Photos & Blog Post by Kasey Jade Newton, Age 17
On Friday 2nd November twenty Fashion Futures students headed to West London to the headquarters of River Island for a very special behind-the-scenes visit.
To begin the day we were taken on a tour of the River Island offices and design studios, where we saw all the different departments. We got to see the step-by-step process involved in making a garment – from pattern cutting and print development to colour and fabric samples, and we even spotted a model fitting taking place.
We were very lucky to have Senior Designer Lucy Moller and Designer Ludmila Maida as our tour guides for the day, both of who design River Island’s Chelsea Girl and Women’s Tailoring collections.
After the tour we all sat down to look at their design boards and saw some of next season’s (Spring/Summer 2013) collections, which included a lot of leather and studs. My personal favourite had to be the neon yellow boucle jacket which I will be snapping up as soon as it hits the shops.
The final part of the day was spent looking at the initial ideas for their autumn/winter 2013 ranges. This involved looking at items of clothing and inspiration gathered from shopping trips around the world. I can’t reveal the River Island’s trends for next year, but I say that red and blue will be big colours for autumn.
Overall everybody who went found the trip inspirational. The FAD students were never short of questions, asking the designers about universities, work experience, and gaining insightful tips about how to get into the industry.
Here are a few people’s views on the day:
“Going to the River Island head office was so exciting and inspirational. The visit has helped me to understand the different sectors such as designing and buying.
I loved seeing the future collections for River Island and finding out about the journey towards designing it, as well as seeing the mood boards where they take their inspiration from. These industry visits have really opened my eyes to the many different parts within fashion, which is amazing, and I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity anywhere else.” Serife Niyazi, 17
“I really enjoyed the day and there was a friendly vibe amidst the busy atmosphere and demand of the company. I learnt if you really want something don’t stop for anything or anybody, you are in control!” Stephanie Perucho, 18
“My favourite part of the trip was going to the studio where they showed us next year’s SS 2013 and AW 2013 collections. I loved seeing next year’s new trends in advance. I learnt how designers look for inspiration through various ways, whether cutting out pieces of fabric from a particular garment, looking at trend websites, blogs and street style but also buying garments from another stores for colour and detail inspiration.
Overall, I admired the atmosphere at the River Island head office, and the moving advice from the designers has really motivated me to work harder in order to reach my dreams and goals of becoming a fashion designer.” Shermmaine Telan, 17
We would like to thank River Island very much for for giving us and FAD the opportunity to visit. Hopefully we will be seeing each other again soon!
FAD Industry Experiences made possible by the ‘Making Internships Happen’ scheme supported by: