Meet: Janet Sartor
Janet graduated from BA (Hons) Fashion: Fashion Design Womenswear at Central Saint Martins in 2015. Since then she has gone on to become a Studio Manager at Xu Jhi Studio Limited in London.
What was the most important thing you learnt while studying at UAL?
UAL really taught me to be open at 360°.
Cultural and creative stimulation are the base of any course and how great is the possibility of doing basically anything you want, with the support of professionals and technicians?
It makes you more open to other conclusions, checking out other possibilities for the making process or just at looking at things in a different way. It certainly makes you feel quite confident and unique.
How do you think your time at UAL has impacted your life and work?
All the experiences and projects I have been through changed my mind set and so it did and still does affect both my personal and professional life.
I studied fashion but surely the experiences I had taught me a way of seeing and creating things that can be applied to any field. It made me conscious of the endless different ways of how you can reach point B from point A. We all create products but how we get there is actually really personal and different.
The industry then on the other side tends to standardise this process in order to deal with tight deadlines. So, getting into the habit of that thinking is crucial for someone who wants to keep himself creative. And also, right now, is it not all about the process? People want to be involved in what brands are doing to get to the final product that they are buying. They crave for a story and they want to be part of that: they want to know where their food is coming from, how their bag has been stitched and from who and so on.
From a more personal point of view UAL is a great community, it feels like a big family! Meeting people with the same interest and same passion is really energising plus how great and inspirational is it to make friends from all around the world?
I come from a small village in Italy so I was not really stimulated by different cultures. Now every time I travel or think about going somewhere I have someone linked with that place that I can visit. It feels like everywhere is home!
You have had a very interesting career since graduating. Can you talk us through your journey from graduation to where you are now?
I always had something else on the side while I was studying. I am the person with a plan B set up already in my mind before plan A is even started!
While I was studying full-time at Central Saint Martins I also really wanted to deepen my research skills. I did a Trend Forecasting short course and started straight away interning at WGSN womenswear department, and then freelancing for TheNextBigThing, (which is not related to fashion at all which I find refreshing). This is something I still do on the side of my current full time job as it keeps me updated with what’s going on in the world.
After graduation I got a temporary job at Alfred Dunhill in their fabric archive. It was mainly a translating job from Italian to English as their production is over there but at the same time I had the opportunity of being in the middle of the entire Dunhill archive collections of vintage garments and beautiful objects from bags, hats, interior design pieces to super luxury groom’s tools from the early 1900s. At that time I was also teaching Fashion Design Development and portfolio making in an International school. I love keeping myself busy!
When the Dunhill project ended I started working for Benoit Missolin, a french millinery artist. I was working with him designing and producing hats and head pieces plus external collaboration like redesigning Cartier’s Groom Uniform or unique hats for musicals or photoshoots.
Then I received the offer of working as Studio Manager for XuZhi that I took straight away! I thought it was the right moment for me to take the next step: I was used to working in a team but not actually managing one!
I am so sincerely grateful for all those opportunities of growing as a professional and human being.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Thinking that I had to apply for intern jobs and actually getting a job as Studio manager, pretty unexpected!
Where do you find inspiration today?
In experiences that involve the 5 senses and silence. I suffer from visual bulimia sometimes. I have this relationship of hate and love with technology: the Internet creates this fascinating endless visual bazaar that I find overwhelming most of the time.
What are your plans for the future?
To combine work and travel, to work on sustainable projects and also to collaborate with non-fashion houses.