Placement Stories: Prima Jiraruangkiat's experience at Monad and Puma
- Written byM. Ashton
- Published date 12 December 2022
For many of you studying with LCF, going on placement is a vital part of your experience at university. It gives you the chance to understand working culture and get to know companies, freelancers and thought leaders in your fields, who can help you kick-start your career. We caught up with final year BA Fashion Sportswear student, Prima Jiraruangkiat, to find out more about her time working with Monad and Puma, and how it has shaped her as a designer as she enters her final year of study with LCF.
Can you tell us about your journey with LCF so far?
I started at LCF in the International Preparation for Fashion course at the Mare Street campus which coincidentally is where I am currently studying to finish my final year course. It feels like a sweet nod to my final year journey which makes me think about the time that has passed so quickly. It feels surreal to be finishing so soon as I was really only at campus for about a year of my BA course due to covid and then the placement year.
How did you find the placement preparation process?
We were given guidance from the Diploma in Professional Studies team on forming our portfolios, interviews and studio working practices prior to our application process which gave me more confidence in working in industry. The most difficult part of the process was the application and the security around the opportunities given. As circumstances changed so quickly, the low demand for interns at the time due to covid in combination with increased travel restrictions, was very challenging. At one moment I was in the position of turning down one opportunity for another, and in the next I was not able to do a placement year at all, instead sending out 30 applications within weeks.
What were your duties while working industry?
I managed to secure a 4 month internship at Monad in London, a tailoring based design studio ran by Daniel Olatunji. As the business was small I was involved in every process from pattern cutting, toiling and construction of garments made for clients and stockists in Japan. I also photographed and collaborated on creating Monad’s lookbook which was sent to its major stockists. During my 6 months at Puma, I worked within the motorsports team but was also given the opportunity to work on eSports and creative direction for the motorsports department. I initially worked on supporting creative direction for the Porsche Legacy line and progressed to assisting the head designer, and supporting the whole team’s creative direction.
Prior to my departure, I also worked on the colour direction proposals across Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW for Spring/Summer 2024, which was presented to other head designers and the colour director at Puma. I was also given the opportunity to design key pieces in the collections releasing in Autumn/ Winter 2023.
Simultaneously, I designed the eSports gaming team kits, as well as supporting the development process of their lifestyle range through communication with the gaming teams. I was also given the opportunity to design a whole collaboration gaming lifestyle collection.
How has LCF supported you with your career aspirations so far?
The entire placement year experience has been incredible, being able to experience a contrast of environment from Monad to Puma was truly eye-opening. At my experience at Puma, I was offered the opportunity to collaborate with Puma motorsports for my final year collection and was also asked to stay on with them longer and extend my placement. I have built an incredible relationship with those I have worked with at both Monad and Puma, and I don’t think I would have been able receive the same opportunities and the same enriching experience if it was not for the placement year.
What was the best thing about your placement experience?
Adapting to different environments and being able to meet people from different backgrounds were some of the best aspects of the placement year. At Monad, I was really inspired by Daniel’s craft, the care and attention that goes into his work and seeing his pieces being sold to those who appreciated the details. It showed me another aspect of fashion, the truly slowed down craft, the hand finished clothing which is rare to come by nowadays.
Working at Puma was such a thrilling experience, working as part of a team where things are constantly progressing. Being a part of a group with different personalities was an interesting experience, everyone had something different to offer. I was treated like an equal and part of one big family. It was incredible to be working across so many different projects at the same time, it was such a thrill and I was constantly learning. In addition, through organising my final design collection with Puma, I was also able to present my project to the directors of motorsports as well as the creative director at Puma for their approval and insights into the project.
What have you found out about yourself through this process?
The application process has taught me more than I could ever imagine and has put post university job applications into perspective and the unpredictable circumstances that could happen. I was competing against graduates, and others with more experience, I realised it really comes down to brands seeing our potential and the ability to fit as part of their team.
I was honestly surprised about the opportunities I was given as an intern working whilst along individuals with decades of experience. I felt truly honoured to be given the opportunity to do my graduation project with them as it was not something Puma had ever done before. I discovered my potential my capabilities as a designer, my strengths and weaknesses as well as the confidence to present my work and ideas.
How has completing a placement affected you as you begin your final year?
The placement year has provided me with more confidence in my garment making skills as well as design and creative direction skills. It has provided a sense of comfort in the strength of my portfolio as a designer post-graduation in terms of future jobs. I have also improved my confidence in communication, and my ability to articulate my ideas which is incredibly important when presenting work. I utilised the placement year to develop my own design language which then helped to strengthen the personality in my final year design work.
What advice would you give to other students looking to do a placement?
- Apply early, I started looking for placements a year prior, researching jobs positions, what each position entails and the skill requirement and or the position. It gave a perspective on what I needed my strengths to be for a particular job and what I needed to improve on.
- Apply everywhere and try something different, this is one of those rare moments where the doors are open and you’re able to discover yourself, it might not be what you hoped for but it will be what you needed.
- Don’t be discouraged and persevere, the hard work really pays off.
- Go into an internship with no expectations and you’ll learn so much.
Thanks so much for sharing your placement experience with us Prima, and good luck with your final year!
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