18 year-old Zadeesha is one of twenty finalists who will showcase their designs at London Fashion Week this autumn. We caught up with the talented teen from Nunhead, at the recent Fashion Futures summer workshops.
How does it feel to be a finalist?
“It still hasn’t sunk it. I’m still speechless about it. Even when I was told I was a finalist, I had to read the email about eight times. I was in so much shock. I’m just so grateful. If I didn’t get this opportunity I think I would be gutted. This has given me an extra boost to just get out there and it’s given me a lot more motivation as well.”
Why did you sign up to do Fashion Futures?
“My tutor at LeSoCo thought it would be a really good opportunity to branch out and gain some confidence. I sat down and spoke about it with my parents and that made me decide I should just go for it.”
What have you learnt through FAD?
“It’s all been really new to me, I’ve really enjoyed the experience. I’ve learnt that time management is key to working in fashion. I also think I’m a lot more sociable now. Before I always found it hard talking to new people, but since FAD I’m a lot more confident. I feel as finalists we have really bonded.”
What have you enjoyed most about your FAD experience so far?
“Probably this week, making my garment for London Fashion Week. Even though it’s been intense it’s been worth it, because I’ve seen how much I can actually test myself.”
Tell us about your design for London Fashion Week
“I looked at menswear for my garment, even though it’s for women, I just liked the masculine shapes. I think women shouldn’t be forced to conform. They should be able to wear something loose fitting, long. I don’t think women should be put into a box.”
What did you think of the Korean & Japanese brief?
“I don’t usually like research but I really enjoyed doing it for this project. It was something new that I have never looked at before. I looked at a Korean blog – Seoul to Seoul – and when we went to the V&A I saw this print and it really spoke to me. I expanded it and tried different colour ways, which resulted in the sculptural spray painted design on my garment.”
What are the obstacles for young people like you trying to break into fashion?
“People are skeptical about fashion. Everyone thinks you should be business people or doctors, but I’ve never really thought that way. I think people should be able to express themselves in their own way, and for me that’s by being creative. I think a lot of young people are put under pressure, but I’m quite a rebellious person so I like to do the opposite of what I’m told. I don’t like being the same as everyone else anymore.”
What do you think about FAD helping young people into fashion careers? “I think they are great and there should be more like FAD. I actually think they should give this opportunity to even younger people. I’ve always wanted to do fashion, since I was probably about 5 years old. I’ve just always known. I think if I’d had something like this when I was even younger, I would be much more confident and motivated.”
What are your hopes for the future? “I’m starting an art & design foundation in September at LeSoCo, then I’m hoping to go to uni. I’d love to go to London College of Fashion. It’s been great coming to the University of East this week and to get a feel for what uni is like.”