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How to make it in the world of fashion and textiles

Want a career in the flourishing Fashion and Textiles industry? At the School of Fashion and Textiles our teaching staff massively encourage and support students to seek out work placements and build on their personal portfolios. You will often hear “you need experience to gain experience”, we try to ensure that you will benefit from your practice and develop the skills you need to make your CV stand out.

97.8 per cent of our 2017 graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduating (DLHE survey 2016/17).

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Name: Claudia Huxtable, 

Role: Senior Lecturer Fashion Design

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“Whilst studying Fashion Design, we have a compulsory four week placement within the second year. Here you will embark on an exciting experience, have the opportunity to network and make key contacts within your desired field.“

Reinforce what you know with who you know

Top Tips on where to start:

CV creation

All students have skills, whether technical, fashion or textile based. Don’t panic if you have never studied fashion or textiles before or worked a part time job – there are always generic skills you can pick up.

Communication skills, team work, punctuality and organisational skills are all highly regarded by employers, look for opportunities where you have done that. Whilst at university there is plenty of    O P P O R T U N I T Y to work as a course rep and to get involved in projects and roles promoted by our employability team and academics.

CV completed, what next?

You stand a better chance of securing an opportunity if you make direct contact with your employer rather than a general enquirers@ email address. Search the company through LinkedIn, browse through the employees, connect and make contact. HR is always a good place to start, alternatively if you know your specific area of interest you can address your application directly to that person.

I don’t have a LinkedIn?

Complete a profile, ensuring you use an appropriate image and link your CV to your profile. Be aware that employees may also scope out your social media, keep it as professional as possible or leave it on private. 

Claudia Huxtable: 

  • From personal experience, it is always better to contact an employer on a Wednesday afternoon- mid way between start of the week rush and end of the week catch up.
  • It is advised to apply for small businesses in addition the high in-demand big brands, the smaller companies tend to need you as much as you need them.
  • Be persistent- if you have a contact number, give them a call.
  • Popular placements include; Adidas, Topshop, River Island, Vivienne Westwood and more. Some students have worked abroad, including New York and at the H&M Head Office in Stockholm. We have had a number of occasions where students have been invited back to work following graduation.

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Learn through doing and boost chances of employment.

“I think it is extremely important for students to undertake a placement because it will teach you valuable real world skills.

Many companies now look at what experience you have  before taking you on. They are more likely to choose you compared to someone who hasn’t got any experience, so a placement gives you an advantage.”

Josephine Goh

For additional tips and updates please visit our school blog and news pages, or come along to our next open day. Our staff are full of useful advice and are always happy to help.