As we approach the closure of the “Dare To Be You” campaign, this series too will come to an end. In late August, we officially launched the campaign with banners and videos put up at popular MRT stations in conjunction with our very own biannual open house. Subsequently, we launched our Dare to be You Blog Series. This series consists of four articles with the aim to help you unlock and uncover your own fashion journey. Click to read the first three blogs to follow the series; 3 Misconceptions In The Fashion Industry | The Bold Journey Of The Sneaker Artist | The strong believer of Kayloo Design
Introducing our last interviewee, Josephine Ho, graduate of TaF.tc as well as founder and creative director of QIQING(旗情). Being extremely passionate, she decided to name her brand after her love for cheongsam. QIQING in chinese means “having eyes only on Cheongsam” (对旗袍情有独钟). To date, Josephine has come up with multiple Cheongsam lines that feature a comfortable and versatile twist to suit the modern lifestyle of women today. Read on as we shed some light on Josephine’s story.
1) Which course did you take in TaF.tc and how did it help you in your fashion journey?
I undertook a full-time Diploma in Apparel Design & Product Development. The intensive 4-month course gave me a complete overview of the fashion industry, focusing on industry-relevant areas. Prior to attending TaF.tc, I had no knowledge whatsoever about this industry, despite having a maternity clothing line before QIQING. During that time, I had to depend on third party suppliers for production as well as my third-party partners to help with fabric sourcing. During the course, I picked up new skills in drafting, sewing, product management, fashion design, computer software, fabric knowledge, merchandising and much more! Now I have better control over my business and can design, draft, cut, and sew independently. With the new fabric knowledge I now have, I frequently go on sourcing trips and can confidently choose the best fabric for my customers.
2) How would you describe the TaF.tc student experience?
I love the school’s environment! It’s clean, white, small, and cosy. What’s more, it’s located in the central area which makes travelling easy. I really enjoyed going to school every day. I also love the instructors at TaF.tc. They are extremely skilled and patient, with the passion to go the extra mile to teach what’s beyond the syllabus. Their passion for teaching also made them very willing to share and impart their knowledge to us. The PCP (Professional Conversion Programmes) internship, now known as CCP (Career Conversion Programmes), is a great addition after the completion of our course. It provides a platform for us to be exposed to the fashion industry and get a good hands-on experience.
3) Why did you choose to study in TaF.tc compared to other fashion schools in Singapore?
Being a mother of 3 growing boys, commitment was a challenge. I was looking for short professional fashion and sewing courses. I approached schools like NAFA & Lasalle, however their commitment period was too long for me. Then one day, while shopping at Tiong Bahru Plaza with my husband, I spotted a banner advertising sewing courses by the Textile & Fashion Industry Training Centre (TaF.tc). Out of curiosity, I went up to the 14th level where the school was located. The Diploma programme only runs for 4 months and the generous course subsidies were too attractive to pass up on. And so, I enrolled myself on the spot.
4) What are your plans moving forward?
With the pandemic situation ongoing for the past 2 years, consumer behaviour has changed. Their lifestyle and buying habits have changed as well. I started listening to my customers more, and appreciated their feedback. I changed, improved and adapted accordingly, but of course, still kept my vision of making cheongsams comfortable and elegant in mind.
For instance, during Chinese New Year this year, strict restrictions for visiting were still in place. Instead of creating the typical form fitting and formal cheongsams, I came up with a collection of cheongsams crafted from very comfortable fabrics that were loose cutting in an A-line or straight shift style. This allows my customers to lounge in their comfortable cheongsams at home, while attending Zoom sessions and sending greetings without stepping out of their house for visiting.
Recently there’s also been a rise in demand for QIQING customisation cheongsams for special events. As the government starts to ease up on the Covid-19 restrictions, events such as solemnisation and wedding banquets have been on the rise. The simple yet classic look of QIQING formal cheongsams allows brides to pull off the cheongsam of their dream. It’s a piece not only worn for their special occasion, but also other significant events in the future!
Thank you Josephine for sharing your journey with us! From a simple maternity clothing line, you mastered the art of cheongsam-making and rebranded QIQING. Your story was truly inspirational and I hope this will become the starting point of many success stories in future. Interested to find out more about QIQING and their products?
As we bid the series farewell, if you're interested in the Fashion Diploma Programmes Josephine took during her time at TaF.tc, do WhatsApp our friendly customer service team at +65 8875 6778 (https://wa.me/6588756778) to find out more! We look forward to seeing you in our Tafties family!
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