Back in the heady heights of summer, 2011 FAD Competition winner Milly Jackson completed a three week placement with Whistles as part of her FAD prize. The experience proved to be a valuable one, as she has just seen her first freelance commission go live on the Whistles website. FAD catches up with the talented young designer to talk about her summer placement.
M: The design team really took me under their wing from day one. I worked with them on S/S 2012 projects – creating colour palettes, CAD prints, range boards and even a design project of my own. I sat in on garment fittings, trade and sales meetings (which I found fascinating) and spent some time helping the marketing department – a real range of things really.
What did you enjoy most about your placement? What did you learn from the experience?
M: Everything, but I was very lucky to be part of ‘Brand Day’ – an event that only occurs twice a year. Over 100 store managers visit Whistles Head Office where the new A/W 2011 Collection is introduced and showcased. The day involves presentations from CEO Jane Shepherdson, the design and merchandising teams, a catwalk show of the new collection, visual merchandising workshops and loads more!
I learnt so much. I’m not sure if companies realise just how valuable it is for a graduate to have the opportunity of a placement. It’s an insight into an industry that you have been working towards but have no real life knowledge of yet. The chance to participate in it is an invaluable experience and hopefully a very exciting stepping-stone to my future.
M: Fashion is an art form – but it’s my favourite because you can wear it. I love how you can change the way you feel by changing the clothes you wear – it’s powerful.
What made you enter the FAD Competition?
M: That’s a no-brainer.FAD is the perfect package of putting everything you are learning into practice; carrying out a challenging and exciting brief from start to finish with the opportunity of winning such a prestigious award and gaining national publicity at the end of it.
What was your reaction to being chosen for FAD?
M: I pinched myself to check I wasn’t dreaming!
Finally, what’s next for you? Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
M: To carry on creating! In 5 years time I’d like to have gained a good amount of experience working as a designer in the industry, and continue with my own personal and freelance projects – I enjoy having a variety of work. It keeps me stimulated. One day I’d love to see myself being able to give others opportunities like the one I’ve just had through FAD and Whistles.
Read more about talented FAD winner, Milly, here
See Milly’s illustrations on the Whistles Website
To contact Milly visit www.millyjackson.com