The Inspirational Speaker Award is one of our favourites in the Industry Partner Awards. We have had some amazing speakers offering advice, insight and motivation over the last year making it tough to pick a winner. However after a lot of debate and student votes we are pleased to announce that James Waller of Blood Brother is our IPA Inspiration Speaker 2015. Here LCF News speaks to James about Blood Brother, his inspirations and his advice for students.
LCF News: How does it feel to win the Inspirational Speaker award?
It’s such an honour to be recognised for the award, even more so as I find public speaking really difficult! After being part of the university and seeing the roster of other speakers who offered their time it especially great.
LCF News: Please tell us about yourself and Blood Brother
Blood Brother is a independent London menswear fashion brand which produces high quality apparel footwear and accessories for men. We’re based in Shoreditch in the same building as our head office so we design and sell in the same space. We also wholesale the collections into 25 countries and work with some of the best stores around the world.
LCF News: How did you find working with LCF students?
It was a great experience to work with the people who are the future of the fashion industry. It’s always inspiring to hear new perspectives and to see so much passion and enthusiasm for the industry. The students are extremely talented and I got a real sense of their drive and ambition
LCF News: What is your advice to students entering the workplace?
Work very hard, be persistent and polite and do everything within your power to have the edge over other applicants. Try and enter a career or work placement with a bigger picture in mind. It is not where you start working but where you end up and what your personal end goal or position is. I previously worked for Diesel who invest heavily into the staff development and training. I would always recommend starting with a company like this or alternatively a small organisation which gives you direct interaction with key management or people who inspire you.
You live once and have to do your job every day until you retire so make sure you enjoy it.
LCF News: What inspires you?
I am inspired by seeing the underdog prevail. I also take inspiration from my friends and loved ones achieving their goals or learning skills I don’t have from them.
Highly commended in the Inspiration Speaker category include LCF alum Florence Adepoju, National Theatre’s Helen Casey, Tina Lilenthal, Simon Wright from Raw and Peter Ruis, CEO of Jigsaw. Thank you to all our speakers for their wealth of knowledge and inspiration.