Published on June 24, 2022

The meet the team interviews keep on coming! This time, we’re talking to Debi Bishop, one of North Hertfordshire College’s fashion tutors. Debi’s career not only involves teaching roles, but also working in the fashion industry in some very exciting roles! Keep reading to find out more about Debi’s career so far, and why she enjoys teaching fashion at NHC…

What did you do before you joined NHC? 

“Before starting my teaching career at NHC, I first worked as a womenswear designer in London, then went freelance as a designer/pattern cutter. I started my own business selling my collections all over the UK through agents, and the garments would be sold in small boutiques. I also bought and sold garments as a party planner for a while, where I organised a lot of fashion shows to raise money for charities and schools.

“I started teaching after having my children, and combined teaching and freelance design work until I became the course leader for a Foundation Degree course in fashion and textiles in Luton. I have also worked on the fashion degree courses at Ravensbourne College in London, and then taught on a fashion degree course in Australia before I came to work at North Hertfordshire College, which is much closer to home.”

What has been one of your highlights of working at NHC? 

“Every year, we put on an end-of-year fashion show or exhibition, which is always good! It’s great to see the students’ hard work come together and be on display like that. I also really enjoy all the trips we get to take the students on to see designs and fabric in-person. It really helps to inspire our students and to think creatively about what they can do!”

If you could say anything to anyone looking to join a course at NHC, what would it be? 

“I would definitely tell them that it’s hard work but great fun, but if you want to do well, we will support you. We want students who are interested in fashion and design and are looking to improve their skills.

“As part of the course we get to visit lots of interesting and inspirational places such as the V&A Museum and design exhibitions like Alexander McQueen’s.”

What are some of the key skills that students will learn on an NHC Fashion course? 

“On the course, we try to help the students to specialise in a particular area. To do this, we cater to what they need for that area of the industry, so skills they learn include: sewing, pattern cutting, styling, photography, marketing, creating portfolios, etc. Our students use industry methods in their work to achieve this. We also teach technical software skills too, like how to use Photoshop, and important skills like time management.

“Learning such a broad variety of skills also helps them to break into the industries they’re interested in. We’ve had students go into a range of areas within the fashion industry after they’ve finished their course, including fashion communication, marketing, fashion design, styling and photography, and blogging.”


Any closing thoughts? 

“I just want to emphasise that many of our students get into great universities after they finish their courses. If you know you want to work in fashion, then go for it!” 

Has Debi inspired you to take the next step in your fashion career? If you’re interested in studying a course in fashion, then check out North Hertfordshire College’s available courses!  

Work with the Hart Learning Group 

We think all jobs in education are some of the most important and fulfilling jobs in the world – helping people realise their potential and build a life for themselves; helping businesses to grow and improve; and helping to build strong, vibrant communities. 

If you share our passion, we want to hear from you – check out our available vacancies and come and join the team!