I’m Chloe, I’m 16, I’m currently studying Fashion and Clothing at New College Stamford and I recently got the opportunity to work alongside Yours Clothing.
Every year Yours Clothing run a competition for Stamford students to design and present a collection that would be suitable for commercial sale within their company and this year, it was my turn.
At the start of May, myself and the rest of my class were given the daunting task of designing a collection for Yours using only Computer Aided Design. This involved learning completely new software as well as actually building a collection for a huge company and finally presenting our work to the head team at Yours. Needless to say I was petrified and unconvinced that I’d ever be able to produce work anywhere near the standard of previous students but after several days and many hours of swearing at computers, we all began to find our feet and were able to start designing.
Taking inspiration from Catwalk, Street Style and present high street trends, everyone’s collections started to form. Mine, however, did not. No matter how hard I worked nothing seemed to fit and feel right and before I knew it we had our first trip down to Yours HQ.
Packing into a mini bus, with the promise of biscuits at the other end, we drove to Peterborough and got a full tour of the company, we saw the vast amount of people working behind the scenes and finally, we met Andrew, the owner of Yours Clothing. As we sat spread around the long table that took centre place in Andrew’s office, I’ve never witnessed the group so quiet. He re-explained our task and we all anxiously scribbled everything he was saying as he broke down who our customer was and what she wanted. After listening to Andrew it became clear to me where I wanted to go with my collection and with a lot more direction I headed to tumblr.
I messaged bloggers, sent e-mails, produced surveys, even broke my tumblr ask box and the response I got was phenomenal. With every new person I was speaking to I became more inspired and more driven to produce a collection that YOU wanted. I suddenly felt so passionate about plus size and worked till late every night for a week to get the collection finished for the rapidly approaching deadline.
After a few sleepless nights and countless cups of coffee, on the 19th of June we were ready to present. Shaking from either nerves or the caffeine we sat with our boards drawing numbers to determine the order. I was forth. Great. I stumbled into the next room met by my lecturers, the head of buying and the facilities manager. The next ten minutes are a blur but I find myself walking out of the room incredibly happy, honestly shocked that someone liked my work and an offer to blog for Yours.
With my new found confidence I headed down on my own to live in London for a week and attended a Fashion Design course at Central St Martins. When I returned, I received a call saying that Andrew loved my work and wanted to offer me a position as Office Junior as an opportunity to learn more about a company that is just as passionate about plus size as I am and see just how much work goes on. Since then I’ve had the chance to shadow buyers, marketing and even see one of the photo-shoots. I’ve now been asked to design a real collection of tops and although I’m incredibly nervous, I’m excited to be working for Yours.
I learnt so much from the whole experience. Being able to design directly for a customer that I can talk to and get inspired by is a real privilege. Hopefully by blogging that opportunity will only continue to grow. SO! Leave a comment letting me know what you want to see from Yours Clothing and keep an eye out.