In 2010 David Short won the FAD Junior Awards, becoming the first boy in the charity’s history to be awarded the accolade. Since then he has completed a Fashion BTEC, gained a part time job with designers Religion and volunteered in FAD workshops. Nearly one year on we catch up with one of FAD’s brightest stars.
David, it’s been quite an exciting year for you. Through FAD you won a two week placement with Religion back in September. Tell us what’s been happening since.
D: Well, I was very lucky because after my placement Religion decided to keep me on and I have now been working there for 7 months. Lately I’ve been very busy fitting them in alongside doing my final major project at college.
What’s a typical week’s work for you at Religion?
D: Interning at Religion has been a fantastic experience for me and I think one of the reasons it’s been so good is because I couldn’t describe a typical week. I am always doing something different, from toiling, using illustrator and doings specs to assisting with design and sourcing inspiration.
How has working with Religion helped you to develop as a designer and personally?
D: Religion has been phenomenal. Everything I have learnt I have been able to apply to my college work and my portfolio. It has helped me to significantly develop my photoshop and illustrator skills, and since working there I’ve learnt new techniques in pattern cutting and garment construction which as a designer are invaluable.
What particular things are inspiring you at the moment?
D: I get inspired by anything and everything! At the moment however I have just got back from a Holiday inGreeceand I was really inspired by their use of Turquoise as well as the bright blue sky against the white decaying buildings.
You were the first boy to win the FAD Junior Awards in 2010. What did it feel like?
D: Phenomenal. I can’t really describe it any other way; it was an absolute shock to the system when I heard my name read out, and to discover that I was the first boy to win as well was completely unbelievable and amazing.
Would you be where you are now without the support of FAD?
D: No! Even before winningFADit gave such a fantastic level of support, that I genuinely can’t imagine what I’d doing without it, other than knowing that I would not be where I am now, working in industry.
What’s been the best part of your FAD experience so far?
D: Well, aside from winning and participating in my internship at Religion, I really enjoyed visiting design head offices such asRiverIslandand Marks & Spencer. Until you work for them your rarely get to see what its like behind closed doors and see how differently each company works and what the job as a fashion designer actually entails.
Tell us about the ideas behind your last collection for Lewisham College?
D: My Final Major Project was inspired by the 1970’s documentary “GreyGardens”, which is about the aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy. New York Socialites in the 1940s, by the 1970’s they found themselves living penniless in a crumbling mansion. So my collection explored the riches to rags theme and the idea of having clothes with more than one use as well as the idea of using unconventional materials.
What’s next for you now you have completed your BTEC? Where do you see yourself in five years time?
D: I’ve just finished my BTEC and I will be starting London College of Fashion in September to study Fashion Design and Development. Hopefully in 5 years I will have graduated and be working in industry!
What do you think the biggest challenge is facing young people pursuing careers into the creative industries? How can industry do more to support young people like you?
D: Well I think nowadays it is so difficult for all young people trying to establish themselves in industry, and all the cuts that have been made on education and the creative industries by the government haven’t helped.
I think there needs to be a lot more support. It’s so difficult even to afford doing an internship nowadays because very little even pay expenses let alone give you an actual wage. So I think there should be a minimal requirement to pay expenses, as I know many people that have had to work 7 days a week just to afford interning as they know it is a vital stage in their career. There needs to be a much stronger awareness of how hard it is for young people today and much more support needs to be given.
Finally, tell us one thing you couldn’t you live without?