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30 under 30: Ayesha Atlee

Colour, material and trend designer, Puma, aged 24

Ayesha Atlee

Ayesha Atlee

It’s not difficult to see why Ayesha Atlee is a future star. To secure herself an internship in the industry, she travelled to Amsterdam, after struggling to get a placement back home in the UK. “After graduating [with a BA in Product Design and Digital Modelling at Liverpool John Moores University], I was struggling to find an internship in the UK, so I took the leap and moved to Amsterdam,” she explains. “I used LinkedIn to find and research design agencies and companies around Amsterdam. I then cycled to each business, introducing myself and handing in my CV. After just one hour I had secured myself a paid internship at SunIdee, a strategic innovation and marketing agency.”

Back in the UK, Atlee secured her first job in fashion as a colour and material designer for Lacoste footwear. “I was responsible for the seasonal colour and material direction 24 months ahead for the largest and most profitable footwear range within Lacoste. I learned a lot about footwear, commercialism and materials,” says Atlee. “Colour and material design is much more than just designing a cool-looking sneaker, you need a commercial understanding and an analytical aspect to you. I’d strongly recommend working in stores alongside studying - it gives you an understanding of consumers and people’s buying habits to help when creating a range.”

Atlee has already made a strong impression since joining Puma in September 2013. “Despite a quick introduction to the company and our method of working, Ayesha has put her own stamp on the colour and materials department,” says Rachel Alsbury, creative director, lifestyle. “She has an unusual combination of creativity, pragmatism and supreme organisational ability, which makes her a valuable asset to any company and ensures she’ll move swiftly up the ladder into a managerial position as her career progresses.”

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