I took the "Well-fitted Top Pattern" class taught by Barbara Beccio last fall and enjoyed it very much. I am a very basic sewer with no experience fitting patterns and Barbara taught me a lot! She is skillful and creative and she showed me so many possibilities from one pattern--darts or no darts, different collars and sleeves, front opening or solid front--all from the same pattern! She was patient and encouraging through the whole process, and now I have a versatile pattern for a great-fitting top that I can use for many different looks. Thanks Barbara! Daveta Cooper
I’ve taken three classes with Barbara in the beginners series. I am learning how to make simple fashion items and I am so glad that I have Barbara to help me walk through the patterns. There have been so many occasions where she has guided me away from some of the questionable techniques in beginner patterns and toward professional methods. There is simply no way a beginner would know this. Her wealth of experience sewing and designing is well known. What a newcomer wouldn’t know is that Barbara creates a great and safe learning environment that inspires confidence in the beginner. Most importantly for me, is that Barbara teaches students to stretch. If it is technique, she will show you more advanced ones and believe that you can work through it. If it is styling, she is truly interested in that and doesn’t separate it from construction. She understands that you may not know sewing techniques, but you may have a style point of view, and will help you to express it. Iris Montgomery
I have taken two sewing 101 classes and one three hour class at Stonemountain with Barbara (Beccio). I am always amazed at how she manages to conduct three sewing projects with a class room of people of varying degrees of competence. She will clearly explain each project and keep all the projects proceeding toward completion by the final class. She patiently assists each student, demonstrates techniques, problem solves and improvises as needed. When I wanted pockets in my pajama pants she figured out how they should go and made a pattern for me to use. Another woman in the class decided on pockets too. She has gone out of her way to help a struggling student (me) by staying late on the last night of a class because she knew I wanted to finish my project in time for Christmas. In fact, my project was not on the agenda at all but a set of eight miter cornered napkins that she figured out from start to finish. Her instruction is always thorough and her work is meticulous, an inspiration. She is extremely knowledgeable, a talented teacher and a lovely person. Stonemountain & Daughter is fortunate to have Barbara on their staff. Susan Carlson
Holly Hapka, Sophomore Fashion Design Major, Academy of Art University
“Barbara was my teacher for Fashion Sewing Techniques at the Academy of Art University. The best thing about Barbara is that she truly cares and wants her students to learn. Her positive reinforcement was unspeakably important to me. I came to the class with little sewing experience and knowledge, but I left with a lot of confidence and the ability and understanding to do a lot. She didn’t just teach what was on the syllabus; she always went beyond that. She would teach how to do a technique two different ways, and then she’d show a little couture technique or trick she had picked up in the business, and then she would show us different practical applications that made us excited to get out there and actually try and practice what we learned outside of our homework. Barbara is always willing to put in the effort to teach any student who puts in the effort to learn. She was always available to help me after my class period and even met with me after my semester to help me with a project. I know that if I have any question about how to do something, I can email Barbara and she will always be happy to help.” June 28, 2011
Tameron Stuber, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
"Barbara was my professor for several classes while I attended A.I. She is a passionate, creative, knowledgeable instructor who created a great class environment, I really enjoyed all of my classes with Barbara. She was always willing to go the extra mile and share her many techniques that she has acquired over the years. I highly recommend Barbara as an instructor, she is extremely passionate and dedicated to her work, this really shows through in her teaching style." August 2, 2011
Kiki Bian, Student, The Academy of Art University
"Barbara is one of my favorite teachers. I am assisting her with a summer class this year and I am impressed by her great patience and enthusiasm for the teaching job. The class is quite instructive, interesting, and relaxing. Don't be afraid if you are a beginner like me, all you need to do is just follow her and do more practice. Trust me, you will see yourself making great progress after each class. Good luck-- a good wish from one of her previous students." June 18, 2011
