After being crowned winner & runner-up at the 2015 Fashion Futures final, two of our talented teens Hana and Anakin, were invited to spend a day with the design team at George HQ.
What did you learn from being at George?
H: “We learnt that each item of clothing has to go through many processes before it is manufactured. Although most of George’s clothing has simple patterns, it was interesting to see that materials and print designs were different and that some were doing better than others in the market place.”
A: “We also learnt what it is like to work in the high street retail industry. I enjoyed seeing the type of work they do, and how they go about creating their designs from scratch.”
What tasks did the George design team give you on your away day?
H: “I was given the task of creating a mood board of recurring trends that were seen during New York Fashion Week for George’s womenswear department. I also attended team meetings where we discussed how well each item of clothing were being sold.”
A: “I was asked to look at the trends to come, and following a chosen theme to create a mood board, which I then edited down to a focus board.”
What impression do you have of George now you have worked there?
H: “The atmosphere at George was relaxed and laid back, the people there were so lovely and cheerful. The cafeteria food was so delicious!”
A: “George works within a huge industry. They have a lot of boxes that need to be ticked in order to create things for their customers, which seems rather difficult. Yet the people at George manage to tick all the boxes and still create new things. I realise now how profit can dictate the way design should be.”
Why do you think work experience is important for people your age?
H: “It’s important because it prepares you for what you want to pursue in the future. For me it was interesting to have conversations with people from industry and get to know their background stories and how they were able to work for such a well known company.”
A:” I think it is a great experience for people my age as it allows them to see the realities of industry; how creative you need to be to produce new and innovative designs under many restrictions and restraints. It was a really insightful experience to go through, to see how the design process really works in the retail industry.”
How has being part of FAD’s Fashion Futures programme helped you?
H: “In my recent school work I have started to do more experimental work that is outside my comfort zone. I also enjoy pattern cutting more after learning the techniques and methods from FAD.”
A: “Being a Fashion Futures finalist has helped boost my confidence and made me see that if you have an idea, you should stick with it no matter how strange or unusual it may be. FAD really pushes people to explore their creativity and individuality which I think is really important as there aren’t many opportunities like that anymore.”
What personal challenges do you have to overcome to follow a creative pathway?
H: “The hardest thing for me was trying to communicate my ideas to other people. My personal challenge was overcoming my timidness about talking in front of people.”
A: “There are many things I have to get better at to continue into a creative line of work. I think I have to believe in myself more and believe that I am capable of what I put my mind to.”
You recently spoke to new Fashion Futures recruits at the V&A launch. If you could give one piece of advice to a 16 year-old starting out what would it be?
H: “To make the most out of this opportunity, keep up to date with your work and good luck!”
A: “Advice I would give to people doing the course would be to believe in their ideas, push yourself to be new and different. Really listen to the volunteers who are there to help because they have so much to teach if you want to learn. Don’t take Fashion Futures for granted because it’s an amazing experience.”
What do you think of the support of companies like Natwest and George at Asda who sponsor Fashion Futures?
H: “FAD has been one of the best experiences I’ve had. It is hard to imagine what I would have been doing right now without the course. I think Natwest and George should keep funding it as it gives young people from all backgrounds the chance to get stuck in with what they want to do.”
A: “I would like to thank the sponsors because without them I would never have had the opportunity to create what I did, and be able to explore my own ideas. Without their support so many young people would miss out on the opportunity to be creative and to see what they are really capable of. “
Fashion Futures is made possible thanks to the support of George at Asda and Natwest, Read more about the current project here.