Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
Academy of Couture
Academy of Couture Art emotional abuse false accusations psychotic breakdown sexual harassment West Hollywood, California
21st of Jun, 2011 by User460682

I am a former contract employee and instructor at the Academy of Couture Art. While I cannot corroborate claims of fraud or misrepresentation against Sonia and Thierry ETE, I also found the scarcity of online information about either one of these mid-career professionals to be highly suspect. Furthermore, it amazed me as a language specialist that Sonia ETE hadn't mastered some French after three supposed years of intensive study in Paris (not to mention the rudiments of English after thirty years of life in the US as an emigre). After an initially friendly reception the ETEs' behavior towards me became increasingly bizarre and confrontational, causing me to fear for my safety and resign after several months of part-time administrative and teaching work. I was constantly attacked, criticized, harassed, and hounded over every conceivable detail of dress and demeanor in ways that made THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA seem like a walk in the park. The ACA owners' mental instability and substance use may have been part of the problem. Following a visit to the emergency room immediately after my escape, I attempted to file a report against ACA at the local police station but could not proceed through that particular channel. Having had dealings with many fine young talents and legitimate authorities from FIDM and other fashion schools in the meantime, I am more determined than ever to bring these issues to light in the service of protecting future ACA students, employees, and associates. It has taken me some years to recover fully and move on from my grievous experiences at ACA. I would never want for my silence to contribute unwittingly to others' suffering and am available for further elaboration at any time. Ironically, my new fashion-based international consulting business continues to thrive and can always use dedicated interns.
Comments
3868 days ago by Diogio
Wow. I am amazed to read this criticism of the school here. It is so grossly different than my experience. I have been a teacher at The Academy of Couture Art for three years, part-time, teaching one class per quarter and sometimes two. In the years since I started, Thierry and Sonia Été have been very supportive of me and have guided me with my teaching and curriculum for each class without denying me the right to teach the material the way I would wish.

Having owned my own business for 30 years, I know what a struggle it is to keep things going while maintaining quality and professionalism. Thierry and Sonia, despite the travails of starting a business of their own, have always had a passionate desire to help their students to learn, and in our many private discussions over the abilities and performance of various students they have always cared deeply to find ways to reach each student, if the student is willing to do the work and whatever else is required of them. To be subjected to this kind of anonymous criticism is wildly unfair- I must have met this faculty person if they exist, and yet I have never heard a word of criticism on these types of subjects from any fellow faculty or staff member.

I have never seen nor suffered from any kind of ramification from substance abuse or “mental instability” at the ACA, from any staff or faculty member. Nor have I heard any serious complaints, either addressed to me or overheard in the course of my time at the school, about Sonia or Thierry from any student who has been in my classes over the years.

I remember discussing at my initial interview what Sonia thought was appropriate for teaching at a professional school, and since then I have never been criticized or called to the carpet for what I was wearing. In fact, more often than not, I have been complimented. Additionally, I am often asked about how my classes are going, and if I need any help in any way.

I think the Academy of Couture Art is a great place to get individualized training in the world of fashion, with small classes sizes, dedicated teachers, not to mention the passionate attention of Sonia and Thierry. They come to love their students and wish only the best for them, and the same could be said about me as a faculty member. If the writer of this complaint truly believes their claims to be true, then their observations and reactions to the school in their “several months” there were wildly different than my experience of three years, so much so that I astonished by them. I look forward to growing with the school and meeting and helping many more students in the years to come.
3864 days ago by 333777
I am agree with the person who posted the report 300%.
I had the SAME experience with ACA.
Everything correct about that particular school and specially about Thierry and Sonia ETE.
SCAM school and CRAZY owners.

According comments. ABSOLUTELY sure, it was posted by Thierry Ete. He is the person at the Academy of Couture Art in West Hollywood who has nothing to do but tracking all forums and posting good comments, arguing with complains, criticize everybody, etc.

Nice name, Thierry- Diogio!!!
3829 days ago by Bentley
My niece has applied and been accepted to this school... she was called so incessively that she got cold feet, and wasn't sure she wanted to attend any further. WE gave her the benfit of the doubt and she revisited the NEW campus. she met Thierry, he seemed nice, very knowledgeable and 'let my niece know' how privelged she was to be a 'CHOSEN ONE'... She came home SO excited, wanted to move tomorrow... BUT now i'm worried, it is very expensive, no scholarships & my sister has to break it to her that's it a scam! Please send me more info & stories so I can help guide my sister & niece through this!!
3827 days ago by User414
After reading these comments completly I would strongly recommend that you check the qualification of Thierry ETE and Sonia ETE. Also look at this link it seems that Thierry ETE is not a psychotherapist : http://www.ripoffreport.com/private-schools/academy-of-couture-a/academy-of-couture-art-in-west-a9a2a.htm, and if you look at the FACEBOOK page ACA you wont find anything about their qualification !! strange !!don’t you think ? I would also recommend that you check whether or not graduate from this school have ever had good career.

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