Alumni: Share your thoughts with the PFI community!
As a writer, I’m finding it extremely difficult to find the words to express my gratitude to all the people I’ve met in the last month at the Paris Fashion Institute. The only functioning statement I can say to express exactly the experience I’ve had would be this — if you are ready to change your life, to never look back, and are ready to surpass your career expectations, this is the seminar for you.
“Paris changes you,” spoken by Joan on our first day at PFI, may be the truest words ever spoken. Joan and her brilliant program have been such an inspiration to me. Her stories, lecturers, colleagues and courses have given me an entirely new outlook on the fashion industry. Without a doubt, the course of my life was changed the day I applied for PFI and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I have only been out of PFI for 2 weeks and I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I was a teacher in the US and decided to follow my dream and pursue fashion. I could not be happier with my choice or more thankful for PFI and especially Joan. I learned more in that month with the most amazing teachers than I could expect to learn in years of school. We also got to work 6 shows for fashion week and I got to work in the Rick Owens showroom last week. Then yesterday I got a dream internship with a PR company here in Paris. I would say that anyone who is even thinking about coming should buy a ticket now. The only regret you will have is if you don’t prepare to stay here forever when you come.
PFI gave me the chance to study in a city I knew I would love while exploring my true passion, fashion. I met very talented students from different backgrounds, each taught me new things. The teachers and lecturers at PFI are first rate fashion insiders. They give their time and expertise to a lucky group each September and June. Joan White treats her seminar students as if they were her own. You will feel very overwhelmed, but at the same time completely supported & encouraged. If you are thinking about enrolling don’t waste any more time and do it! You won’t regret it. I went last June. It was a life changing experience.
I remember looking at this website and thinking “this looks like an amazing experience.” Turns out that it was more than amazing. A year later and I am still dreaming of the beautiful city and the memories I hold close to my heart. I learned more about the industry over all than I have from years in fashion school. It is unbelievable how much I got out of this program, plus it’s in the fashion capital of the world. From learning current news, trends and information about the industry, plus valuable advice from renowned professionals. Along with the field trips to exclusive trade shows, galleries,shopping projects. Also, meeting friends from all over the globe. And most of all, working backstage at fashion week confirmed that this is what I want to do with my life. There is no school out there like this one. Joan, you are an amazing woman! I can’t wait to get back to Paris!
I would like to thank PFI for opening my eyes to the realities of the fashion industry. Submersed in a new culture with new people, I was able to learn a lot about myself and who I want to become. This was most definitely a good decision and defining moment in my life. I left the program inspired, motivated, and with one of the best groups of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Joan, you’ve given me a great experience and some of the best advice I’ve ever had. Miss and love you!
My month at PFI was unlike any experience I have ever had. It has been my life dream to travel to Paris, let alone study there. While I had studied fashion before, I had never gotten close to the knowledge I gained at PFI. The complete view on the industry had never been put in such an awakening perspective. From public relations to pattern making, you really get to learn the business from each angle. Before Paris, I had never been challenged to create or sketch my own designs. But I now find myself sketching almost every day and feel so eager to keep growing artistically. I can honestly say I now have a completely different and exciting view on the world of fashion. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and meet the fabulous people I did. Thank you to Joan and all of the wonderful professors I had the privilege of meeting; I will cherish this experience forever.
There is more to fashion than having a passion for it. Up until Paris Fashion Institute I did not know how to direct my passion into a future in the industry. I thank Paris Fashion Institute for cultivating my greatest desires into something obtainable. If you want to be at the origin of fashion, and expand the depth of opportunities available to you then Paris Fashion Institute is something you need to do. No other program or seminar will live up to your expectations like Paris Fashion Institute. I owe a great amount of gratitude to Joan and all the mentors and speakers for inspiring me and positively impacting my life.
There is no possible way to describe the opportunity and experiences at the Paris Fashion Institute in few words! I attended the Summer (June) 2011 seminar and I would go again in a heart beat! The amazing people, the wonderful atmosphere, challenging work, inspiring mentors and wonderful, welcoming attitudes will not only encourage you to do your best, but they will inspire you to come back again and again and continue to pursue success. I learned more in the month than I’ve learned or will learn while in my classes at school. The best part of being in this program was knowing that you can do whatever you set your mind to, and no matter your personality, there is a place for you to learn, create and achieve all that you wish to! When I returned home, everyone could tell that I had a new sense of Fashion and the industry, and (if this is even possible) a new, deep love for it all. I will remember this experience all of my life and I would encourage anyone to go! I can’t thank Joan and the instructors for how wonderful they were. It exceeded all of my expectations! I was lucky enough to call this my third time in Paris, and it certainly won’t be my last!
This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Anyone interested in a career in fashion would be crazy to pass it up. It’s an eye opening experience filled with an outstanding return on investment. Not only do you study in Paris (the city of fashion) but you learn and study side-by-side top-notch professionals (Joan) with real life experience. It’s one thing to learn in a University classroom but here your hands-on experience outweighs anything. Seize the moment and take advantage of this opportunity. I highly recommend it.
I attended the Paris Fashion Institute in September 2010 and it made all of my dreams come true! It has also given me such a confidence boost. I came to PFI not knowing what to expect and my plan was to stay for the month and go back to Canada. However, I fell in love with Paris and with the wonderful help of Joan, I worked and attended Paris Fashion Week. I also got a 6 month Design internship with Sharon Wauchob, which was truly an amazing experience! I grew and learned so much from this internship. I did things I did not know I was capable of doing. I saw the whole process of creating a collection. I had the great opportunity to visit many factories and work with such talented people. I now know that anything is possible and I can’t thank Joan enough for that! She is such an amazing women and I really appreciate what she’s done for me. PFI opens so many doors, it’s such a great experience and it’s totally worth the trip! I am now living in London. I definitely encourage everyone to take this course!
My experience at PFI was spectacular! Joan is an amazing woman who is so passionate not only about fashion but with helping and nurturing her students in achieving their goals. I came to Paris with the plan of studying at PFI, then heading home. However, I ended up living in Paris for 6 months! This was all because of Joan and her amazing connections in the fashion industry. I landed an internship at a Fashion Public Relations Agency, which gave me the opportunity to work both men’s and women’s Fashion Week and allowed me to gain contacts by working side by side with stylists and personnel from Vogue, Gratzia, V, Elle, etc. Living and working in Paris was a dream come true. I made so many amazing lasting friendships, met so many talented and creative people and have now landed a dream job as a personal assistant for a top model. I accredit my success to PFI, all the instructors/guest speakers and especially Joan. Anyone seriously thinking about a job in the fashion industry should receive their training in Paris Fashion Institute.
What a wonderful opportunity to learn and experience Fashion in the number one fashion capital of the world! meeting other students like yourself from all over the world. You could not find a better bundle of info and experience to add to your resume any where else. . . . An unforgetable life changing experience, Thank you!! Sincerely, Natasha Manolagas
This was such a wonderful experience, it really changed my life! The in-class environment was very professional with highly reputed teachers, as well as famous lecturers from the most successful French fashion houses sharing their industry experiences. The exposure to the fashion, art, and architecture of the city along with the Parisian lifestyle opened my eyes to a bigger world with more options and opportunities than I could imagine.
Paris Fashion Institute students can consider themselves really fortunate, as the amount of knowledge they achieve in one intensive month is priceless. With highly reputed teachers, experts in their subjects, and famous lecturers from the most successful Fashion Houses like Balenciaga, Dior, Hermes, PFI offers unlimited opportunities for students who want to develop a career in the fashion industry. I totally recommend PFI to all fashion lovers who desire to be guided in the fashion world by the best.
Attending the Paris Fashion Institute is an experience beyond an academic education. The teachers, all industry professionals, showed me the fashion industry firsthand. My experience at PFI was so unique and personable. Our small group felt like family at the end. We got to spend one month in the fashion capital of the world with access to fashion shows, events, workshops, art museums and so much more. After completing the seminar, I left equipped with confidence, insight, a wonderful portfolio, friends and contacts. In January I will leave my native country of Canada for London to pursue my career in fashion journalism. Thank you Joan White and PFI for helping me in my journey! For anyone passionate about fashion, this course will open your eyes and your heart to the many possibilities out there.
