and trial and error before coming across Brita [Hirsch, founder of Hirsch Tailoring] on Instagram.
He met Brita in person in July 2017 for a two-week-long tailoring workshop, and she offered Quentin the opportunity to become an apprentice at Hirsch Tailoring. He was one of the first to take up the new level 5 bespoke Cutter and Tailor apprenticeship, which was developed by a group of tailoring employers alongside UKFT and the Savile Row Bespoke Association.
“This was the opportunity I was waiting for to try and change career,” says Quentin. “If you never try, then you never know. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but luckily I loved it.
“I ended up working on actual commissioned garment from day one and Brita trusted me to meet her high standards. I liked being in charge of the drafting of small features such as pockets flaps, patch pockets shapes or straps. It is a great feeling to see these details on the finished garments before sending them away. I love to make garments with my hands, from start to finish.”
Covid-19 raised a few complications to the final part of Quentin’s course, with teaching switching to an online format due to the lockdown and his end point assessment being postponed.
Brita says: “He was finally able to go through the assessment in November, which is demanding even at normal times. I am hugely proud to say he not only passed, but he did so with DISTINCTION! A gifted tailor and natural teacher, he is now joining me at the academy as my co-trainer going forward, which is a great outcome for both of us.”
To read the full news story, check out the UKFT website.
Brita provided us with a short quote about her experience working with Skills and Education Group Awards as the End-point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the Level 5 Bespoke Tailor and Cutter standard.
“Having to go through an end-point-assessment for the first time with an apprentice is a little nerve-wrecking at normal times. When we learnt that Quentin’s EPA, due originally in June last year, had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis, it was a challenge to keep things on track. It was thanks to the support from the team at Skills and Education Group Awards that he was able to remain focussed, and take the assessment as soon as it was possible to do so.”