Inessa Hernandez, Student, The Academy of Art University
“I was one of Barbara’s students at the Academy of Art University in her sewing techniques class. This was my second time taking this class. I must say the second time around was a breath of fresh air. Barbara never got impatient with me or any of the other students, time after time asking her questions. She never got frustrated and reminded us that “ we're here to learn.” It was so reassuring to have someone cheering you on instead of making you feel timid especially when you are beginners learning. She always talked to us one-on-one and gave us timely feedback which is much appreciated. Communication was always excellent. If I ever had a question about homework she would reply through email within a day! Overall it was great having a teacher who knew what she was doing, how to teach us, and how to make it fun as well.” July 23, 2011
Nyssa Gluck, Student, The Academy of Art University
“Barbara Beccio was my teacher for Fashion Sewing Techniques at the Academy of Art University, Fall 2010. It was one of the hardest classes that I have ever taken-but I wouldn't change it for the world. I spent hours sewing and resewing my samples, knowing that only perfection would be accepted. This was a good thing to ask students because we were taught to produce professional level work. The amount of work taught us how to cope with a lot of work, as well as a lot of stress-things that students have to face in the working-world. I have also benefited from knowing Barbara by helping her teach a class on repurposing clothing. It was a fun opportunity and it helped me broaden my horizons as to what clothing can be used for.” July 3, 2011
Michael Sullivan, Student, The Academy of Art University
“Barbara Beccio or whom I have given the nickname " Joan Jett" to is really one of the most sweet but direct, kind but stern, confident, goal oriented and most of all "REAL" people I know. She has far passed my expectations as a teacher, mentor, seamstress and friend this year. She will work her self to the bone and not complain. She is a person who I can call a mentor because she showed me that success is not measured by money or power, but what makes you happiest and what you work hard for will be your blessing. She is like an Oak Tree, she takes the sunny knowledge into herself and like the leaves of the tree, releases that knowledge to you so you can breathe it in and take what you want from it. Her ability and eye for detail is impeccable and impressive. She is the "bomb.com". I gave her the nickname "Joan Jett" because like the musician, she is a fearless rocker of sewing and design. I will continue to support her goals, passions and dreams forever, as so should you. Thank you J.J from the bottom of my heart.” June 23, 2011
Hunter Stephens, Student, The Academy of Art University
“Barbara’s experience and knowledge is beyond impressive. She not only can teach and demonstrate perfect execution of techniques but can also offer several different options or variations to accomplish the same look. Taking a sewing class with Barbara really opened my eyes to all the possibilities of sewing. She was able to break down complicated techniques and simplify them in ways that were easy to master. In addition to her informative instruction she creates a fun atmosphere.” June 21, 2011
Lavanya Badrinath , Student, The Art Institute
Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative “Barbara is one of the very few people who have, up until now, inspired me to think 'outside the box', especially when designing with constraints. The creative and commercial design pointers that she gave me during the product development class I took with her at Milan are invaluable. Her knowledge level is very vast. Beyond being an instructor, she painstakingly organized many personalized visits to fashion places of high importance in the Milan-Paris area. In short, she is one of my best mentors...” January 28, 2010
Fahima Malik, Student, The Art Institute of California - San Francisco
“Barbara is one of the most dynamic professors I've ever come across. She has an incredible knowledge of her industry, is very creative, and works tirelessly at staying up-to-date on industry trends. She is a tenacious and diligent professor who can assess and improve her student's skills with attention to detail and true passion for their success. In addition to being a great professor, Barbara has an honest approach in her work. As Barbara Beccio's once intern and as her former student, I strongly recommend Barbara." November 1, 2009
Emily Keeler, Artistic Director, San Francisco Art Education Project
