US fashion brand has designs on Sunderland graduate
Released: Tuesday 14th August 2012 at 16:59
A SUNDERLAND fashion graduate has landed a dream job Stateside after designs from her final-year university project were spotted by one of America’s luxury fashion labels.
Sophia Ramsey still can’t quite believe that she’ll be jetting off to Ohio next February to start a new life and career designing womenswear for Abercrombie & Fitch.
The unique opportunity came when Sophia and her fellow students on the University of Sunderland’s Fashion, Product and Promotion course raised enough funding to set up a small stall at Graduate Fashion Week in London for the first time in June. Incredibly, a recruitment agent from Abercrombie & Fitch spotted her collection of menswear designs that the 22-year-old had created as part of her final-year project and suggested she apply for a job.
Within weeks, Sophia found herself on an all-expenses paid flight to the company’s headquarters in Ohio, where she pitted her design skills against 15 other candidates from around the world. Just a day after returning to the UK she was offered one of four jobs, out of the hundreds of applications received, before she had even graduated.
Sophia, from Gateshead, said: “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been offered such a massive opportunity with a company like Abercrombie & Fitch. I just can’t wait to get started.
“Ironically, I’ll be designing for the company’s womenswear collection, yet it was my designs for men’s clothing in my final year project which initially caught the attention of the recruitment agent in London. The interview process in Ohio took place over several days and they liked the portfolio of work I was asked to produce for them.”
But forging a career in fashion was not always on the cards for Sophia, whose talent for drawing was spotted at an early age at school when she was fast tracked to a GCSE in art at age just 13. After leaving school she toyed with the idea of working with textiles, but a course in this field failed to ignite her passion and she turned to Sunderland’s Fashion, Product and Promotion Degree, introduced to the university just four years ago.
“I chose the course as it looked interesting and I wanted to find out what my strengths were,” explained Sophia. “Although I love fashion, I’d never really considered a career in this area, it was only when I started that the course guided me down this route and I became much more interested and confident in mixing my talent for drawing and illustration with a love of design.”
In the months before she starts her career, Sophia plans to spend as much time as possible with her family and friends, continue her children’s face-painting business, designing gifts and cards, as well as researching ideas for her new employers.
Sophia added: “My advice to any student starting their course would be to work as hard as you can and you will get where you want to be in the future. Never put off work!
“I sacrificed a lot of my social life for three years, but to land a job like this was worth every night in and my family are so proud!”
Alan Scott, Programme Leader for Fashion Product and Promotion, said: "Sophia has always had the potential to become a designer and understands what it takes to do the work needed to be able to get a first position like this. We all wish her the very best of luck and know she will do very well in the future. This is a great opportunity and demonstrates that students from Sunderland can achieve employment results at the highest level "
The University is opening up its doors next week to possible future students who could follow in Sophia’s footsteps next Tuesday (21 August).
The Open Day will provide the opportunity for potential students and their families to actually see the place they have researched and considered as an option, and talk to people who work and study here.
For more information on the Fashion, Product and Promotion Course, log on to: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/faculties/adm/course/912/fashion_product_and_promotion_