Report: #743752

Complaint Review: Academy of Couture Art

  • Submitted: Wed, June 22, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, June 27, 2011
  • Reported By: Aurora Borealis — Greater Los Angeles Area California United States of America
  • Academy of Couture Art
    8687 Melrose Ave. G520
    West Hollywood, California
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

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. [continued below]....
.....  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.
Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/22/2011 12:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

NOTHING will change at the Academy of Couture Art in West Hollywood !!!

AUTHOR: Former Student - (United States of America)


Time going away but NOTHING had change at the Academy of Couture Art in West Hollywood  at all.
Same people ( Sonia and Thierry ETE ), same behaviors, same intentional misrepresentation, same mean games, same method to put people mentally down, same gossips, etc...  and it seems the result will be most like it was not long ago. 

I WAS (I get rid of that mess!) a student at ACA.

Two years ago I faced same thinks and absolutely the SAME negative experience with ACA.

I  agree with the person who posted the report about that particular school in West Hollywood ( now they moved  to new location in Mid-Wilshire ) at 300%.

Everything is correct in the report  specially about Thierry and Sonia ETE. Most facts of fraud  was already presented to Los Angeles Superior Court (Central District) . Twelve Jury convicted them guilty of Intentional Misrepresentations ( IT IS FRAUD ) and according Final Judgment, they already owned around  $30,000 for payment plus legal 10% fee because of  been very late with the payment.

SCAM school and completely mentally NOT stable owners.

According all positive comments in Internet and different Forums.
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 about ACA everywhere, advertising ACA in a very good non-truthful way , arguing with all negative complains, criticize everybody who has different opinion, etc.

ACA owners always like to remind to students and employee how  much 'great' things they did for them.
And ? How much and what exactly?!!
My question is : How much the students and the employee already PAYED for such "unique" treatment at ACA ?

If anybody need more of truthful info, I will be happy to provide it. 
Respond to this report!

#2 Author of original report

Rebuttal to DWS at Academy of Couture Art

AUTHOR: Aurora Borealis - (United States of America)

I am glad to hear that DWS has had the experience of ACA and its owners for which I hoped.  To this day I still have nightmares about these people roaring at me over ridiculous things at the top of their lungs in atrocious English. 

At that time the ACA owners openly "discussed"  (i.e. fought about) serious issues such as marital problems, professional setbacks, and  (yes) substance abuse with me in the room.  Well and good if they have finally cleaned up their act and learned to run a business in America rationally for a change.  Ignorance of local workplace standards is no excuse.

I have no desire to be on bad terms with the school or its staff since we all work in fashion and are here to stay.  However, I felt honor bound to speak up if the legal proceedings I always expected are being made against the ACA.  I tried to work things out then and am willing to try again now if DWS wants to meet with me.
Respond to this report!

#3 UPDATE Employee

My Experience with the ACA is VERY Different

AUTHOR: dws - (United States of America)

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 t 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

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 clothing 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

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.
Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.