LCF's BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development alumna Srishti Drolia was recently awarded the Pret-a-Porter Women bronze prize in the Fashion Designer category at the International Design Awards in Los Angeles.
She told LCF News about her experience at the international awards, unveiled details about her upcoming brand Do-Nuts Honey and her journey as a fashion entrepreneur.
Hi Srishti! You were recently awarded at the International Design Awards in Los Angeles. What does this achievement mean for you as a young designer?
It felt fantastic! Winning awards at an early stage is very motivating and inspires me to keep going. It was an extremely proud moment for me to have won this award. Thanks to this recognition, my brand Do-Nuts Honey was featured on many international websites and social media platforms, giving it international exposure.
Tell us a bit more about your brand. How did you come up with the idea for Do-Nuts Honey?
Do-Nuts Honey is a womenswear affordable luxury brand, which revolves around quirky designs, vibrant colours, high quality trendy pieces.
The idea for the brand came up when I was in my final year at LCF. In the previous years, I feared playing with colours as it can either make or break a collection. I played safe until my tutor Katriona Flynn encouraged me to experiment more with colours.
Now, if you see my brand, it is all about vibrancy. Jokingly, my course leader James Hamilton Butler said, “I have to wear my sunglasses to look at your collection, as it is so bright!” They motivated me to cross that threshold of fear and now colours makes me feel liberated.
How has the experience of creating your own label been so far?
It has been an incredible journey, with both ups and downs. Doing something of your own can be the most extricating drive in your life. One can proudly say, “It's mine and I own it.” There is freedom to experiment and design something that I truly enjoy and express myself through the garments I create. Being recognised by different international opportunities has been very exciting. However, sometimes it is daunting to face the initial challenges.
From designing, finding correct fabrics, to production, everything needs to be taken care of. It requires a lot of research and sleepless nights but I have a great vision for the brand and I am sure I'll achieve it.
What makes Do-Nuts Honey unique?
Do-Nuts Honey is a very quirky, sassy and a playful brand that targets a young audience, characterised by its brightly coloured collections and contrast textures. The brand was created to influence and empower women to make a fashion statement through its bold and vivid impressions — it's a brand for a woman who feels confident to stand out in the crowd.
Let’s talk a little bit about your time at LCF. Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, little had I known I was destined to be in the fashion industry. Although, I remember being inspired by designers from all around the world and followed Ashish Gupta, my favourite, since I was a child.
What made you choose LCF?
My mom told me if I had to do fashion, it had to be at one of the best colleges. I applied at LCF as it is one of the most renowned colleges around the world for fashion and I was fortunate enough to get in.
My time at LCF flew by! It played a crucial part in my journey of becoming a fashion designer. Support from tutors, technicians, course leaders and friends consistently kept me going.
What was the best part of your time at uni?
Learning from life experiences of various guest lectures was not only motivating, but it also changed my perspective of doing business in fashion. The final year was my favourite — we were all focused on our own projects but it was incredible to see everyone working so hard, which created an exciting vibe.
LCF became a home away from home, where I spent most of my days, learning and growing.
What was the biggest lesson you learned at BA Fashion Design and Development?
Apart from designing, my course focused on marketing — developing a product and knowing how to sell it helps to identify a specific market that you want to target. It also provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with different brands in the industry like Marks & Spencer and JD Williams.
During my placement with Aesthetic Laundry I learned important insights of the fashion industry. The creative director and founder of the brand, Heidi May, empowered me to work on different subjects. Her trust in me fuelled my confidence to launch my own brand.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in the fashion industry and launch their own brand?
If you think you have something new to offer in the market, just do it! Don't be afraid of doing something new — be yourself and do what you believe in. Also, patience is key. The fashion industry can look very glamorous from the outside but it requires consistent hard work. Have an open mind, plan well, trust your vision, work hard, enjoy the journey and own it.
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