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Rosalie Calder

Since childhood Rosalie Calder has loved fashion and sewing. “There’s nothing more rewarding to me than being able say ‘I made it myself’ when someone compliments me on my clothing,” she says.


After high school, the former Rangi Ruru student went to university to study marketing but quickly realised it wasn’t for her. “When I should’ve been reading text books, I was creating things and sewing. That’s when I knew I needed to change my study choice.”

Rosalie decided to check out the fashion programmes at Ara Institute of Canterbury. “I learn by doing things and when I visited Ara to have a look around, it was really clear that they supported this way of learning - and multiple other ways. It was ‘whatever works for you’ and that really suited me.”

Inspired by her visit to Ara, Rosalie enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Fashion and hasn’t looked back. “After only two weeks I was hooked and I knew I’d be going on to do the degree. You learn so much more than sewing – the course covers everything and you learn how to explore, create, develop and communicate. You also get to know all the specialisations within the industry which helps you decide what you want to do when you graduate.”

Industry field trips with her classmates made it clear to Rosalie that she was learning the skills that employers want. “The tutors have strong industry contacts and they’re constantly updating the course to ensure it’s relevant to employers. By the time you graduate you’re industry-ready and that’s super-important to me.”

Rosalie has completed her certificate is now working towards a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Technology and Design). She says she can’t wait to start working in the industry. “I’ve discovered my strengths and talents and I’m getting a feel for what direction I want to enter the fashion industry. I’m very excited to see where fashion takes me.”