Brona - Styling for Success

Brona Cooley

Fashion Stylist at Gymshark

BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication

Brona wanted to use her creativity and fashion sense to build a successful career. BCU’s Fashion Branding and Communication course helped her push herself and become a great stylist. She now works in her dream role as a Fashion stylist at Birmingham-born multinational company Gymshark.

“I always saw myself having a future in fashion, but I wasn’t quite sure of my place in the industry. Before university, I did a Foundation Course in Art and Design at college which gave me the time to learn more about art, fashion and the career paths I could take.

Once I started my research, I began to move away from fashion design and found I was drawn to styling and fashion branding. BCU was one of the only universities local to me in Birmingham that offered the option of specialising in fashion branding and communication, so it was instantly my first choice!

I’m from Birmingham and know family and friends who have studied at BCU, they couldn’t recommend it enough and it made me really excited to start my studies and career.

The course starts by helping you to develop a good foundation of fashion knowledge and skills. I developed a passion for styling. I found I loved being on fashion shoots and working with the clothes rather than making them. I discovered that fashion styling still allowed me to use my creativity. I enjoyed coming up with concepts for shoots, co-ordinating the shoot and engaging with photographers, models and make-up artists. I really thrived in this area of fashion and knew I could make it my career.

My studies at BCU taught me to always perform to the best of my ability. I had great lecturers and they all really pushed me. They helped me constantly build on my skills. I had the opportunity to direct a fashion shoot in Digbeth, which is a really cool location, and I was excited to use the colourful street art to create a shoot.

However, after shooting, I was disappointed with how the work turned out. My lecturer pushed me to revisit the shoot, try again and learn from my mistakes. I revisited the shoot, and the end result was something I’m very proud of. The lecturers always pushed me to experiment and learn new things without the fear of making a mistake. They showed me that I’m talented and I’ll forever appreciate them for seeing the potential in me.

After graduating, I worked as a freelance stylist for a variety of brands before starting a role at Gymshark as a Styling Assistant. I’ve now been working at Gymshark for five years and worked my way up to become a Fashion Stylist.

My job at Gymshark is my dream role, it’s a brand that was born in Birmingham so I can still work locally whilst travelling to a variety of shoot locations around the world! I’ve met amazing talent and worked with fantastic people along the way.

If I could talk to an aspiring student who wants to work in the fashion world, I’d tell them that there are so many roles out there and so many exciting possibilities, no matter what it is about fashion that you enjoy.”