“I would like to recommend a wonderful artist and mentor, Barbara Beccio. She worked with my organization; San Francisco Arts Education Project on two major productions and in both cases designed and constructed beautiful and unusual costumes. She is a fine artist, and worked in a transforming way with color, line, materials, proportions and ideas, so that the costumes for both shows made strong statements and contributions to their productions. Ms. Beccio is a collaborating artist in the best sense. She takes her cues in appropriate ways from the director and producer, and has the best theater etiquette - she is prompt, cordial, on time with her work and has strong communication skills. She is also creative and enthusiastic and one of those great theater people who simply throw themselves into the process, with great vigor and a hunger for research, artistic investigation and the fun that is the stuff of theater magic. She was most effective teaching students the craft and art of costuming, having them work alongside her as she designed, built and fit pieces for our original musical, “One.” One of the other important skills she imparted to her student in that show’s build was how to make costumes look sumptuous on a shoestring budget. I will never forget the beautiful robes and tunics she created, edged with fur, which she was able to bring in under the very small budget with which she had to work. She took on the challenge with great good humor and the end products were as well made and designed as any costume I have ever seen on the Opera House stage." November 5, 2008
Doran Hins, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“As one of Barbara Beccio's students it was always a pleasure to be taught by a person with such passion. She continuously showcases passion not only for the field of which she is in, but in the education of fashions future. Staying true to an agenda Barbara never makes you wonder what is going to happen in the next class, her overall goals, or what she expects out of her students which for many of us students helps with ease of mind. Her background is a great foundation for facilitating education, connecting work to the "Real World" and is equally engaging. I would love to work with or for Barbara in the future.” October 30, 2009
Emma Fixmer, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative “I graduated a few years ago, and Barbara was one of the instructors who really made an impact on me at The Art Institute of California - San Francisco. She has very high expectations for the work of her students and really took the time to help reach those goals. Every class in which she was my teacher, I felt pushed and proud of the assigned work I created. After the completion of every class, there was a significant increase in the quality of my craft (be it sewing or illustrating), which was a direct result from her tutelage and I solidly recommend her as a teacher.” May 20, 2011
Megan Dela Cruz, Student Representative to the Board, ASID California North, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“Barbara Beccio is a talented and well versed Professor in the field of Fashion Design, she is also a integral part of her community and re-purposes garments for fashion. I assisted her with a Summer Program Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics class for young persons willing to learn the art of Couture garment construction, and you should see her in action! I can appreciate Barbara because she can instruct on many levels, and she is very straight forward and easy to work around.” May 19, 2011
Leslie Yee Tibbetts, Instructor, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“Barbara Beccio and I first became acquainted in September 2004. As Academic Director for both the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and Management Departments at the Art Institute of of California in San Francisco. Barbara was out in the greater community in search of new teaching talent. She discovered me in my boutique in Berkeley and was interested in my 20 years experience operating a fashion business.
During that first, animated conversation, Barbara suggested that I might be interested in helping others benefit from my experience through teaching. While I was unable to take her up on her offer that term, she successfully recruited me to instruct Store Operations in September 2005.
Since then, I have had the privilege of instructing 8 courses in the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and Management curriculum. I continue to be impressed that during her tenure as Academic Director, Barbara had the insight to recruit instructors with the real-world experience that our students so highly value. Barbara has been supportive of, and a valuable resource for instructors with regard to record keeping and organization, lesson planning, grading, and student challenges, as well as student success outcome.
I have had the opportunity to interface with many of Barbara’s students and have heard numerous positive comments about her courses and about Barbara, both as an educator and as a highly creative design talent. Additionally, I have attended school Program Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings with her and have witnessed her enthusiastic and unswerving dedication to preparing our students for attaining success in the fashion industry.
