The FAD Leadership Academy and Fashion Futures finalists donned their best street style outfits and headed to River Island HQ last week for a guided tour and private Q&A with the womenswear design team.
“I felt very lucky and really honoured to have the opportunity to visit the Head Office of such a huge high street fashion brand. Before we even arrived I was excited about meeting the designers and learning more about their jobs.
The whole visit was amazing I really enjoyed getting to see the different departments and work stations within the River Island head office. I think the best part of the day was listening to the designers speak about how they got in to the industry. I found their talks very inspiring and motivational. It was good to learn about the different obstacles that people face when trying to get a job in industry.
On the day we learnt how the design team at River Island work and how their initial design concepts turn into final garments that we can buy from their stores. I also learnt that there are many different routes to take before working as a fashion designer, for example, working as a Design Assistant first and then moving on to become a specialist designer.
Before the visit, although I was obviously aware of the High Street side of fashion, I was really concentrated on the idea of becoming a high end designer. But now I am considering the idea of working for the High Street more seriously. This visit has made the fashion industry seem even more accessible; I am now definitely aware of more opportunities that can help you get a job as a designer for someone like River Island.
The whole visit has made me think I would love to do work experience at River Island. It was great visiting their head office and seeing how the designers work. It would be amazing to actually get a chance to work with them and to experience more of what we were told about on this visit.”
Tihara was a Fashion Futures finalist in 2013. She is about to embark on a BA in Womenswear Design at the London College of Fashion, well done Tihara! Read more of her musings on the world of fashion on her blog.
FAD would like to say a huge thank you to Lucy, Becci, Karice and Paris at River Island for this unique and inspiring experience.