Co-Trainer at

The Tailoring Academy


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.


Quentin Felix - Manufacturing Heroes

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.”

“We started with a new cohort in September, having complete remodelled our workshop and taken on more space for enhanced safe distancing – so far it has been going well,” she says. “We see growing interest in the qualification despite, or perhaps because of the health crisis: traditional hand skills allowing people to fall back on themselves during difficult times, a feeling of being more in control. The Level 5, being a Higher Education (HE) provision, is increasingly seen as alternative to university study, which is currently widely limited to remote learning as students can’t get to workrooms and labs. Being only a small provider is sometimes an advantage!”

Quentin is now combining his two passions – creating garments and passing on his knowledge and experience to new students following in his footsteps, working alongside Brita as a tailor for Hirsch Tailoring, and assistant trainer for the Tailoring Academy.

He finds the transformation process of tailoring really rewarding.

“It comes in as a bolt of fabric and goes out as a finished garment,” he says. “It’s great to see something you have worked on bring joy to the customer – I love it when they say they want to go home wearing something you have created.

“Each commission is quite an adventure for both me and the customer. It’s a long process and as most of the work is done by hand, we are so close to the garment. One customer recently came back in for a repeat order and he was wearing a jacket we’d made for him, which felt really good to see. You feel attached to the garment even though it’s not yours.

“Having both parts to this role is something I wouldn’t be able to have in many places and I feel really grateful to be able to do that. Through the training, I love passing on something that I am passionate about.

“I came to the Tailoring Academy because I wanted to learn and the new students are here because they want to learn too. It’s not like maths where you have to learn it at school – no-one is making you do it, and it is great to interact with people who share your passion.”



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