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Fashion Design students showcase their collections in their first End of Year Show

22/06/2021

This week we held our first ever Fashion End of Year Show and celebration for our BA Fashion Design students! This was their chance to be centre stage, and we heard from each student as they gave us insights into the hard work, creativity and craftsmanship that went into their final collections and portfolio as their designs were showcased on the catwalk in our on-campus Icon Studio.

The evening was led by our Head of Fashion Vaishali Raj and kicked off by our Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, and we had nearly 100 people tuning in.

We were also joined by two fascinating industry speakers: Dina Melwani, MDX Dubai alumni and Founder of fashion house Melwani Couture, and Monica Malhotra, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Gaggler, a female-led digital content platform with a special focus on sustainability.

Dina and Monica shared their stories of how they got to where they are today and what they learned along the way. They also shared their perspectives on the important topics creating waves in the fashion industry such as sustainability, and provided our students with their tips for finding success in this exciting, dynamic field!

Here’s some of their advice for budding fashion designers:

From Dina:

  1. Work for someone else before you strike out on your own. It’ll help you get a good general knowledge of what goes into a business.
  2. Get to know your supply chain and everything that goes into creating your product!
  3. There’s a niche and market for everyone, so take time to understand your chosen one properly, so you can target your customers effectively and define your pricing.
  4. Customer relationships and your reputation are key, as this industry is so competitive! If someone leaves your office happy, they will keep coming back and your customer base will grow.
  5. Always take time to be proactive and creative. Reacting to incoming work such as emails and client appointments is vital, but pockets of creativity add up and come together!
  6. Be environmentally conscious and creative in the ways you conserve and use your leftover fabric. Upcycle as much as you can to create new products.

From Monica:

  1. Focus on slow fashion. Create garments that are durable and last longer. Classic rather than trendy designs can be used season by season.
  2. Consider that ethical fashion is very important in today’s industry, such as the use of animal materials in the design of your clothes. Consumers won’t stand for fashion brands that say they are sustainable but don’t focus on human and animal rights.
  3. Be aware of the environmental impact of clothes production – it goes deep into the industry. We are seeing companies use innovative fabrics now in their collections, such as recycled plastic bottles or pineapple fiber.
  4. A lot of people will tell what you to say, do and think. But take all the advice you are given and match it to your own value system – the steps you take should be yours and yours alone.
  5. Do an internship and get work experience in a real-world business – and don’t worry if it’s not at a top fashion house! At any fashion business, you’ll better your trade and learn teamwork, how to work with customers, and what consumers like and don’t like. This is all applicable to your future career.
  6. Don’t be afraid to fail – there is no such thing! Whatever you do, you’ll come out with an outcome and you’ll learn something.

Find out more about our BA Fashion Design on the programme page. Applications for September 2021 are open now!

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