From beginning to advanced sewing, patternmaking and draping;
We are apparel people making your sewing dreams come true

Our Vision:
Fashion education for the nation

Our Mission:
Portland Fashion Institute aims to offer the best fashion education in the nation. Our goal is to exceed expectations while giving students a fun and rewarding experience and careers that help grow the apparel industry.

What We Value:
• Supporting a debt free education.
• Promoting a progressive, sustainable & ethical industry.
• Changing people’s lives. Making fashion dreams come true.
• Passing along a professional fashion tradition. Creating a sewing community.
• Supporting diversity, inclusion & accessibility.
• Being innovative, nimble & dynamic.
• Having fun.
• Real skills, real jobs, real world knowledge.

How we achieve our mission.  We:
• Prepare aspiring professionals in the fields of apparel design, technical development and apparel business by delivering excellent certificate programs.
• Maintain an inclusive admissions policy for all persons who meet basic requirements for admission and instruction and who want apparel business, technical and design skills;
• Teach a disciplined approach to the study of design that encourages students to develop their own styles that blend their talents, technical skills and creative aspirations with professional knowledge;
• Enlist a dedicated and very capable faculty of career designers, business leaders and entrepreneurs whose success as educators comes from their ability to teach students through the wisdom and skill they have amassed through years of experience and study;
• Provide a creative environment that is at once supportive and challenging and underpinned by excellent personalized teaching and support services that address the needs of students of diverse ages and backgrounds;
• Promote new business and job creation and the profitable retention of workers, which in turn strengthens the local economy and the overall health of the domestic apparel industry.

Portland’s only fashion design school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), a statement that the school’s teaching and programs meet rigorous educational standards.  The school has been in business for a decade — first as Portland Sewing then licensed by Oregon as PFI.  The ACCET accreditation validates that PFI operates at a level of excellence.

More than 6,000 persons have studied at the school since it opened its doors in April 2010.  Most students come for a single class, from beginning sewing to patternmaking to apparel business.   Others come to enroll for a career.  Enrollees have graduated to work at apparel manufacturers across the United States and in Europe.  Some have started their own clothing companies.

PFI offers classes for the beginner to the advanced stitcher wanting to learn something new, from sewing to patternmaking, draping, tailoring and the business of apparel. No matter the class, PFI’s job is to make sure students gain skills, create a project they like, build confidence — and have a good time doing it.

Accreditation means PFI can soon offer financial aid and grants to its enrolled certificate career students. PFI also can accept 529 plans such as Oregon College Savings Plan funds, help foreign students with visas and pursue contracts and affiliations with welfare, rehabilitation, and other workforce development programs.  Despite this, PFI’s motto remains “‘#schoolwithoutdebt”.  PFI plans to remain an affordable option for apparel education.

In its evaluation process, ACCET noted PFI’s strengths in the quality of its classes and teachers, its connection to the Portland’s apparel companies and its graduation and placement rates.

Sharon Blair

Sharon Blair directs Portland Fashion Institute.

She is on the board for several local charities and fashion organizations.

Her apparel life began more than 40 years ago in custom clothing, ready to wear and as a business consultant.

Sharon’s work has been featured in national and local publications.  She has appeared on local and national television.

Portland Fashion Institute | PFI
2111 NE 43rd Ave.,
Portland OR

1 block north of NE 42nd & Sandy & the #12 bus,
7 blocks from the Hollywood MAX station

You know what, I am just overall delighted to be in your school. I feel as though I’ve been searching for it for years as an alternative to FIT or Pratt or Parsons.
— Aimee R


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