The Graduate Fashion Foundation charity is delighted to announce that from 12th – 16th November we will be running series of national masterclasses in partnership with Ralph Lauren. During the GFF tour we will be visiting five host universities and colleges across the UK and in total 20 Graduate Fashion Week member universities will have the opportunity to benefit from the advice and information presented.
From retail to marketing, photography to creative direction, the positions available in the industry are as varied as they are exciting. For the Inside View this week, we caught up with Rory James, Fashion, Portrait and Music Photographer. Published in Time Out, CLASH, Wonderland and more, he has been working with cultural icons since going freelance after a spell working in a London studio. From Emily Malice for his tattooist series to backstage at Ashish and Zandra Rhodes during London Fashion Week, Rory focuses on capturing the essence of popular culture, through music and fashion photography.
We caught up to hear more about shooting behind the scenes for Ivy Park, the liberating nature of freelance work, and how it felt flying to Sri Lanka to shoot the first Mercedes Benz Fashion Week there. Here, we find out why taking the time to get to know your subjects makes all the difference to the video, image and atmosphere of a shoot.
What is your job, and what does a normal day look like for you?
I’m a Freelance Photographer based in East London. It’s difficult to tell you about a normal day, as part of what I love about this job is that no two days are the same! A lot of time goes into planning shoots and projects. This can be anything from booking models and meeting with prospective clients to conceptualising my ideas and planning how to bring them into reality.
Why did you become a photographer?
Way back in college I wanted to study art but it became clear quite quickly that I had the ideas but none of the practical skills! So photography was for me a way to create things with a skill I already had. More recently, I went freelance as I love being able to choose when and who I work with. I don’t think I’d be very good in an office scenario!
What achievements in your career so far, are you most proud of?
As a photographer who works in many disciplines, my proudest achievements are varied. Shooting backstage at London Fashion Week was a big one for me. Being around the work of such talented designers as Ashish Gupta and Zandra Rhodes. Having my work featured by publications such as CLASH and Wonderland and Time Out is always a confidence boost!
What did you study at university and how has this helped you?
I studied Commercial Photography at Arts University Bournemouth which is a fantastic course, that I would recommend to anyone. Doing a degree so heavily focused on the modern industry is invaluable and gives you the prior knowledge to manage all parts of life as a freelance photographer further than the creative, such as the financial and business side along with marketing your work properly.
How did you decide to become a freelancer?
I worked for a bit of time in full time roles with prestigious photographers in their London studio, but decided that being freelance was the only way that gave me the freedom required to do this job well. It was tough at first, living in London with no guaranteed regular work but after a while, hard work and investment paid off! I would encourage any young creative to consider a freelance career path especially at a time when you’ve got nothing to lose and no major commitments. The current industry climate seems to be leaning this way with fewer full time photography contracts being handed out than ever.
What are the perks of the job?
The people. Every shoot I work with a varied group of people and as a portrait photographer, I take the time to get to know my subject whenever possible, in order for the photos to be personal to them and reflective of their personality.
How can a recent graduate or student gain experience in this area?
Assisting. Start assisting professional photographers as quickly as you can. I began at the beginning of my second year of uni and it gave me the experience and contacts I needed to go freelance quite soon after graduating. If you can’t assist them then ask them questions, get to know the people in the industry. It’s a small place but a few great chats here and there can go a really long way!
Words and interview by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins
As a designer for the high street, we caught up with Chloe Jones, alumni of GFW 2012 to learn more about her opinions on the sustainable fashion movement and why she’s living and working for the present moment. Imploring that the journey through a fashion career “might not always be how you expected it to be”, we discussed the innate differences between luxury brands and high street, and why Chloe feels the high street provides the opportunity for creativity to continually bloom.
Mike Key, has explored many different facets of the industry, from brand development to production, since showcasing at GFW in 2016. From working in mentoring and education to managing production for Liam Hodges, Mike is learning how to navigate the global industry in a post-Brexit world.
From what makes work fun, and how to get into the area, we caught up with Bex to discuss everything social, pop culture influencers and the huge transformation that has taken place across PR in the last few years. If you’re mad for social media and can’t get enough of the ‘gram, find out how to make it into your job in our latest Inside View!
