LCF alumna Basma is a lingerie designer working for a trend consultancy and preparing to launch her own brand.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us what you studied at LCF?
My name is Basma Masri, I’m a senior lingerie designer, currently working at Concepts Paris.
I studied BA (Hons) fashion contour and graduated with a distinction in 2013.
Since graduating, I have worked at La Perla, Ralph and Rousseau and taken part in Mare di Moda for the Lingerie link award (which I was awarded 2nd place) and taken part in the Art of Dress exhibition for LCF.
How did you find your time at the College?
My experience at LCF was wonderful, I feel I developed most as a young student under the brilliant guidance of Paul McNicholl, Linda Taylor, Linda wing and of course the brilliant Catherine Fuller.
Rob Phillips, is someone who always will continue to inspire my thought process too. He aided the development of my graduate work and Art of dress designs.
I did a placement after my second year at Courtaulds, where I worked closely with the T33 team for M&S. I worked alongside Nicola Johnson, who helped shape the designer I am today.
How would you describe the course and the teaching? Were there any standout staff members?
The staff really went above and beyond. They’re fountains of knowledge and I feel their patience was what really helped me - especially through my final year.
I couldn’t have got to where I am today without their constant belief in me and endless support.
What skills did you learn and are still using now?
I learnt to push myself and see outside the norm, which I feel helps in my workplace now, as I design for a trend consultancy which is always looking for something new.
Photoshop and illustrator skills are always developed too.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run a business?
My hunger to develop as a designer was initiated in my final year by a determination to learn business acumen; this was part of the catalyst that established 901 brand and began this journey.
I taught myself a lot of the computer skills I rely so heavily upon now, but drawing by hand and developing samples have always helped. It’s important to feel like you don't have to rely on an existing embroidery or lace design, and that you can design your own.
I have researched into branding and preparing my brand for launch, however It’s not quite the right time yet.
Who is your customer?
901 London is expected to launch soon, offering a modern and decadent twist on lingerie. The website and online presence has already begun to build momentum. 901 London is for the woman who understands the power that a well fitting and beautiful lingerie set can have and how it can bring out the best in her.
The versatility of the range allows the lingerie to effortlessly become outwear, when paired with the right look.
What have been the biggest challenges, if any, in building your career and business within the industry?
I believe the biggest challenge I face is knowing when the right time to launch is. I’m currently in trend and am always keeping my eye out, however there is a strength in the patience it’ll take to wait for the right moment to launch 901 London.
What’s the biggest highlight of your career to date? Why was it a highlight?
One of the biggest highlights to date was coming 2nd place at Mare Di Moda in 2013. I had many big brands such as Parah and La peril supporting my lingerie designs and congratulating me for my craftsmanship. I believe that people began to understand the art of my lingerie and it was nice to feel like they understood and appreciated the time and effort that had gone into making each piece.
Tell us about an average day at your job?
My current job consists of being up to date with what's going on in the lingerie & fashion world. I design garments from lingerie and swim to Pyjamas, lounge, print and embroideries and lace.
I sometimes have to sew samples for catwalk shows at interfilliere and for the trend books too.
I also illustrate for the trend books.
What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business or get into the industry?
Research and understand what your brand is about and stay true to your beliefs. It’s very easy to get caught up withe the trends and lose what made you unique.