Oasis’s senior print designer learnt her trade at Liberty before moving on to the high street.
What does your diary look like today?
I’m starting to look at print ideas for next season. Last week the design team brainstormed the new stories and today I’ll meet with a couple of the fashion designers to pinpoint which prints need developing. There’s a strong trend for geometric prints, so I’ll be creating a few ideas along those lines this afternoon. We also have our weekly sales meeting where we see which products have been selling well. It’s always good from a buying perspective as it gives us a good insight into what styles sit best with our key consumer.
What meeting are you most looking forward to today?
I’m looking forward to brainstorming new ideas for the season. We have lots of new and exciting stories full of amazing prints.
How did you get to where you are today?
My parents both studied textiles at art school and encouraged me to pursue my interest in art and design. I studied for a degree in fashion and textiles in Birmingham and then moved to London to study for a master’s degree in textiles at Central Saint Martins. While doing my master’s I did some work experience at Liberty in London and a job came up in the textile archive assisting the archivist. I felt this was a good career move and decided to defer my master’s to take the job. It was an amazing place to gain knowledge of the history of prints. An opportunity then came along for a role in the Liberty design team and that’s where I started designing. I loved working at Liberty and stayed there for a long time before deciding to take a new challenge and move to designing for the high street. I relocated to Sweden where I designed prints for womenswear for H&M. After a couple of years I was missing London and decided to move back. It was perfect timing as a role at Oasis came up, which was great because the retailer’s mantra is all about print.
What has been your career highlight?
I’ve been lucky enough to work for some great businesses and I loved working at Liberty, especially because of its history, but equally I really enjoyed the experience of working abroad in Stockholm. Most recently it’s been amazing working at Oasis with such an inspiring team. We all work really closely together to ensure its values are maintained from season to season.
Who is your mentor?
I wouldn’t say I have one person in particular that I look to as an inspiration.
I’m lucky to have great friends and family who I’m able to talk ideas through with, and at work my design director Clive Reeve is always full of ideas and inspiration for new prints.
How do you see your career progressing?
I really enjoy the pace of the high street and the way you can react to sales. I’d eventually like to put my print and colour skills into managing a print department.
I also like the idea of teaching on a degree course one day to impart what I’ve learned over the years to new and emerging young talent.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
It’s very competitive to get a job in fashion and textiles so you have to be incredibly passionate about it.
I think the introduction of educational fees means young people will need to be more dynamic about the way they approach their careers and very sure in their decision making.
If you could work in another area of fashion, what would it be?
Perhaps having my own clothing and homeware store. I went to Antwerp recently and they have some really inspiring shops and galleries. I’d also like to work with technology product design and integrating print and colour into products, especially with processes such as 3D printing and laser cutting emerging.
- Salaries for this position range from £45,000 to £60,000 plus benefits (estimate by Le Pont)
2010 Senior print designer, Oasis, London
2007 Senior print designer, H&M, Stockholm
2000 Junior print designer, Liberty, London
1998 Assistant archivist, Liberty, London
1997 BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textiles, Birmingham City University
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