How Did I Get Here?
Date: November 14, 2013 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London W1G 0BJ
Contact: To book your place, please go to http://www.amiando.com/HDIGH2013.html
SDC London Region highly successful annual event ‘How Did I Get Here?’ is here again!
Essential if you are about to graduate or just looking for inspiration as to the next step in your textile career path. Some of industries leading experts and young entrepeneurs come together to talk about their careers, their success / failures and the lessons they have learned along the way. The event will offer a chance for networking and to talk 1 to 1 with experts from across the textile industry.
I came to London in 1995 to finish my studies in marketing and public relations, when I decided to stay and follow my dream to become a fashion designer, I enrolled at London College of Fashion where I studied pattern cutting, and a few years later to join the St Martins to study Fashion accessories.
Fashion has always been my passion, I was always surrounded by clothes since I was a child, as my mother was a professional dress maker, and when I wasn’t observing her work I would spend my time in my grandfather’s textile shop.
Being brought up in Italy by my mother who came from the very north of Italy, Veneto, and by my father who came from a town just outside Palermo, Sicily, I got used to great cultural surroundings.
My father was an architect and I was always fascinated by his drawings and architectural eye.
Fashion has always been with me, the sense of colours, the perception for the flawless design, however London is where I came to ultimately achieve my dream to become a fashion designer, I started from the end of the whole process, from the shop floor, by getting my first job as sales assistant in Harvey Nichols, to progress onto retail management and distribution, to where I am today.
Design Consultant for Accessories brands that are stocked in Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Whistles, online at Asos.com, as well as boutiques around the UK.
Elaine has been designing for Fashion brands for the last 10 years, working on projects in Calcutta, Delhi and the Far East. Supervising large scale design, product development and production in these factories and then presenting the collections to clients in the UK, for example the Comic Relief collaboration with Liberty department store in London – ‘Liberty Loves Comic Relief’.
In the last 5 years, with a focus on African Production in Kenya for ‘made by the people for the people’. Elaine worked on site with craftspeople in Made’s Nairobi workshop developing ranges of products, leather and metalwork, for clients such as John Lewis, Ally Cappelino, and Whistles. Travelling frequently to offer training and support to these producers from different tribal backgrounds and across a wide range of skills.
Seeing Made’s progression as a small brand with 15 employees to a large scale operation eventually supplying prestigious clients like Louis Vuitton and offering employment to 150 people.
Elaine took part in the Micro-Ventures knitting and sewing training scheme in 2011 with the Microloan Foundation and spent 2 months in Kasungu working with the women and teaching basic skills and developing new designs for production. Seeing the potential of the project has led to the development of the ‘Khama’ brand working towards becoming a viable Social Enterprise.
Now in collaboration with Micro Enterprise Africa (MEA) Khama has it’s own independent workshop and acts as a hub for local artisans and craftspeople to get training and make products for the local market and export
Khama collaborates with influential designers and makes everything in our own workshop in Malawi using sustainable materials and Malawian Cotton
Emily is a needlework designer who makes kits with a modern twist and also teaches embroidery
Sarah is the owner of The Blake Collection
The Blake Collection uses young British textile designers to create scarf designs for manufacture in India and China for distribution in the UK. It is a small company run by its founder, Sarah Little, who starting from a background in textile design and working for a prestigious Bond Street store has been producing scarves for more than four years.
The business comprises three streams, retail including web based sales, wholesale independent shops and special projects often with design competitions, ranging from the British Museum to the Royal Collection. Sarah also works with designers to create two collections per year.
This talk will bring out the challenges and solutions that a small textile business, specialising in screen print scarves, has in meeting the needs of consumers and retailers. Although the product is artisan in nature, the commercial and retail clients require consistency and reliability in product. Colour choice and dyeing is often key to the success of a design but not always so easy to achieve on a regular basis.