Tosin & Paul

Tosin Mogaji studied BA (Hons) Fashion: Design Technology (Footwear Design) at London College of Fashion. He was mentored by Paul Austin - Senior Menswear Designer for DKNY Jeans. The pair tells us about their experience of being mentor and mentee.

Tosin

Tosin tells us about the value of mentoring in order to understand the job market and gain employment.

Who was your mentor?

Paul Austin

Why did you want a mentor?

I mainly wanted advice/ support during my job search, from someone already working in the fashion industry.

Tell us about your experience of being mentored.

Paul has been so helpful. He has given me advice from job hunting to portfolio presentation.

Has the experience been a success and would you recommend it to others?

Yes, definitely!

What have you gained from having a mentor?

Insight into other ways of gaining employment. Having my questions answered, feedback on portfolio presentation and design projects etc.

How did LCF Careers support you as a mentee?

They gave advice on looking for work, lots of great workshops during my final year, CV checks etc.

How valuable is mentoring to students wanting to get into the industry today?

Very - especially when looking for your first design job.

What course are you studying / did you study at LCF?

Cordwainers Footwear Design (Top Up)

What was your experience of studying at LCF like?

I enjoyed learning about the footwear industry, developing my style in footwear design and learning how to construct different types of shoes.

What makes a good mentor?

Someone you can ask for advice/ feedback, and is willing to share their own experiences.

Paul

Paul is Senior Menswear Designer for DKNY Jeans and studied at LCF. He discusses the experience of being an LCF mentor and what he gained from it.

What’s your role, who do you work for and who did you mentor?

Currently I work as a Senior Menswear Designer for DKNY Jeans and I mentored Tosin Mogaji, a BA footwear design student.

Why did you decide to become a mentor for an LCF student?

The opportunity to mentor an LCF student appealed to me because I naturally enjoy sharing my experiences and discussing others ideas so I can help as best as I can to help them achieve their goals. Particularly when they are fresh out of studying and about to throw themselves into the competitive fashion industry which I know from personal experience is a daunting prospect.

Tell us about your experience of mentoring. How valuable is mentoring to students wanting to get into the industry today?

As a mentor, I wanted to give the students the opportunity to ask questions to someone who has been in their shoes, in an informal environment so they feel at ease with presenting their work in front of their peers and building their confidence. These are the kind of skills they will need when attending future interviews so I think it serves as a ‘dress rehearsal’ and an opportunity to reflect on what they have achieved at LCF and how to push it forward.

What did you and your organisation gain from the experience and would you recommend it to others?

Seeing the excellent work of LCF students is rewarding for me, because it allows me to see the level that graduating students are at. Where possible, it also allows me to consider students for any future opportunities in the industry within my own network. I would recommend it because no matter what stage you’re at in your career. I fully promote discussion and learning with likeminded individuals, because meeting people and talking openly has so far worked best for me in my own career.

How did LCF Careers support you as a mentor?

The support from LCF Careers is always clear, and they are always on their game to receive feedback and push the mentoring scheme forwards which is reassuring to see and can only lead to positive results.

What makes a good mentee?

I was lucky to have an excellent, well rounded variety of mentees who were punctual, open to new ideas and willing to learn from all the feedback on offer in the room from either myself or their peers. I even set them a project as part of the sessions, so the level of dedication and clear vision of what they wanted to do following LCF was refreshing to see and made my job all the more enjoyable.

Did you study at LCF and if so, which course did you study and what was your experience at LCF like?

I studied MA Fashion Design and Technology at LCF and have only good memories of my time there. My current job role was only possible through meeting another alumni of LCF who was working in New York, so I believe that shared experience and meeting new people is a sure fire way to hear of opportunities in the fashion industry.