University was the next natural step after finishing college. I studied Fashion and Clothing at Newcastle college, gaining a triple Distinction National Diploma. I wanted to continue to expand my knowledge and acquire a degree in my area of interest, to enable me to pursue a career as a designer.
I chose to study at the University of Sunderland because I believe that talent is grown from the individual and their support system and surroundings, which isn’t necessarily the case with the bigger-named universities.
I liked that multiple areas of the industry were explored on the course; design, pattern cutting, clothing, jewellery, media, film, etc. This enabled me to gain a broader picture of the industry as a whole and helped me to understand how each can benefit and/or affect one another. Learning about collaborative team-working, whether within one area, or across multiple areas was also very beneficial for working within the industry – knowing and understanding how things work in photography, film, media, and garment technology.
Initially after graduating, I interned with Jonathan Saunders, preparing and designing the collection for London Fashion Week. I started my career as a Menswear Designer for a small local start-up athleisure brand in Newcastle before moving to London to design for River Island. After a couple of years gaining experience there, I returned to the North East to design for Zara, Mango, and Matalan.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought challenges within the industry, which led me to a new position as Senior Menswear Designer for Manchester-based fashion brand Maniere De Voir, running the menswear department as the sole designer.
Studying at the University of Sunderland was really enjoyable, with supportive tutors and technicians to help guide you and offer their own first-hand knowledge and experience. I was able to explore multiple areas of the industry and really become the creative director of my art for the duration.
The fashion industry is an extremely tough and brutal one, but equally as rewarding. Studying at the University of Sunderland was the stepping stone to the start of an exhilarating career for myself, but I worked hard. The main piece of advice I can share with prospective students is just to apply yourself each day. Show up. Work hard. Your passion will shine through and with that, it comes easy.”
Published 11 November 2021