Just as you do not have to be a musician to know and appreciate music, not being a fashion designer is not a barrier to loving and having a flair for fashion and design.
One former student from the Fashion Buying course at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is forging a promising career more from her passion for fashion than her design skills. Her drive and enthusiasm has already brought her experience working for a number of leading High Street names, beginning a new role with River Island in January this year. She only graduated last summer.
Georgina Smith was always into clothes and fashion but didn’t see herself as especially creative. What she did have, however, was a head for business and bucket loads of enthusiasm for the fashion industry. Being able to follow a marketing rather than a design pathway on the DMU degree suited her down to the ground.
After launching straight from her finals into a temporary job with ASOS, as a buying admin assistant in the ladies footwear department at their Camden head office, Georgina then took time out to travel across South East Asia, Indonesia and Australia for three months. She returned to take up her present role as a buyers’ clerk at River Island’s HQ, in Shepherd’s Bush.
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Georgina's department covers trousers, skirts, play suits and jump suits and working with suppliers from China, India, Turkey and Barcelona. She is in daily contact with the suppliers by phone and email, provides support for the senior buyers and designers who travel there and meets up with the suppliers when they come to the UK.
“I’m really enjoying it at River Island, I love the variety of the work and I’m very close to the product range, having daily contact with our suppliers and working with a really supportive team, learning so much,” said Georgina.
“It’s such a good atmosphere and I’m very much looking to stay and progress my career here.
“I chose to go to DMU because it not only offered a combination of creativity and business that was ideal for me but also featured a textiles pathway, which has really served me well in my work at River Island, plus a one-year placement which I was fortunate to do with Oasis, in London.
“It really was a great course, the careers guidance was good and my personal tutor was amazing. I’d definitely recommend the placement year because not only does it give you a real-life opportunity to learn about the business and develop your knowledge and skills, it also helps you to build your industry contacts.”
Georgina was able to make new contacts through her summer holiday intern work, as well, which included spells with Reiss and in the press office for the world-famous Liberty store, on Regent Street.
Her Oasis experience, which helped improve her retail maths and offered her a chance to work closely with the merchandising team, gave her the idea and material for her DMU dissertation on ‘Omni-channel Retailing’, covering the rise of mobile app technology and 90-minute delivery.
With its international supply chain, 350 stores in the UK and Ireland and across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as six websites dealing in four currencies, the world could well become Georgina’s oyster at River Island.
Posted on Thursday 16th July 2015