Fashion Careers

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Seller Development Executive India Usher

My main aim when creating this Fashion Jobs series was to discover and share the variety jobs available in the fashion industry, including the one’s that people generally don’t think about when considering a job in fashion.

This week I am interviewing India Usher, a Seller Development Executive at ASOS Marketplace. This job is a great example of a fun, creative job in the fashion industry that you may not think about doing when looking for jobs in the industry!

2675072PROFILE 
Name: India Usher
Job Title: Seller Development Executive at ASOS Marketplace

Q – Who is your favourite designer, artist or illustrator?
There are lots of brands that I love, a lot of them are on ASOS Marketplace; House of Sunny, Daughter of Jón, Alice Treehouse, Rianna Phillips, Sera Ulger and many, many more! My favourite artist has to be contemporary artist and friend Edward Waite – I’ve just commissioned a piece from him so I can’t wait to see it!

Q – Describe a typical day at work.
There is no typical day as such; my role is to provide support to all Independent and multi-brand boutiques. This includes working on tailor-made development plans to help boutiques improve the look and feel of their boutique in ways such as their social media presence, photography, products and branding to help them increase sales. I have lots of face-to-face meetings too, so I spend a bit of time travelling to see boutiques or they will come to the ASOS head offices, which they always love as it’s such a cool place.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
I love working to develop boutiques; watching them grow is amazing and so rewarding. It’s also lovely when I scout a boutique and see them go live on ASOS Marketplace. 

Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
Creativity, a good eye for emerging design talent, strong communication skills, business savvy and good organisation skills are all key!

Q- What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I did a BTEC fashion & textile course and then went on to study fashion design at University. After university I did a few internships and then secured 
my first real job in fashion at the British Fashion Council.

Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
Yes, 100% – from the age of 5 I was making bags from old jeans and drawing sketches. 

Q – What advice would you give to students aspiring to work in the fashion industry?
Work hard you will get there, this industry is very competitive but do not lose your determination. Be yourself – it’s extremely important.

A huge thank you to India for sharing her experience and advice with us! Why not have a look on ASOS Marketplace to see some of the brands that India works with here.

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Creative Director Chloe Hope King

This week I am interviewing Creative Director Chloe Hope King. Another very inspirational woman, and professional in the fashion industry, Chloe has started her own business and on asking her what her job title was her answer was ‘When starting your own company you actually end up wearing a lot of hats (so to speak) during the day to day running of the business! Each week I’m designer, maker, accountant, photographer, web designer.. the list goes on! But officially.. It’s Creative Director‘ which just goes to show the sheer hard work that goes into running your own business!

headshot croppedPROFILE
Name: Chloe Hope King
Job Title: Creative Director (Officially!)

 

Q – Who is your favourite artist or designer?
It’s so difficult to pick a favourite! I’m constantly meeting such talented and inspiring people. A few current favourites I’d highly recommend checking out the work of; Designer – Jewellery designer Rowenna Harrison has such a unique style and her craftsmanship is on point, I was lucky enough to have her exhibit her jewellery label Rosita Bonita at the Christmas fair of an event I organise, Intrigue Emporium, a melting pot of outrageously creative British manufacturing designers and makers; Artist – Gustav Klimt, I still cannot get enough of gold leaf and Illustrator – Nina Dogmetchi of Imagination Illustrated. We met a few weeks ago at Renegade Craft Fair and her work and gorgeous personality blew me away!
Esoteric London Jewellery Tribal Nebulae Collection - blue laser cut geometric resin jewellery

Q – Describe a typical day at work.
There really is no ‘typical day’. Day to day, season to season things are so different! Around the beginning of the year I get a little more time to design new collections, sample new pieces, get my admin in order, whereas in the run up to Christmas I’m doing markets/ pop-up shops every weekend and it’s pretty much all making, packaging, selling and the occasional pause for breath. For an example, here’s my plan for tomorrow –