Barbara is a valuable member of our AiCA-SF community, given her participation and the breadth of education, experience, and accomplishment she brings with her. It is a privilege being her colleague and friend and it is with great pleasure that I serve as a personal and professional reference for her.” November 9, 2008
Britney Van Burkleo, Tutor, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“Barbara expects excellence out of anyone she works with and instills vision of what excellence looks like. She expects professionalism and high work ethic. She is very knowledgeable about the fashion industry and graciously bestows all her knowledge with anyone who is sincerely interested in pursuing a career in the industry. Her tailoring skills are beautiful.” May 20, 2011
Jodi Gonzales-Rubino, Student, Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“Barbara is not only a talented Professor she also inspires you. She challenges you in a way that allows you to produce amazing results. She is passionate, organized and gives the very best to her students. She is filled with so much creativity and knowledge which takes her classes to a whole new level. Barbara takes full interest in her students’ success and engages them in a way where they all feel equally important.” May 24, 2011
Sara Shapiro, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“Barbara was one of the best instructors I have ever had while studying at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco. She inspired me on both an educational and personal level. Barbara takes much interest in her student's learning, success and well-being. She is always willing to take those extra few minutes or even hours if necessary to assist her students in any way she can to help them succeed. Barbara's classes were always of the most informative, straightforward and organized. She also went to great lengths to keep her students interested by creating engaging projects as well as outside the classroom activities. Barbara is a dedicated and caring individual that is always a pleasure to work with.” June 4, 2011
Karen Jessee, owner, “Simply Organized”
“As a member of the art community that houses theatre and opera people from out of stat, I had the privilege of working with Barbara Beccio in 1988 when she arrived from New York to stay with me. She was working for Opera Delaware as costumer and mask maker for The Masked Ball. As mask making was my hobby, the two of us worked together for a period of four months. Barbara taught me to sculpt and create masks out of materials I had never worked with before. What had once been a craft now became an art.
At the end of the opera, Barbara had a job waiting for her in Switzerland at the Leysin American School teaching behind-the-scenes skills to the students there as well as creating the costumes. She needed an unpaid assistant to work with props, set pieces, and masks. I was that person.
Not only did I learn a great deal from her, I was amazed at what she was able to teach the students at the Leysin American School. This was an international gathering of teens who knew little about making things. However, they, like I, found Barbara to be extremely knowledgeable, creative, and fun to learn from. She proved herself to be resourceful, a real problem solver, and able to transfer her knowledge and skill easily to students, some of whom did not speak English well. Always prepared, Barbara knew what the shows were going to be before we boarded the plane and packed large boxes with the materials we would need to draw from to create those shows. She knew that even if these items were available in another country, (they weren’t) that getting money and transportation to shop would be a challenge (they were).
Though we barely had a budget from which to work, Barbara was able to teach students to create amazing things our of simple but colorful materials. We made a crown out of chicken bones, goblets out of found objects. We did the entire show of “Cinderella” using masks. Each character and animal was unique and colorful because Barbara was able to design on the spot, hand students the materials, and teach them how to assemble what was needed. Barbara’s ability to teach these students to create behind the scenes allowed the show to go beyond what the director thought was possible with these fledging young actors. These students had now invested their own time and energy to make what they needed on stage. They had just learned from the best.
Though now retired and operating my own business, I was once an award-winning teacher. I won the NBC National Teacher award in 1990, was nominated for Teacher of the Year twice from two different schools, and was nominated for Language Arts Teacher of the Year, I know a great teacher when I see one. Barbara is a great teacher.
