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I’m Albana! I graduated in 2018 from BA Fashion Contour with a First Class Honours. I own my own luxury swimwear brand Swim by Alba which I launched summer 2019. I also work as a Fashion Stylist for my private clients and as a Support Technician for Contour!
During my final year at LCF my project was Swim by Alba, so for that year I was working on the Brand development during the first term, development during the second and creating the final collection in the third term. This really helped me with launching my brand in 2019 as I had already come up with the brand ethos, values, consumer market, product pricing etc beforehand. Once graduated, I spent a year sampling the collection, fit tests with models and researching factories and manufacturers for my fabric and materials. A year after graduating I finally was able to launch the brand.
I always knew I wanted to do something fashion related and whilst studying I was working in retail at a luxury department store and worked my way up the company. By the time I was in my final year I had been promoted to Senior Stylist of the Styling department and had built a large black book of clientele.
In final year I decided swimwear was the path for me and I was so excited to create contemporary, minimal swimwear for my private clients made from the most gorgeous fabrics. I knew I wanted to start my own brand as opposed to working for someone else as I really enjoy a challenge and I am very passionate about my brand.
We have a really interesting project coming up which will open our clientele to the transgender market… I can’t say anything more for the moment but I am very excited for this next drop!
In the next few years I would love to see my brand reach further customers internationally, specifically the Australian market as they have gorgeous oceans and swimwear is an everyday piece of clothing for them!
LCF is a world-renowned fashion university and I knew I wanted to go to the best place possible.
During my foundation course I was working as a Swimwear and Lingerie sales assistant and I think subconsciously this gave me ideas when designing and creating as my work was very contour-based. I didn’t know Fashion Contour existed and when I heard about it and I applied instantly!
The course taught me so much, I really loved how supportive all of the tutors and technical staff were. It made going into university and working on projects very enjoyable and rewarding. I have made some amazing friends who are creatives just like me and we always keep in touch as a few of us have launched small businesses and it’s so amazing to see each other doing so well!
Most definitely the final project in final year. I think all of the years prior to that just build you up as a designer and creative and you are taught so much so by the time you get to final year you have all of the information and knowledge to help you.
It’s better to hand in something than nothing! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to showcasing initial or final designs, even simple sketches are better than nothing.
Give it your all. Being dyslexic and also having a job whilst in final year made it very challenging. But I would take it very seriously and spend 12 hours each day working on my collection. The first class honours didn’t come easy but if you really want it it’s very much possible!