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CLASS OF 2016: Ellie's Tommy Hilfiger career takes off before graduation

Creative designs by one Contour Fashion graduate at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have catapulted her career as a designer for global Tommy Hilfiger brand before even receiving her diploma.

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Ellie with her designs modelled by DMU students

Ellie Carta took off for Amsterdam at the start of the month to take up the position of assistant underwear designer at the Tommy Hilfiger headquarters, where she will have the chance to work on men’s, women’s and kids underwear, loungewear and sportswear.

The 21-year-old, who graduates with a First class honours degree today and has flown back especially to attend her graduation ceremony, said: “I’m overwhelmed, but so happy to end my degree with a job. It’s what everyone wants!

“I’m so excited about working for a multinational brand and look forward to living in and exploring Amsterdam.”

Representatives from the design team at Tommy Hilfiger decided to recruit a candidate exclusively from DMU’s world-renowned Contour Fashion course, picking out Ellie’s and two other portfolios from an initial 12 presented to them.

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Ellie's luxury lace collection provided the perfect finale for DMU's annual Contour catwalk 

Following Skype interviews, Ellie and the two other students were invited to a face-to-face interview during last month’s highly-anticipated Contour Fashion catwalk in London, which Tommy Hilfiger also sponsored.

Ellie’s versatility pipped the others to the post, with her collections ranging from the luxury lace lingerie seen on the London catwalk to the luxe sportswear designed as part of a project for GAP.

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One of Ellie’s interviewers, senior designer at Tommy Hilfiger, Samantha Tretton, said: “I’m super excited about Ellie joining us. I think she’ll be a great addition to our team - she is passionate, creative and enthusiastic, and I believe she has the Tommy spirit!”

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As a DMU Contour Fashion graduate herself, Samantha felt nostalgic during the Contour catwalk, saying: “I could totally relate to the students and I thought this year’s show was absolutely amazing.

“I was completely blown away by the creativity and technical abilities showcased and I loved the mix of innovative lingerie, athleisure, and statement catwalk pieces.”

Ellie feels that the many commercial projects she was exposed to during her three-year course, working with big brands such as GAP and Gossard, helped prepare her for her career.

She said: “Contour Fashion gave us so many opportunities which helped us adapt to different brands’ needs and gave us with the exact skills needed for actual jobs.

“Every single project, from the technical parts to the presentations, prepared us for what happens in industry.”

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Learning to sell herself was another important skill that Ellie picked up during her time at DMU.

“All the presentations to industry that we gave built our confidence and taught us how to sell ourselves. The course changes the type of person you are in a really positive way,” said Ellie.

Gillian Proctor, DMU's programme leader for Contour Fashion, said: “Our course and Tommy Hilfiger have a well-established relationship staring when they took on their first DMU graduate Samantha Tretton, whose collection was showcased at our first ever London Catwalk.

“Since then, Tommy have incorporated a number of graduates into their underwear team.

“Ellie is a very talented student with a defined sense of sophistication, who will love working with the brand and enjoy the added experience of living and working in the vibrancy that Amsterdam offers. It’s a great first job.”

Posted on Wednesday 20th July 2016

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