This week we are celebrating our Project Collaboration category of the LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards with insights from some of the winning companies.
LCF News caught up with Lucinda Hagan, a final year BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student who underwent a placement year at River Island. So, what’s it really like to enter the industry on work experience?…
LCF News: What placement option did you decide to choose?
LH: I opted to apply for a garment technologist position rather than a design one to enhance my technical skills in preparation for final year. I wasn’t entirely sure of the exact tasks I would be given or have to do on a daily basis but the teams I worked with were very supportive.
LCF News: How did you find the first few weeks in your placement?
LH: I felt at home straight away and it didn’t take long before I felt like a part of the team. My placement was 9-5 (lucky I know) after hearing about some other placements I realise how lucky I was! I looked after three clothing sectors within River Island as my own departments, once the team had seen I was capable.
LCF News: What jobs did you get asked to complete during your time at River Island?
LH: I was involved with fitting garments with the relevant designers and buyers from 1st to final pre-production samples, not only this, but also building professional relationships with them. I found working with suppliers challenging because there were often language barriers, although I found drawings to be very helpful! Test reports for each garment I fitted were also my responsibility. This would mean working with suppliers again to achieve a commercially acceptable washable garment.
LCF News: What have you learnt from your year in placement?
LH: I feel I have learnt an incredible amount from taking my year out in professional industry. I’ve learnt things academic education can’t teach you. Taking everything I’ve learnt and applying it into my final collection is what I’m most looking forward too.
LCF News: Advice for future students?
LH: I would advise anyone who has the chance to work in professional industry to do so, not only do you learn a lot, you network with so many different people who could be beneficial to you in the near future.
Be sure to keep track of our Industry Partner Awards on LCF News as next week we will be announcing our International Partner Award!