The Paris Fashion Institute was my guided tour through the in’s and out’s of fashion, giving me the confidence to go out in the world and find my place in the industry. I now have a great job with Uniqlo, one of the most successful retailers in the world. I am moving to New York City in the new year and will be traveling to Japan for six months to train for the management position. Thank you to all my teachers and mentors in Paris. I miss and owe you all so much!
Class: June 2010
Paris Fashion Institute was the best decision I could have ever made in my college career. Although the program is 1 month long I learned way more than I have the past 3 years at my University. Being in Paris the Fashion Capital of the world is also a huge plus. You experience not only the fashion aspect at PFI but you also are lucky enough to experience the French Culture and all Paris has to offer such as the incredible museums. Paris Fashion made me even more excited to get into the Fashion Industry, I learned so much at PFI and I had the best professor and made such close friends while studying in Paris. Paris Fashion Institute is incredible. YOU HAVE TO GO! Thank you for everything, PFI and especially Joan White!
Class: June 2010
It feels like just yesterday I was in Paris going to class every day and seeing my classmates!! I miss Paris, the FRIENDS I made,the professors & JOAN!!!!! This was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I was so fortunate to attend PFI and I encourage anyone who is deciding to go that they should & it would be crazy if you don’t! You will have no regrets!!! I learned more about the fashion industry than I would have ever imagined! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I was back there! It went by so fast but the memories I will keep!! Words can’t even describe how amazing it was!! I can’t wait to see everyone again one day!! good luck to everyone & I LOVE YOU ALL!! XOXO Mallory Czaja
Class: June 2010
I have only been home 2 days and i already want to go back to PFI. I meet the most amazing people there from all the girls that attended and the wonderful teachers and speakers we had. I only wish PFI was more than a month long program and we could go back every year! It was an amazing experience.
Class: June 2008
Attending PFI was one of the most pivotal experiences of my life. Arriving in Paris I had no idea how much information and how many wonderful new friends I would leave with. Joan, Andre, Diane along with the rest of our teachers and lecturers have such a wealth of knowledge and introduced me to facets of the industry I had never considered before. Also, there are not words to describe the beauty and inspiration Paris has to offer!
Class: June 2009
PFI was one of the hardest and most wonderful experiences in my life. Thank you to Joan for always expecting more, she raises the bar and expects you to reach it. And thank you to Diane for showing us that black is still, and will always be chic! For future PFI attendees, go in humbly and motivated and you’ll be fine.
Class: June 2009
Wow, what an amazing experience Paris Fashion Institute was. It was everything I expected and more. I learned so much from every aspect of the fashion industry within the four weeks at PFI thanks to the wonderful lecturers and classes we got to experience. I can’t believe it’s already been a couple months since I’ve been in Paris and boy do I miss it! The French culture is something everyone should live and I would with no doubt recommend PFI to anyone and everyone who is interested in fashion. Not only did I gain knowledge in fashion, but I also got to meet amazing people including my classmates who helped make this trip a once in a life time experience! I truly miss (and always will) PFI and everyone and everything that came with it! Love Always, Lindsey
Class: June 2009
Wow. It’s hard to believe that I have been home for a month now! I miss Paris beyond imagine. For the men and woman who are reading these testimonials who are interested in attending PFI…here is everything you need to know. DO IT! Go to Paris, be a part of the French culture for one month, take amazing classes that expand your knowledge to the brink, and be a part of something wonderful!!! PFI really opened my eyes to everything in the fashion industry. There are so many opportunities out there and attending PFI really made me aware of just how attainable they are with effort and determination. To the class of june 2009… i miss you all and know you are going to big things in your futures :)
with love, Vanessa
Class: June 2007
I am reminded of how beneficial my PFI experience is each time I glance at my resume. I learned an immense amount from all of the faculty there, and would do it again in a second! I know that the program will bring the same enjoyment to all of PFI’s future students!
