Playful pyjama designs have led to a permanent role with a major high-street brand for Leah Thorn-Davis, just two years into her degree at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Posing with a couple of her designs
The Textile Design student is on an 11-month placement as a trainee designer in the nightwear department at Primark, where she has been designing pyjamas and their packaging, as well as supporting the team and departments such as womenswear and lingerie with essential tasks.
Since accepting the position, which she will start once she graduates in 2019, Leah’s designs have already appeared on the shop floor.
“My biggest achievement to date has been that so many of my designs have been adopted and taken forward into production. It’s been so exciting to see the journey from an idea to a product,” said the 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire.
“I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait to re-join this exciting and innovative team after I graduate. It removes all the anxiety of looking for a job while studying for my final year and will give me a really good direction for my projects.
Leah designed a 'lobster' T-shirt for a Friends collection
“My line manager, Lucy Freeth, has been an inspiration and so supportive, encouraging my development as a designer.
“I’m incredibly proud to have been given this opportunity. It’s a great feeling to have professionals, that I totally respect, believe in my skills and work before I’ve even graduated!”
Talented DMU students rewarded by supermarket giant
Unusual textile inspiration earns Juliet industry recognition
Creative designs by DMU students earn national recognition
Lucy Freeth, designer at Primark, said: “Leah has been a pleasure to work with since joining the team as our design intern. Managing to secure such a competitive position is purely through her hard work and sheer determination.
“During her time at Primark she has developed a commercial awareness, has shown a creative ability and strong focus, all while working in such a fast-paced environment.
“Leah’s designs have been some of our best-sellers, a huge achievement. We very much look forward to welcoming her back, ready to embark on a successful career here at Primark.”
Leah's sweet sausage dog pyjama design
Thanks to support from #DMUworks – the university’s initiative aimed at giving students the skills and qualities that employers look for - and her own tenacity, Leah previously completed a three-month placement at Unique Style Platform as a trend forecaster.
She said: “There have been so many highlights during my placement year. I thoroughly enjoyed researching trends, colour palettes and exhibitions for the London Design Festival during my time at Unique Style Platform.
“Additionally, I’ve worked alongside major brands such as Warner Brothers and Disney throughout my time at Primark, and was fortunate enough to experience Harry Potter World and a Star Wars virtual reality pop-up.”
Leah has come a long way since first starting her degree, saying: “I felt completely on the back foot as so many of my course mates had completed a foundation year.
“However, my tutors were very supportive and the Vijay Patel Building has been such an inspiring place to work in. I now feel ready to go back with confidence.”
Posted on Wednesday 15th August 2018