The appointment of Louise Trotter as the Creative Director for Lacoste is revolutionary for the French brand. As the first female Creative Director in Lacoste’s 85-year history, expectations, for the new chapter she’s going to write, are high. Louise Trotter, will replace the Portuguese designer, Felipe Oliveira Baptista as leading the creative direction of the company. Trotter has big shoes to fill, as Oliveira Baptista his coined with establishing the popularity for the honoured Lacoste Polo.
Kendall Robbins, Senior Programme Manager at the British Council, works across several different areas- from curation, research, international markets and funding programmes to development, education, cultural relations and architecture, her role encompasses many areas of the fashion and design industry.
The fashion industry is nothing if not filled with creative people exploring and practising their craft in a multitude of ways, from photography and styling to curation and journalism. One accomplished woman is the epitome of balancing passion and working across various fields, pursuing a freelance career across disciplines. Alex Fullerton, previously Fashion Director at Stylist and now Fashion Director-at-Large at Glamour, has had a varied and exciting career in the industry, from styling and writing to fashion direction and becoming a published author.
As we bring you the Inside View on the fashion industry, we’ve been talking to everyone from Fashion Editors to Showroom Owners, to find out how to get into the different areas of the industry and once you’re there, how to make it work for you. This week, we spoke with Portia Shaw, Director of International PR Agency, POP PR.
For the latest in our advice column series, The Inside View, where we ask those in the centre of the industry to offer their view on fashion at the moment, we sat down with Emma Firth, the Online Fashion Editor at Hunger Magazine. With a penchant for karaoke and a mean knowledge of pop culture, here we bring you what it’s really like to work in fashion media, and how to start working toward that dream role, now.
Kingston School of Art student Ella Barrow, is in the middle of an exciting part of her career- having just completed an internship with Ralph Lauren in New York, and now spending time on the team at Erdem, we caught up to hear how she’s feeling about the experience, how her passion for sustainability has informed her studies and the unpredictable nature of the fashion industry.
Looking for somewhere to submit your work? These publications provide a base to share their work, collaborate and get inspiration from. The platforms not only help young creatives with development of their skills, but also give them confidence by publishing their work. If you’re interested in having your work showcased and get support for your practice, here is a list of few magazines and links for submission.
This week for #TagYourTalent, guest judge and Industry Trustee, chose creative work by Amelia Fordyce, a Fashion Communication student at Northumbria University.
Lara Schröder, the founder of Parisian showroom SCHRÖROOM, founded her own business after gaining years of experience across the industry. We sat down with the entrepreneur to find out more about what her career has been like so far, including Paris Fashion Week, the buying world and launching as a designer. If you’re interested in learning more about how showrooms function, how to work with emerging designers or what you could be doing right now to get into the industry, read below for the expert insight! We asked - so you don’t have to.
Louise’s collection was influenced and encouraged by the power print and significance of silhouette. Her love for the Chinese calligraphy and the dramatic, abstract marking unfolded when she completed a three month internship in China. Find out more in our interview!
For the latest feature in celebration of Black History Month, we caught up with emerging designer Tihara Smith, to find out more about her Windrush inspired collection, and the influence of social history and political slogans in her work.
From his bold relocation to Italy and working with MaxMara group as a recent graduate, to moving to New York to produce and design knitwear for Belstaff, Rory has taken each opportunity presented to him and forged his own path. We caught up with the industry pioneer and Graduate Fashion Week alumni to learn more about the conception of his brand MRC Knitwear , how his university taught him the technicalities of knitwear and what it’s like to design internationally.
INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF COLOUR MAKING WAVES IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY, IN CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Fashion has long held a bad reputation for its whitewashed runways. But thankfully ethnically diverse model casting has been at the forefront of the agenda for some time now and the value of diversity is increasingly being recognised. There is a lot more visibility for Black models, but for other Black people within the industry– not so much. Yet the industry thrives from having ethnically diverse figures, because they contribute alternative perspectives to fashion - making it more creative, inclusive and more varied.
Our ambassador Christopher Raeburn is known for his sustainable ethos and ethical credentials. Having always focused on his Remade collection, the designer has now announced a community building project, that teaches his customers the skills of repairing, and offers the chance to meet similarly like minded people.
Millennials have been given many names. The boomerang generation, those obsessed with avocados, the ‘me me me’ generation, entitled Gen Y and more, have informed a narrative of negative stereotypes about the younger generation in Western culture. These have dominated the stories present in the media, and created a generational divide in the way we approach our work lives.