  • I like to miss rush hour on the trains so I’ll arrive to the studio around 10ish if I don’t have any appointments and settle myself down with a herbal tea (the first of around 10! I’m not a coffee drinker) and reply to my emails. Then get the days to do list in order. I usually will have done this roughly the night before but things usually need tweaking.
  • Next I’ll get on and package orders and ship them out.
  • I’ll be interviewing a few students who have applied to do a work placement internship with me as part of their studies in the early afternoon.
  • Then I’ll be carrying on finishing off some final samples of new collection pieces, ready to be photographed early next week.
  • In between all this I’ll be juggling replying to new emails, I usually try to only check at set times of the day, but with so many events coming up I need to keep an eye out just in case of any last minute emergencies! As well as updating social media and organising the folks who are working on promoting the event with me.

I aim to leave around 6 usually, but this certainly doesn’t happen every day. I have the Intrigue Emporium event I organise this weekend, Pulse tradeshow the weekend after and Bust Craftacular Spring Fair the weekend after that so I’m pretty busy getting the new collections, displays and admin sorted for that so I’ll probably leave around 8 or 9pm.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
Designing and making. As I’m sure many creative business owners will agree – I do wish I got to spend a lot more time doing it though!

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Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
Perseverance, sometimes it will feel like an insurmountable pile of work is ahead of me and late nights, especially in the early stages of a business are not uncommon.
A good sense of humour – things go right, things go wrong, I used to get terribly caught up in these things, now I just roll with it!
Multi-tasking, this one speaks for itself really, when starting up my business and it was just one then two people it was a case of getting stuck in with whatever needed to be done, whenever it needed to be done.

Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I started A levels in Maths, Science (possibly Biology.. it was about 12 years ago so memory may not serve correctly!), Drama and Textiles, I then decided that I wanted to go the creative route so swapped out Maths and Science by A2 year for a BTEC in Fashion. Then I got my first job as a junior designer, designing prints and jersey wear for various high street retailers (ASOS, New Look, Freemans amongst others). The job advertised was for a graduate, I didn’t have a degree yet, but I wanted the job, and fortunately they liked me enough to let me have it! Then I went on to study at the London College of Fashion.

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Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
In a way yes.. I also ‘knew’ I wanted to be a police officer, Doctor, lawyer, chef, pilot, shop keeper, Peter Pan…

Q – What advice would you give to students hoping to start their own businesses in the fashion industry?
Again, be prepared. It’s going to cost you a lot in the first year – financially, emotionally, lack of sleep. If it’s really what you want to do though, it’s 100% worth every second of it! There will be no doubt times when you wonder if you should just give up, but overcoming those challenges is when it really feels like a huge achievement to look back on how far you’ve come.

A huge thank you to Chloe for allowing me to interview her and sharing her experiences with us! If you would like to see more of Chloe and her work, click on the links below:

Website: esoteric-london.com
Twitter: @esotericldn
Instagram: @esotericldn

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Design Consultant Louise Ibak

This week, I am interviewing Louise Ibak, a design consultant who started her own business after working in that fashion industry as a designer for many years. She has a lot of great advice to share, so read on to find out more about her and her career path!

PROFILE
Name: Louise Ibak
Job Title: Director of a Freelance Consultancy Design Business
Favourite Artist/Designer: I don’t have any particular favourites in terms of designers as it always changes each season depending on which collection inspires me the most. I love art of any form & I’m most inspired and influenced by details so the Pre-Raphaelite movement/Gustav Klimt/Religious art old & new particularly interest me and I love Escher. In terms of illustrations I find botanical & anatomical illustrations fascinating.

Q – Describe a typical day at work.

There is no typical day, as each day is different depending on sales info and where I am in terms of the design process. Fundamentally the design process is the only constant part of my job, but the details within that change daily (or hourly). The only certain part of my day is checking my emails in the morning then being able to react to change constantly after that.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?