Class: June 2008
This time last year I was attending the Paris Fashion Institute. Joan was right, I think about that amazing experience almost every day. In one month I learned more than in four years of school. The teachers and speakers were so inspiring and motivated us to get out there and do everything we can to pursue our love of fashion. I left PFI with not only a more well rounded view of the fashion industry in all its fabulousness, but also a greater appreciation of art, literature, and the French culture. It is an experience I will never ever forget.
Class: June 2006
I am so glad that I attended PFI. It was an incredible experience and I still can’t believe how much I learned in just one month. I wish I could go every semester and spend time in Paris with Joan and all of the fabulous people that I met there! I miss it so much!!
Class of June 2006
Hello everyone! Words can’t even express how much I miss Paris! PFI really gave me a grand introduction to the city and what it has to offer me as a fashion entrepreneur and as an individual. The people you meet, the friendships you bond and the drive you develop is priceless!! I hope to see my ladies, and my beloved professors soon. . . until next time. . . Ljubica
Class of June 2006
PFI opened my eyes to a new side of the fashion industry. Studying in Paris and being immersed in the culture really made a big difference in my hands on learning. The program gives students great opportunities to see iconic landmarks, learn from the industry’s top professionals and receive a first hand look at how things really run in the world of fashion. Although only a month long, the program kept me busy all day. There is so much to do that there is never a dull moment. I went to Paris by myself and left with many great contacts. Joan is a wonderful leader and a woman who will do anything for her students. It was an experience of a lifetime and I suggest it to any individuals interested in learning more about the industry!
Class of June 2005
I had a blast in Paris! It seems like just yesterday I was there. Not a day goes by that I dont think of the good times we had and what I learned while attending PFI. I will say that while you are there, take advantage of the moment! I regret not making more connections and getting to do more. Joan is an awesome person and is there to help and guide you through it all. I miss her dearly! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so blessed to have done it.
Class of June 2008
I wish I had the words to describe my experience at the Paris Fashion Institute… It was wonderful, unexpected, amazing and much, much more that I had hoped for! All the teachers and guest speakers are so special and so eager to share their experiences and knowledge with us… I feel lucky I had the chance to meet them all and learned from them. Most of all, this program is essential for anyone that really wants to work in the fashion industry. You’ll make contacts and friends for the rest of your life and you will learn so much about yourself. I remember when I read this page just before I came to Paris…My mother looked at me and said “You’re never coming back” and the truth is, I’m still here! Thanks to Joan I got an internship at WWD in Paris and now I’m working at PR Consulting. Everyday seems like a dream come true and none of this would be possible without PFI and Joan, of course, my guardian angel and friend. This was, without a doubt, the most important learning experience of my life. . . . I will be forever grateful to the amazing people that made this program a reality!
Class of June 2008
Paris Fashion Institute is an amazing program. Learning from real industry professionals is a great way to really learn the business. Paris, is a beautiful City, you get to meet people from all over the world, and the connections I made through the people I met are incredible. Joan White is so amazing, she inspires me everyday, like a second mom always looking out. Diane Pernet taught me to go for what I really want, and thanks to her I got my ultimate internship. Lyssa Horn always watching my back thank you so much I cant tell you how much I appreciate everything you taught me! PFI was the opportunity of a lifetime, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Class of Year of 1995
Love the school. Miss the wisdom of Joan. Great city. A great start.
Class of June 2007
The Paris Fashion Institute is a treasure for anyone who really wants to succeed in the Fashion Industry. You are propelled into the lives of fashion insiders and their world, you flex your fashion muscle and live in the capital of fashion. All day and night you are encouraged with the essence of program. Inside you are in an incredibly sculpted environment, you are stimulated, captivated and most importantly inspired. I recommend this incredibly fabulous experience to anyone who has a dream, a goal, an imagination and knowledge to succeed.
Jodi K. Williams
Class of September 2007
The Paris Fashion Institute changed my life. It introduced me to things in the industry I could have only dreamed of as well as the most amazing city I have ever lived in. It is an intense program that kept me busy from the minute I woke up until the minute I fell asleep. I had opportunities to meet amazing people within the industry. After studying fashion for four years I was finally given the chance to have a hands on experience as well as an understanding of how the industry really worked. I was able to meet wonderful people at the school and we were able to share our experiences of the program and paris together. These memories will always remain some of the best of my life. After I completed the program I did an interniship at a public relations firm. I was then sponsored and almost a year later, I still happily reside in Paris. Joan White, the head of the Paris Fashion Institute was an amazing guide and available at all times to help myself and any of the other students. I will always be extremely grateful to her and this wonderful program she created which will never be forgotten!
