The industry volunteers who work on the Fashion Futures project are a crucial element of it’s ongoing success. As well as giving up their time, sharing their skills and supporting the young people they inspire and act as positive role models. We caught up with new volunteer Delores.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Delores Oblitely, my career background is within fashion knitwear design, I design mainly menswear. I studied for a Masters at Nottingham Trent University. You can currently see my collection entitled ‘Home is But a Dream I Sometimes Dare to Recall’ showcased at the Black Cultural Archive.
George at Asda have sponsored Fashion Futures for the last 5 years. Based at George House in Lutterworth, Leicestershire the 600 strong team create quality yet affordable pieces of design. The brand’s support of young designers includes providing hands on learning experiences so the Fashion Futures 2016 cohort got on a train up to the Midlands to see first hand what goes on behind the scenes at George.
Aysha Simpson knows better than anybody, that working in retail after you’ve graduated can be hard to say the least, ‘you find yourself stuck in a rut, there isn’t much room for creativity’. But being involved with FAD’s INTO Fashion program has led to Aysha securing a job with supplier Alison Hayes, where she enjoys the role of an Assistant Designer. Her story is one of perseverance, hard work and determination.
Having been involved with FAD from the age of 17, Aysha, now 24, was nearly ready to give up on fashion. Having worked in Office shoe store and then at an insurance company, she was about to embark upon the world of teaching, leaving her designing days behind her. ‘It would have been a new adventure but I would have felt so sad to say goodbye to fashion.’
Karen Millen is a London-based international fashion house with stores in over 65 countries. Each garment is designed, hand-crafted and perfected in the in-house at Karen Millen Home. The Fashion Futures teens were given the opportunity to experience this process first hand and meet the people behind the brand.
The day started in the boardroom, where the groups met Vicky and Taimi who introduced the young people to the brand, explained the Karen Millen ‘culture,’ and talked customer profiles.
Karen Millen is a rarity on the high street as it has no buyers. The production team acts as their own internal supplier. The teens met the team who explained what their individual jobs entail, and their role in the production process. In the Atelier area they were able to observe how the pattern cutters and construction team work; using traditional and new methods, from hand sewing to laser guided cutting machines.
The group then went onto the design studio, where all Karen Millen pieces are designed and fitted. They learnt about the comprehensive process behind the AW16 collection, and got to have a sneak peak of the final designs. Since many of the Fashion Futures contingent are considering careers in design, it was a a great experience for them to tour a working design studio.
The tour finished in the photo studio where the garments are styled, shot and edited for e-commerce. The students got to see a shoot in progress and talked to the editors about their skill set and their day to day duties.
‘Today has been very inspiring, it has introduced me to other jobs in the fashion industry that are available, and the importance of each stage.’ Cleo, 17
Huge thank you to the Karen Millen team for having us, and laying on a wonderful tour for our 2016 Fashion Futures students.
After 9 weeks of Saturday workshops the 2016 Fashion Futures cohort presented their work to judges across two sites in London on Saturday 19th March.
The South London panel included Menswear Designer and Fashion Futures alumni Nadine Peters. Mahji Quadir from project sponsors Natwest. London College of Fashion Course Leader Fiona Howard. Lorraine McNee Design Manager at FAD sponsors George. FAD Communications Manager Fran Lawton. And Natalie Garner, Head of Visual Media at Lesoco.
On the other side of the river the judges were – Phil Northey representing sponsors Natwest. Joanne Matthews, Creative Curriculum Director of FAD. In addition Asos Womenswear Design Director Vanessa Spence. From sponsors George, Designer Khairunisa Suhail. FAD Trustee and Designer Carol Robb. And last but not least May Martin, Teacher and judge on BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee.
“I loved being involved in the FAD judging panel, the level of work and dedication was incredible. The students demonstrated a great amount of creativity and the beginnings of a real understanding of the fashion industry, that FAD have nurtured brilliantly.” Vanessa Spence, Asos.
Each Fashion Futures student presented their completed toile, a selection of their best work from the course and their sketchbook to be considered by the panel. The teens discussed their work and ideas with the judges and were assessed on their research and design, pattern cutting and construction, commitment and enthusiasm and suitability for the Summer School.
“It was fascinating to see each students’ unique interpretations of the brief this year, from sketchbook to toile. I am really looking forward to seeing the final evolution of the designs.” May Martin, Great British Sewing Bee.
After some tense deliberation a total of 22 young people were selected to progress onto the Fashion Futures Final.
The standard of work was incredibly high. A huge well done to all the Fashion Futures 2016 participants for completing the course. Finalists will be announced in the second week of April!