Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion
Year of Graduation: 2010
I felt an instant connection with the Ravensbourne campus and lecturers. I visited a number of other institutions, but none compared to my first trip to Ravensbourne. I heard about it from my college lecturer – I wasn’t sure where I wanted to study, all I knew is that it had to be in London. The course covered every aspect I was interested in, and upon researching the university, I became well aware of the prestige that surrounded it. With a number of high profile alumni, I knew I was in safe hands.
Ravensbourne lecturers are excellent at providing industry contacts and enabling you to get the most out of your degree. During our second year, we spent an entire term on work experience. Thanks to my lecturer, I secured a placement at AnOther Magazine. I learnt exceptional amounts about the industry and used contacts made during this time in order to progress my career once I left university.
My favourite shoot of all time happened while I was at Marie Claire, a year after I had left Ravensbourne. We shot for four days on the Bangkok to Singapore Eastern and Oriental Express. We shot on the train, travelling through jungles and cities. At one point we saw monkeys swinging through the trees alongside the train. The entire trip was a real pinch yourself moment - especially on the first night, standing on the roof of the tallest building in Bangkok looking out of the city. It really was an experience I will never forget.
Working at Marie Claire taught me everything I needed to know about going into the industry alone. I was a fashion assistant at Marie Claire for two years, working closely with the senior editors on fashion and cover stories. I was also styling my own shopping pages and front of book shoots. I decided to leave Marie Claire after working in magazines for over three years to pursue a career as a freelance stylist. It wasn’t without its struggles in the beginning, but it was the best decision I ever made!
I worked as a freelance stylist for almost five years - there are no ‘typical days’! One day might be spent running around showrooms in London, pulling looks for an obscure editorial shoot and the next day I could be shooting on a beach in Mexico for a well known commercial client. These sound like they are at either end of the glamour scale, however both come with their own challenges. Believe me, shooting on a beach in the middle of nowhere, with no access to a steamer or rail, a strong tidal wind and a race against time to get the shots done before the sun sets definitely isn’t glamorous!
I recently joined Threads Styling, a company pioneering the way in which people shop, as their only full time stylist. Much like being freelance, there are no typical days at Threads. I could be in Paris, New York or Milan viewing new seasons and deciding which pieces from the collections work best for our clients. I regularly shoot in stores like Dior, Louis Vuitton and Joseph as well as at our inhouse studio shooting brands like Prada, Loewe and Chloe.
My advice to current students would be to work hard, make good contacts and be nice to everyone. It’s a very small industry and people move around a lot. You will cross paths again! There are a lot of people who want to succeed within the fashion industry which makes it harder to get to the top, but if you do all of those things you’re guaranteed to succeed!