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Shelby is living the dream at Gap's New York office this summer

A fashion student from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is living the dream this summer after embarking on an internship at one of America’s best-known fashion labels in one of the world’s most buzzing cities.

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Fashion Design BA (Hons) student Shelby Wasden is completing an eight-week work placement at global clothing and accessories brand Gap, one of the most lucrative clothing retailers in the USA.

Shelby is based at the GapFit menswear department - its fitness clothing line - at the firm’s HQ in Lower Manhattan.

The 21-year-old, who is from Sheffield, has secured the all-expenses paid placement as part of a link-up between DMU and the company which dates back to 2012.

Shelby was chosen from more than 100 second-year students at DMU after impressing during a thorough selection process.

She had to create a concept and design a three-piece collection to submit to Gap and then won through to the next stage – an interview at Gap’s London head office to talk through her portfolio with its global talent scout. After impressing there, she then had a successful Skype interview with a Gap senior designer in New York.

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Her placement started on 12 June and runs until 4 August. Gap have arranged for her to stay in an apartment with fellow interns around 30 minutes from the New York office.

“I am extremely excited and overwhelmed by it all, it still hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m living and working in New York City,” said Shelby, who received the good news in late April.

“I couldn’t quite believe it. It was a shock as I didn’t expect to be luckily enough to be chosen for an opportunity for an internship abroad, especially in NYC!”

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While there, Shelby is getting the chance to work alongside the design team for GapFit menswear while also reporting back to the department’s senior designer. She will also work on a side project with other Gap interns which will be presented at the last stage of the work placement.

Shelby’s particular interests within fashion revolve around the concept, design and development process. She explained: “I love seeing my designs brought to life. My work is very much driven by colour, textiles and textures of fabrics. Since I started the second year at DMU, I decided I wanted to be a menswear designer, but as my designs and my aesthetic are very elaborate I do like to see them on both men and women.”

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Her dream job would be working as a fashion or print designer for a high street brand as she wants to create clothes that are affordable for everyone – one day she would love to create her own menswear brand.

Aside from work, the plethora of tourist sights on offer in New York City are an understandable attraction with Shelby particularly interested in visiting the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

“I had never visited New York before, but I have always wanted to travel around America at some point after university. I feel so lucky to be given this opportunity to live in New York for two months over summer,” she added.

DMU’s Fashion Design students get to visit the Gap HQ in New York each year during #DMUglobal trips and several of the course’s students were among the more than 1,000 students and staff who visited the city as part of the university’s biggest-ever overseas trip in January.

Founded in 1969, Gap also owns the Banana Republic and Old Navy brands. It has nearly 3,700 stores in 50 countries across the world and employs around 135,000 people – or around half the population on Leicester.

Posted on Thursday 29th June 2017

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