|Fashion panel: OPs sharing their experiences of working in the fashion industry|
On a Friday afternoon just before half term, an audience of budding fashion hopefuls gathered in the DRT for the British Fashion Industry Seminar. The crowd was only in part made up of Grammar School students; other Portsmouth school pupils were invited, as well as OPs.
|Penny Mordaunt MP|
Simon Ward, OP and former head boy, fashion guru and Chief Operating Officer of the British Fashion Council, then enthusiastically presented a short description of his life’s work, internships and finally London Fashion week. He introduced the 5 panellists, OPs who have left PGS within the last decade and are each in different ways pursuing a successful career within the fashion industry: Misli Akdag, based in New York where she works freelance in TV and film; Emily Garrod, who has set up her own business as a bespoke designer and dressmaker; Daisy Harris-Burland, who has set up her own company, Dumpster Design (who recently won the 'Radical Designer of the Year' with her Seven Deadly Sins collection); Emily Morgan, who has pursued a successful management career at John Lewis and Waitrose; and Maisie Skidmore, who is an editorial assistant at London-based publishing platform, It's Nice That.
|Simon Ward OP offers career advice to PGS pupils|
So is it hard to get into the fashion industry? In short, yes, but it doesn’t mean that you can not achieve it. The main message we took away from the afternoon, is if you believe and try hard enough, then you will be able to make it. Always be pro-active and keen to try new experiences and talk to people who know what it’s like. The OPs in the industry all agreed it was not the easiest of jobs despite its reputation:“95% work and 5% glamour”. The industry is certainly not for the lazy; the work day stretches far beyond 9-5, and most have not heard of the concept of the weekend. On the other hand, even with the stress and commitment to the industry, to have a job that you absolutely love and have a genuine passion for is worth that extra effort.
|Some designs by Daisy Harris-Burland, founder of Dumpster Design|
See also Charlotte Povey's article, How to Make It in British Fashion