She would create the designers of the future and be a remarkable asset to any institution of higher learning.” December 20, 2008
Erin Rice, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative “Barbara was one of my instructors when I was a student at The Art Institute. I took several classes from her during my time there, and found her to be the kind of instructor that wants the very best from every one of her students. She pushed us to think in creative and unconventional ways. Barbara asked her students to be professional at all times, as well as organized and thorough with every project we completed. Her students were able to benefit from her knowledge, skills, and experience in the fashion world.” June 9, 2011
Dominique Ansari, Owner, Head Fashion Designer, DA Dominique Ansari, Student at The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles
“Barbara is an extremely talented and professional instructor. She is patient with her students, kind, and very thorough in her teachings. Barbara teaches anything from draping, sewing techniques, pattern making, couture details, product development, and marketing skills. She teaches you hands-on methods, and helps you to explore the most creative as well as professional side. Furthermore, she is very detailed and makes sure that each student master a level of perfection with each project. I would definitely recommend working with Barbara Beccio as a potential client or as a student of fashion. When you take one of her classes, you won't be disappointed. Dominique Ansari www.dominiqueansari.com” June 13, 2011
Fern Friedman, Online School Director, Art Institute of California-San Francisco
“Barbara Beccio and I both worked at The Art Institute of CA-SF during 2001-2005. I directed the Online School and taught graphic design, while Barbara was Director of Fashion and taught classes there. Because we shared an office, I witnessed how much her students respected her deep skills, knowledge and artistry in fashion, as well as her rapport with them as a guide and mentor. Barbara set the bar high for her students, and they responded by challenging themselves to meet her expectations. I attended the fashion shows she produced during her tenure, and was very impressed by the level of creativity, execution and professionalism displayed.” June 13, 2011
Brandin Barón-Nusbaum Assistant Professor of Design UCSC , Department of Theater Arts firstname.lastname@example.org
“From 2004 to 2006, I was a full-time instructor at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco (AICA-SF), where I taught a variety of courses related to graphic and fashion design. During my tenure there, I was a colleague and friend with Barbara Beccio. After 2005, she also served as the Director of the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and Management Department, therefore becoming my immediate supervisor. As we shared a similar course inventory, she was an invaluable source of support during my time at AICA-SF. In some of our class overlap (mainly the History of Fashion series), we often shared successful methods at attaining best course practice, and functioned as sounding boards for each other’s triumphs and challenges. Barbara’s course inventory is remarkable in its wide scope of knowledge; she is a rare find in a combination of technical skills (draping, construction), concept development (costume design, textiles), and design history (History of Fashion). Once Barbara became Director, her workload shifted into a more administrative role, but she was always ready for continuing discussions about the classroom protocol. I would describe her as a highly dedicated teacher, who is sympathetic to the challenges that young women and men face in trying to attain a career within the fashion industry. Above and beyond her own duties, I often found her in consultation with students who needed extra support. Her experience as a Director of a Fashion program also belies main skill sets for administration, planning, curriculum development, and related skills. In addition to her normal duties, she successfully mounted two yearly student fashion shows at a large venue for a room of 300+ fashion professionals/fashionistas. The events were highly sophisticated, utilizing professional models, designers, caterers and entertainers to create a sensory experience. I was involved with both events as a faculty advisor for the student designer concept development and execution, and witnessed firsthand Ms. Beccio’s tireless efforts to secure excellence. I can also attest that no other Director at AICA-SF had such a formidable side-project, and remain impressed at the level of commitment and scope of execution that she performed in order to showcase student work. It would certainly have been easier for her to stage a less ambitious event, but the advantages that the students received (press, professional contacts and new clients) are undoubtedly linked to her event planning and execution—as Barbara knows, the fashion industry insists on stellar events in which to conduct business. Ms. Beccio’s shows serve still as a model for the annual AICA-SF Fashion Show. Ms. Beccio is also an accomplished professional in the world of theater design and commercial doll conception, a skill that is an interesting parallel to her fashion related skills. It is crucial for young designers to find pathways to varying careers within their scope of training, and Barbara represents the kind of mentor that can help to focus student potential into an actual career. Her association with several local fashion professionals has helped her to guide students into apprenticeships, internships and actual jobs. Please feel free to contact me at the address above.” November 9, 2008
Leanna Liu, Student, The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
"I have taken numerous classes from Professor Babara Beccio at The Art Institute of California - San Francisco. I have also worked under her supervision on a project for Discarded to Divine, and assisted in her sewing classes at Stonemountain & Daughter. She is a terrific instructor, who truly invests in students' learning development through inventive and original projects. I am very fortunate to have been taken under her wings through and after my school years."