Class of 1985
Here it is many years later and I’ve had such an incredible life within the fashion industry. Looking back on my many experiences, I fondly remember the program Joan and Paul developed and shared with all of us those many years ago. It was a lifetime of study in a small compact time period. Thank you Joan. I didn’t stay in Paris like you and I thought I should, but I did have a wonderful career outside it. Denise Boineau
Class of JUNE 2008
The Paris Fashion Institute was a great learning experience in which i learned so much about the real fashion industry (not the one in your text books) and yourself at the same time. Being in Paris means looking out for yourself and learning to try new and amazing things. getting a chance to be taught by teachers that played big roles in the fashion world in one of the most successfull parts.
Joan White is an amazing person who can help you find yourself and figure out what youd like to be doing in life. i love her and all the other students
good luck to all and if you’re thinking about attending… youd be doing yourself a favor in the end
Kim (Leever) Jule
Class of June 1985
What a tremendous experience with Joan and Paul — a summer I will never forget. My wonderful friend Kathleen — if you see this please contact me. One of the best life learning experiences. I didn’t end up in the fashion industry but still feel my summer in Paris was one of the experiences that shaped my life. Hope to hear from someone from that graduating class.
Class of Sept 2007
The Paris Fashion Institute opened doors for me that I never could have opened myself. 9 months after the program, I’m still here in Paris working as an intern. I’m so happy to have this experience and I wouldn’t change the last 9 months of my life for anything! If I can do it anyone can. Go for it!
Class of September 2007
I would recommend the Paris Fashion Institute for everyone looking to broaden their fashion experience or open their eyes to a whole new world of contacts and friends. I left a job in NYC when I got accepted to study at the program, and it was the best decision I ever made. Living in Paris was great enough, but then add on to that experience the wonderful teachers and Joan, the program’s head, and you are in for an amazing time. Our class quickly bonded and I made friends for life. We got to know Paris inside and out, and I once the program came to an end (all too quickly) -I got an internship at WWD in Paris and decided to stay 4 more months! Many others in my class stayed on as well*, and we continued to have fun getting to know everything there was to know about the city. Before I knew it I attended fashion week in September and even couture shows in January. I had the time of my life in Paris, and I will always cherish the friends, memories and experiences I was was able to have there.
Class of June 2007
The Paris Fashion Institute was an experience I will never forget. From the time I arrived till the day I left I learned more about Fashion, Paris, and life than I ever thought was possible in a month. The classes at PFI are amazing, the speakers are full of valuable information, and Paris is buzzing with inspiration. My favorite parts about the program were learning how to draw fashion figures, working with a team to produce our individual line, and exploring the city and the shops. The connections and friends I made while in Paris were priceless and I would do it again if i had the chance. This program and opportunity have truly shaped my life and helped me to find my calling. Thank you again to Everyone in my class, the wonderful instructors, and the beautiful city, Paris.
Class of Alumni 1992
Thought that the experience was the greatest. Still think about it till this day.
Class of Class of 2002
Having the opportunity to study design in Paris was one of the best opportunities. Nothing can compare to Paris, there is no other Paris and being able to learn, breathe, and feel fashion at its very center was wonderful!
Carolyn Johnston Cestnick
Class of 1983 i think
hi, I have great memories of my course in Paris — I went on to complete my undergrad then graduate degree in Arts – communications Film and Television. Working on wardrobe while attending grad school.
A great career. I would love to know where joan white is. I would like to find if possible a few of the girls who were overseas with me. i actually when back packing with two of them one was joan and one names Lisa — both i believe from NY.
Love t hear from you.
Greetings from Canada.
Carolyn Johnston Cestnick
Please direct any questions about Paris Fashion Institute or its academic program or inquiries for the staff of Paris Fashion Institute to gro.noihsafsirap@ofni.