Featured story by: Tom White

An orchestrated rhythm of creativity echoes through Vancouver’s streets as design expert Liza Deyrmenjian effortlessly commutes between her home and The Cut Design Academy. Residing at one end of the block while her school graces the other, Deyrmenjian has (in her words) “a great set-up.”

The proximity of her living space to the academy sets the stage for a harmonious blend of work and personal commitments; it’s clear that Deyrmenjian is not just the founder and dean but also the visionary force driving the academy’s success.

In addition to her place at the helm of The Cut, Deyrmenjian also works in the film and television industry as a producer. Connecting her place in both of these artistic realms is a brain that can drive creatives to execute ideas that resonate on the world stage.

Founded in 2016, The Cut Design Academy specializes in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and makeup artistry, offering diplomas and certificates through both online and in-person programs. It is the only accredited fashion school in North America where students enjoy a one-to-eight instructor-to-student ratio while honing their craft in a professional workshop environment with some of the industry’s biggest names. 

With her furry confidant and CPO (chief puppy officer) Noodle often by her side, Deyrmenjian plays an impressive role in shaping the fashion and design landscape of tomorrow, guiding aspiring talents to unearth their full potential.

CPO (chief puppy officer) Noodle sports a short-sleeved hoodie from The Sharper Barker, a line launched by one of Deyrmenjian’s alumni.

“I go in every day, and I’ve got a fabulous team of people who truly care about our students. On a day-to-day basis, I work with admissions and am regularly in meetings with potential students to make sure they choose the right program,” she tells us.

Right now, the academy’s upcoming expansion is top of mind for Deyrmenjian. January will witness the realization of this, with the lower level of the school comprising makeup classes and the upper level featuring interior, fashion and graphic design classes. 

When asked what the most exciting part of the expansion is for her, Deyrmenjian recalls her earlier days in the industry, sharing that she always knew she needed to fill the gap in the fashion-education sector.

During her 12 years in New York, she played a pivotal role in launching the careers of young, unknown designers who eventually found success nationwide, landing in prestigious stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom U.S. and Bloomingdale’s and even earning spots on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. 

Upon returning to Vancouver, Deyrmenjian embarked on the journey of establishing her school. Prior to this, she was the force behind Arteenelle Designs Inc. and Noccona Manufacturing, running a 9,000-square-foot factory that produced lines for London Fog, Umbro, Westbeach and Marmot, among other notable brands. When hiring for these companies, she was taken aback by the stark realities of fashion education—graduates often possessed design skills but lacked a comprehensive understanding of the industry, leading to a “hole in the market” across the board.

“The younger generation, on a general level, has grown up with so much information thrown at them from so many directions that [in order] to actually stay focused and make sure they’re getting value from their education, they need tight-knit, hands-on classes,” she says.

Understanding that the focus has shifted in the digital era, Deyrmenjian pioneered an educational approach tailored to the demands of today’s students. This is seen in the deliberate choices she has made, such as the one-to-eight instructor-to-student ratio that The Cut Design Academy uses to form a tight-knit, hands-on learning experience. 

A line designed by Napsugar, an alumnus of The Cut Design Academy

This innovative structure, inspired by the efficiency of first responders, addresses the diverse learning styles of The Cut’s students and sets the school apart as a beacon of progressive education in the design world.

“I want each student to walk away having learned a different way of looking at the world,” says Deyrmenjian. “They’ve broadened their minds—not just because they’ve learned something new but because they’ve learned how to learn.”

Acknowledging the potential to be overwhelmed that comes with acquiring new skills, Deyrmenjian, alongside her campus director, Talia Cohen, conducts regular check-ins with students. During these sessions, they provide essential support, asking “Where are you struggling? We’re here to support you. What’s going on?”

In her role as the dean of The Cut, Deyrmenjian infuses it with not only her wealth of experience but also a deep commitment to cultivating talent. This commitment goes beyond imparting knowledge and extends to creating an environment where students feel supported and encouraged to overcome challenges. 

In the dynamic realm of design education, where new designers must create—not follow—trends, The Cut Design Academy has emerged as a unique beacon of innovation and success, thriving under Deyrmenjian’s unwavering dedication.

To learn more about Deyrmenjian or The Cut Design Academy, check out the website. 

KO Media newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.