A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Fashion Design graduate is scouting for the next generation of fashion designers as part of her role at clothing brand Superdry.
After graduating from DMU in 2013, Lizzie Arthur worked for jersey supplier Knitmania and then moved to Superdry as a trainee designer before progressing to the role of assistant designer and her current position as a womenswear designer.
Lizzie, from Devon, spent four years at DMU studying for a Foundation Diploma and then a Fashion Design degree.
She was highlighted as one of the UK’s top three brightest fashion graduates by the London Evening Standard ahead of the 2013 Graduate Fashion Week, where fashion students from across the country show off their work.
She is now looking forward to returning to London for next month’s Graduate Fashion Week, but this time in a very different role.
While final-year Fashion Design students from DMU are showcasing their collections, Lizzie will be there to promote Superdry’s brand and scout for exciting new fashion talent.
Lizzie says she ‘loved’ studying at DMU and credits her time in Leicester as setting her up for a successful career in the fashion industry.
“The course was great and I could do my foundation diploma first for a year and have access to the ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and print studios. It meant I was really well prepared for the fashion degree and I was encouraged to try so many different areas.
“At DMU we worked on different projects throughout the year so we were able to develop lots of different skills.
“Most of the work I do now is computer-based to sketch out designs and at DMU we had CAD lessons which have turned out to be really useful.”
During her time at DMU Lizzie also prepared herself for a career in fashion by undertaking work experience placements with high street retailer Next, where she spent time in both the design and garment technology departments, and London-based high-end label Peter Pilotto.
She said: “Della Swain, who was my tutor and the programme leader for the course, always pushed everyone to go for work experience. That’s why I did so much at Next and then went to London to work at Peter Pilotto.
“I was able to get some great experience of high-end fashion and also retail experience – you need as much experience as you can get. It helped that I was able to try different things, see what I enjoyed doing most and decide what area I wanted to work in.”
Lizzie now works as part of a team of around 50 designers at Superdry and is delighted to be working for a company where she gets the support she needs to succeed and continue improving.
“It’s an amazing place to work” she said. “We get to travel a lot to visit all of our suppliers in different territories like India and Istanbul. We also get to go on inspirational travel around the world to look at what people are wearing out on the streets and what other retailers are pushing.
“It’s really exciting. Our brand is constantly evolving and trying to push the boundaries with our designs. It’s great to work for a brand that is always moving and trying new things.”
“We’re encouraged to be very creative and try as many exciting things as possible. At the moment sustainability and recycling is on everyone’s minds and we are focusing on this with an ambition to use 100% organic cotton for all our jersey ranges.”
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DMU students will present their designs on the catwalk of Graduate Fashion Week on Tuesday 5 June and Lizzie believes it will provide a great platform for their future fashion careers.
She said: “I would advise students attending Graduate Fashion Week to try and meet as many industry people as they can and ask as many questions as possible about what they want to do.”
“When you get to Graduate Fashion Week it can be quite overwhelming, so try and talk to people who are in the industry at the moment and get as many questions answered as you can."
Posted on Wednesday 23rd May 2018