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Drapers Next Gen: Drawing skills are still essential, says Oasis design director

Oasis design director Clive Reeve has said the two things he looks for in a potential new recruit are an ability to draw and a good portfolio.

Clive Reeve

Speaking at the Drapers Next Generation 2015 event in London, Reeve said designers may find themselves in factories in China or India where computer resources are not available, so must be able to express themselves in other ways, such as through drawing.

However, he said the industry has changed enormously since he graduated in 1990, with Oasis looking to things like Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration as much as more traditional sources such as exhibitions, films and archives.

To be a designer for the high street, he said you must “be resilient, be yourself, trust your instinct and love your customer”, adding: “When hiring a designer, I look for someone who is talented, quick witted, adaptable and who is going to fit in with the rest of the team.

“The best bits of working in a high street role is that it is so rewarding when you see someone in one of your designs, it is very democratic – so there is no room for prima donnas – and you get to travel.”

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