Sofia was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, however, she wanted to study abroad. She chose MSc International Fashion Management (now MSc Strategic Fashion Management) at London College of Fashion and was inspired to start her own brand, incorporating it into her studies. Since graduating in 2017 she has launched MEHROTRA - a clothing brand which combines inspiration from her mixed Indian and Swedish heritage. She tells us more about her time at LCF and her experience of starting her own brand.
Why did you choose to study at LCF?
I always wanted to live and study abroad, and what I wanted to study did not exist in Sweden, where I lived, when I was about to start my studies.
Why did you decide to study MSc International Fashion Management (now MSc Strategic Fashion Management)?
When I found out about the course International fashion management at LCF it seemed like the perfect fit for me and what I wanted to do in the future.
It was a course where I would learn about the business side of the fashion industry, which has always interested me, and at the same time it had elements where I would be able to develop my creativity.
What did you enjoy the most about your course?
The course at LCF allowed me to explore many different areas within the business of the fashion industry. It gave me a lot of opportunities to learn from different projects to find what I was most passionate about.
Which topic did you explore for your final major project?
I decided to do a practice based project for my finals project. The main topic of my final project was Launching MEHROTRA in the Swedish market and planning for brand development. I chose to do so since I had already started to develop my own label alongside my studies.
At first it was hard to understand how to execute the research and how to put it all together since a practice based project was different from a traditional thesis, which was the main format we had been using throughout our studies. As soon as I got my head around it, it was all pretty clear. Throughout the research process I got the opportunity to learn about my target audience more in depth and the market I was going to enter. The practice based project was the perfect opportunity to test my idea and to tailor it around the results I got from my research.
It was a lot of work and many different aspects to consider throughout the research process, however it was all manageable since I straight away could relate it to a real-life project.
What was the best piece of advice you received from a lecturer during your time at LCF?
Don’t complicate everything just for the sake of it.
What have you been working on since finishing your course?
I have been focusing on and working with MEHROTRA 100% since the day I graduated. I founded MEHROTRA when I was still at LCF, developing my first products in London, designing the brand logo and starting to create the MEHROTRA universe. Later I based my finals project on my newly founded label. After graduating it felt like a natural choice to continue working on MEHROTRA.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
Yes, I did. However, I did not always know in which field within fashion I wanted to pursue a career, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be more creative or strategic in my work, starting my own label has allowed me to be both on a daily basis.
For you, what's the best thing about your profession?
One of the best things about my job is the freedom to create and develop a label based on what I feel is lacking within the fashion industry.
As a new small label, we have the opportunity to be a part of a slowly changing fashion industry, focusing on sustainability and doing so from the beginning one step at the time.
Moreover, for me my job has also allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people. I have experienced that people are extremely willing to help and encourage you as a new and young brand. And getting to meet people within the industry, learning from them, is an education in itself, which I at this stage in my career am extremely grateful for, and see as one of the best things with my job at the moment.
What are your plans for the next few years? Where would you like to see yourself professionally?
Within the next coming years we are focused and a well-established brand within our home markets, and hopefully starting to enter other markets.
I would like to see myself exploring new opportunities in terms of collaborations both between MEHROTRA and other brands/designers, but also personally connecting with other start-up brands entering their journey within the fashion industry.
What advice would you give to potential students who would like to enrol on this course?
Use your creativity to explore, try and learn as much as you possibly can while undertaking the course at LCF. Take all opportunities you get to expand your knowledge and interact with people who you can learn from and collaborate with.