A large proportion of my job involves being part of meetings to represent design in a corporate environment, so it’s a real joy when I get to be creative and design something!

Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?

Although I think the expected answer to this question is ‘be a creative designer’ the reality is very different. The greatest skill required is to be flexible and adaptable always and to be able to work as a team & manage people and their expectations. The main & most important skills required are your people skills. Your creative skills get you a foot in the door, however it’s the other skills that keep you in the room.

Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?

I did a BTEC and then a BA in Fashion Design. I was lucky enough to get a job straight after my course finished due to a project I worked on with an external clothing supplier.

Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?

Yes, I wanted to do this job since I was 6 years old!

Q – What advice would you give to students aspiring to work in the fashion industry?

Be very sure that this is the industry you want to be part of as there is a lot of competition and it is a very pressurised and competitive environment so you need to love what you do. Also, be flexible and open to any opportunities that come your way. Some of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve had in my career haven’t necessarily been more first choice!

A big thank you to Louise for sharing her experiences and being interviewed.

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Digital PR Director Elle Hankinson

If you love the idea of working in fashion, but don’t enjoy the practical side of fashion design, you might want to consider a career in fashion PR.

PR, or public relations is all about helping brands get exposure for their products. PR is a lot more subtle than advertising, as they focus more on image, trying to convince people that a specific brand is what they want to buy. This can be through celebrity endorsements or getting journalists to write good things about their brand and products.

PR is a very competitive area, especially in fashion, and it takes a lot of unpaid work experience to get into the industry. You usually need a degree to get in, but this can be related to fashion, business or literature.

This week I am interviewing Elle Hankinson. She is a Digital PR Director, but used to work as a Trend Forecaster, another amazing job in the fashion industry. Elle has some great experience in the fashion industry and advice for anyone thinking about a career in fashion.

PROFILE
Name: Elle Hankinson
Job Title: Digital PR Director
Favourite Artist/Designer: Too many to mention – artists I love include Marina Abramovic & Cy Twomble. Illustrators – Marcus James’ work for Chloe is a favourite. Designers – Mme Grès, Sophie Hulme, Studio Nicholson and 90s Armani are a few I’m loving today.

Q – What is your job?
For 5 years I’ve worked as a Trend Forecaster, and am about to start a new role as a Digital PR Director. I also consult for companies spanning fashion, sports and lifestyle. So many skills are interchangeable these days and I love being able to apply them to different sectors and scenarios.

Q – Describe a typical day at work.
There is no typical day – that’s why I love my work! I travel a lot, so am often exploring a new city or meeting with clients. Obviously there’s a lot of computer time too.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
Constantly learning. It sounds corny, but when you’re working every day, evolving is important.

Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
A creative eye, inquisitive nature, determination and an ability to see patterns & therefore trends.

Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I studied French & Italian with History of Art at uni & there wasn’t an obvious path for me career-wise, but actually my languages have helped hugely, as the majority of fashion houses are based in Milan & Paris, so I often interview designers using my languages and having the arts knowledge to contextualise references is a huge help too.

Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
Yes. I was always fascinated by fashion editorials in my mum’s Vogue magazines and I knew it was the industry I wanted to work in. Finding out what part of the industry is the tough bit!

Q – What advice would you give to students hoping to start their own businesses in the fashion industry?
Do as much work experience as you possibly can!!!!!! I know it’s hard to balance study, a paid job, work experience etc, but it really is the best opportunity to discover if that part of the industry is for you. Do as much as you can & be ready to work harder than you ever have done before. I receive approximately 50 applications for work experience every week, and so many of the applicants are hugely experienced, motivated & determined. These are the ones that stand out. Be that person!

A huge thank you to Elle for sharing her journey and advice. You can see more of Elle on her blog Run Like Elle and Twitter and Instagram pages.

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If you are interested in PR as a career, here are some useful links:

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Creative Pattern Cutter Johanna Greenish

This week we have an interview with Creative Pattern Cutter Johanna Greenish.

