Five Minutes With: Sarah Stavrow, The Fashion Institute

  • Career
    Five Minutes With: Sarah Stavrow, The Fashion Institute

Source: Supplied: The Institute Group

As anyone working in the fashion industry will tell you, getting your foot firmly in the door is all about building the perfect foundation between tertiary study and hands-on experience. No-one knows this better than Sarah Stavrow, founder of Sydney-based The Fashion Institute – a multi-disciplinary college spanning fashion business, communications, digital marketing and much, much more. Ahead, we chat to Sarah about her own fashion beginnings, the ever-expanding world of TFI and the unbridled power of an all-black outfit.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background; how did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I'm originally from a small country town (Leeton, NSW) and for as long as I can remember I always wanted to work in the fashion industry. I moved to Sydney after school to attend business college and started doing work experience in different parts of the industry, to see what worked for me. I landed my first job, working in PR on my first day of work experience with the agency, I worked in PR for over 5 years before starting the college.

What inspired you to branch out and start The Fashion Institute, especially at such a young age?
I was 24 when I started The Fashion Institute and everyone thought I was out of my mind! I had been working in the industry for several years and along with other colleagues had noticed there was a lack of quality education for people wanted to work in the fashion industry.

What can aspiring fashion students find at TFI that they won't experience anywhere else?
At TFI our approach to education is very different to most traditional institutions, we aim to give our students a dynamic and engaging environment to learn where they constantly feel inspired, encouraged and supported.
Students are taught by industry leaders, ensuring that everything they learn is current and relevant. All students work closely with a dedicated Careers Manager, who tailors work experience to each student’s individual aspirations and talents.
We also have a world-class events workplace training program, which exposes our students to the fashion industry on a national and international level (New York Fashion Week).

What do you think gives TFI graduates an edge when starting their journey into the fashion industry?
Our employment rate is 80% and this continues to grow every year. This is due to our reputation within the industry, strong commitment to workplace training, quality training and relevant knowledge and skills our students receive, which sets them apart from the rest!

What's on the horizon for TFI? We hear there are some exciting developments in the pipeline.
There's a lot happening - We have just moved into our new state-of-the-art campus in Chippendale, Sydney. I've also just launched The Makeup Institute, our new college for aspiring makeup artists, where students can study a Diploma of Specialist Makeup Services along with Makeup short courses, which are offered though out the year. As of February 2017 The Fashion Institute will be offering the Advanced Diploma of Business (International Luxury Branding) and Fashion Digital Marketing (Social media/e-commerce) units within our Diploma of Business.

What tips would you give to someone thinking about studying at TFI/TMI?
We're currently taking enrolments for February 2017, so if you're interested get in touch and we will send over an information pack, which outlines our courses in more details. The next step would be visiting our new campus, where one of the team will give you a tour and discuss your options. For more info on our open days, click HERE.

What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
Do as much work experience as you possibly can!

Describe your go-to fashion interview outfit.
I think if you're ever in doubt, you can never go wrong wearing black. Don't dress too corporately, show off your personality through your outfit and be confident!

For more information on The Institute Group - including their fashion and makeup industry courses - visit


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