- PhD in Fashion Design, University of Minho/University of Beira Interior (Portugal)
- Masters degree in Fashion Design, University of Beira Interior (Portugal)
- Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design, University of Beira Interior (Portugal)
Clara Eloïse Fernandes was born and raised in France. In 2008, she pursued Fashion Design studies in Portugal. For her Master's degree, she focused her research on new technologies and innovation, working on a virtual fitting room for people with reduced mobility with the company Follow Inspiration, and was granted an innovation Award at the Arrisca C start-up contest.
She worked as a freelance designer until she started her PhD in 2014 (UMINHO / UBI, Portugal). The following year, she initiated her academic career in Design Education, organising several events, exhibitions, educating and training design students from different programmes. Since 2015, she has worked as an invited assistant professor at the University of Beira Interior and simultaneously as an assistant professor at IADE-European University.
In 2018, she became the first fashion design PhD in the country, with her thesis ‘The Fashion Design Entrepreneur: skills and solutions to create a fashion-related business’. Her passion for entrepreneurship ignited during her experience with technology start-ups and creative ventures. She decided to create hoop"’ – a model platform to help young designers transform ideas into sustainable ventures. She became an integrated member at the UNIDCOM research unit in 2020 and is currently pursuing her mission to empower young creators to become design entrepreneurs.