Pattern Cutters are responsible for taking ideas and bringing them to life in the form of garments! Pattern Cutters are in high demand in the fashion industry, as some designers are often great at coming up with ideas for designs, but don’t know how to make them a reality – which is why pattern cutters are so important!

If you think you’d be interested in becoming a patten cutter, or just want to find out more about the job, carry on reading to learn about Johanna’s journey to where she is today:

PROFILE
Name: Johanna Greenish  
Job Title: Creative Pattern Cutter 
Favourite Designer: I loved Alexander McQueen – the cut of his work was just outstanding and design wise, he was very exciting.

Johanna Greenish

Image of Johanna’s pattern-cutting work

Q – Describe a typical day at work.
My workday varies from day to day dependent on what jobs I have on.  Usually I have up to five designers whose collections I work on at any one time, so I have to be flexible in how I schedule my days to fit around their needs and deadlines.  The majority of my day is spent cutting the actual patterns.  I will also have fitting sessions, when clients come to my studio with a model whom we fit the toiles on.  I then have several meetings a week with clients to discuss new work.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
I really enjoy it when I have a design that challenges me and becomes a journey of discovery, as I find out the route to the end result. The fit sessions are usually the first time that I see the toile worn by a model instead of on the mannequin and I find it very satisfying to see my work come to life. It is also an opportunity to work closely with the client and we work on the design together seeing what works and if any alteration is required.

Johanna_Greenish

Image of Johanna’s pattern cutting work

Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
Excellent pattern cutting skills! Also good time management and the ability to keep calm under pressure.

Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I did a Fashion and Textiles BTEC before going on to the University of East London, where I obtained a First Class BA Hons Fashion Design Degree.

Johanna Greenish

Image of Johanna’s pattern cutting work

Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
Yes! I was inspired by Vogue Magazine as a child, where I first saw the work of couture designers and the fashion photographers and artists who featured in it.

Q – What advice would you give to students aspiring to work in the fashion industry as a Pattern Cutter?
I would advise any aspiring pattern cutter to be as precise as possible with your own work and remember that every mistake is an either opportunity to learn or an unexpected new design idea! If you have the possibility to work with or get help from experienced pattern cutters then do. I did several short internships before being employed as a pattern cutter, which helped to make my CV look great and gave me an understanding of how the industry works.

A massive Thank You to Johanna for sharing her advice and experience with us! – If you would like to see more of Johanna’s work, click here.

If you’re interested in Pattern Cutting as a career, here are some useful links:

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Stylist Jessica Mae

The role of the Stylist has become increasingly desirable in recent years. Being a Stylist requires you to work with clients to find the right look for them. They can be working on magazine shoots, advertising campaigns, television shows and also for individuals. The job of a Stylist allows you to put your love of fashion and your knowledge of the industry together, to create outfits perfect for the client and situation.

This week, we are interviewing Stylist Jessica Mae. She is the CEO of her own company Jessica Mae Ltd – Image Consultancy where she works exclusively within the Fitness industry.

If you love the idea of being a Stylist, and want to learn more about it, continue reading to find out more about Jessica’s journey to where she is today, and her advice to aspiring Stylists:

PROFILE
Name: Jessica Mae
Job Title: Stylist & CEO of Jessica Mae Ltd
Favourite Artist/Designer: Ooh. I don’t know if I have a single favourite designer. I love to mix and match brands and different styles based on my mood. But I love modern tailoring and I’m a sucker for a Haider Ackermann Blazer!

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Q – Describe a typical day at work.
What I love is that there pretty much isn’t a Typical Day with what I do. Most days I’ll be liaising with the Personal Trainers & Fitness experts I work with, discussing any ideas as to what clients typically would love to see in the styling packages we offer. I also do a few speaking engagements and that is really fun – give me a mic and you’ll struggle to get me off! ☺ In addition to working with my private client base, I style Athletes and Sports Presenters for more high profile engagements such as TV appearances which is always great fun.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
Definitely connecting with clients. I love fashion, I love being fit – but by far what I love most is being able to meet and connect with incredible individuals, both as clients as well as business partners.

Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
I trust my intuition a lot. I’m fortunate to have an incredible business mentor who’s helped me mould the business into what it is today. It has been a combination of having a keen eye for fashion, and genuine knowing of what both myself and my clients like and don’t like – being true to that, then having a strong business model to back it up. Aside from those, genuinely wanting to connect with people is crucial. A lot of what I do is build relationships which you can’t outsource!

Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I had a mixed background. I did a Textiles AS Level (etc.). But even before that I’d been sewing and designing womenswear for as long as I remember. I grew up with my mum sewing so it was natural for me, and I loved the creative outlet. Whilst in secondary school I developed my sewing and design skills further, and was fortunate enough to end up showing at London Fashion Week for Vauxhall Fashion Scout which was an incredible opportunity. But all along fashion was just my “hobby”. I then went on to study my other passion – business law, which was what my degree was in, but came out of uni and couldn’t help but fall back into fashion. Along the journey I’ve undertaken Fashion Design, Fashion Business, Bespoke Tailoring & Styling courses at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins which gave a foundation to my otherwise, self-taught skills.

Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
Yes & No. I knew I’d always eventually do something with fashion, but I also knew that I wanted to work for myself and to start my own business.

Q – What advice would you give to students aspiring to work in the fashion industry as a Stylist?
To get experience – You don’t know what you genuinely like and want to do until you’ve explored every possible avenue you can get your hands stuck in. I didn’t ever think I’d be a stylist, my intention was to focus on designing womenswear – until I ran my label for a while and realised I actually didn’t enjoy it. Shadow people, don’t shy away from any experience, it’ll only serve to direct you closer to what your true calling is.

Q – What advice would you give to students hoping to start their own businesses in the fashion industry?
I’d say running a business isn’t the same as having incredible fashion related skills. Get a clear idea as to whether you’ d prefer just being creative under a great fashion house, or whether you like the game of business enough to want to play at both. And if doing it your way is what you want then get a mentor who has been there and will show you the ropes!

A huge Thank You to Jessica for sharing her advice and experience with us! – If you would like to learn more about Jessica’s business click here.

If you’re interested in Styling as a career, here are some useful links:

Fashion Jobs: Interview with Craig Dickinson from Ralph Lauren

Our first interview in the Fashion Jobs series is with Craig Dickinson, who works at Ralph Lauren. Read on to find out more about what Craig does and his journey to where he is today.

PROFILE
Name: Craig Dickinson 
Job Title: Create Your Own Coordinator at Ralph Lauren
Favourite Artist/Designer: Giuliano Fujiwara (Designer) & Mark Rothko (Artist)

Ralph Lauren_logo

Q – Describe a typical day at work.
It varies so much. My main priorities are carrying out personalized embroidery on a range of products from the create your own polo mesh to home towels, pillowcase’s etc. I also get involved in the running of the tailoring department.

Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
That I still get to be creative and work in a hands on environment and travel the world training other employees.

Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
Strong eye for design and detail.

Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I studied Art & Design in college (BTEC) and Fashion Product (BA Womenswear) at the London College of Fashion.

Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
I actually wanted to study car design, but became interested in fashion and enjoyed the idea of it, so ended up studying in it.

Q – What advice would you give to students aspiring to work in the fashion industry?
Hard work takes you very far, but so does knowing the right people. The industry is massive so unless you’re 100% of a specific field you want to go down, keep your options open and explore as much as possible.

A massive thank you to Craig for sharing his advice and journey with us! I hope this has helped any of you interested in working in the fashion industry.

Remember to follow the ‘Fashion Jobs’ series every Thursday to learn more about the jobs available to you in the Fashion Industry 🙂

Jobs in the Fashion Industry

Fashion is a huge industry in the UK, it is worth £26 billion to the UK economy and is estimated to support 797,000 jobs. So it is obvious that there are many of fashion related jobs available to anyone interested. However, it is sometimes hard to know what area of the fashion industry to go into, which is why I decided to create a new series on Tizz Tazz called ‘Fashion Jobs’.

In this new series I will be exploring different jobs in the industry, from design to marketing to education, and interviewing professionals from various stages of their careers, learning how they got to where they are today, to help any of you that are interested in working in the fashion industry, but confused about which area to go into.

So make sure you come back here every Thursday to learn more about the fashion industry, and fashion jobs available to you 🙂

Alternatives to University

Hey Guys,

I thought today I would look at the different options that you have when it comes to leaving College or Sixth Form. A lot of emphasis is placed on going to University and getting a degree, but the truth is, University isn’t suitable for everyone! Some people may not be great at writing essays and doing research, but will thrive doing something a bit more practical and learning on the job whilst getting their hands dirty!

Plus, some people may want to get a degree, but want to look at the different types of University experiences that are on offer, such as studying abroad or even part time.

So, here are some ‘Alternatives to Uni’:

#1 – APPRENTICESHIPS

Apprenticeships allow you to work and learn at the same time. Great for someone who just wants to get stuck in and learns better from actually doing the job. The great thing about Apprenticeships is that they allow you to earn a recognised qualification, learn professional skills in the workplace and earn a salary! There are loads of Apprenticeships available in the fashion industry, so if you want to learn more about them click here.

#2 – FASHION RETAIL ACADEMY

The Fashion Retail Academy offer a range of courses in the Fashion & Retail industries. The courses are very practical and skills based, and leave you ready to go into a professional environment. One of the great things about the Fashion Retail Academy is that they have great links with industry so can help you go straight into a job or internship. Find out more about the academy and the courses they offer here.

#3 – UNIVERSITY PART TIME STUDY

So this isn’t exactly an ‘alternative’ to Uni, however it does give you the flexibility and ability to also have a full time or part time job while you study. This is great if you want to earn money whilst your studying, and is especially good for anyone who has children as there is more flexibility with the course. Research different Universities that offer the course you want to study, and see if they offer a part-time version of that course.

#4 – STUDY ABROAD

Again, this isn’t really an ‘alternative’ to University, but is a different type of Uni experience. There are many ways you can study abroad. You could apply as an international student, although this may work out to be more expensive. You could also try taking part in the Erasmus programme, which allows you to study abroad in other European countries as part of you degree (read more about it here). If you want to look further into the idea of studying abroad, have a look at the Prospects website here.

I hope this has helped some of you looking for a different experience after leaving College or Sixth Form! I’d love to know what your thoughts are on the different options available, and if you know of any more great opportunities, so leave a comment below 🙂

Routes into a Fashion Degree

Hey Guys,

As you guys may or may not know, I have just started University studying Fashion Design! Its all very exciting and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store for me (I’m sure a lot of work!!). Anyway, I thought as some of you guys may be applying to University this year, or maybe in a few more years to come, it would be a good idea to look at different routes you can take to get onto a fashion degree:

Routes into Fashion Diagram

The traditional route for most Degree courses is to go straight from A-Levels to University, however with Art & Design courses it’s a little bit different. There is still the opportunity to go straight from A-Level (as I did), but it’s a lot more challenging as a lot of Universities prefer to take students from a Foundation or BTEC course in Art & Design.

Therefore, I think it is wise to make a plan as soon as you know what you want to do at University. If at GCSE you are absolutely certain you want to do Fashion at University, it might be wise to go straight onto a BTEC National Diploma course in Fashion. However, if you are unsure, I would suggest taking your A-Levels, with at least one being an Art & Design course, and have the plan to apply for a Foundation as well as a Degree course in Year 13 to ensure that you’ll have a place to go the following year (which is what I did).

Whatever route you go, make sure you love what you’re doing, because in the end that’s all that matters 🙂