The mastermind behind Karen Millen’s protégé scheme, Gemma Methringham, joins us at the ASOS GFW Talk Space to discuss the opportunities being offered to our hopeful new fashion designers. Hilary Alexander opened the conversation with a short video that exemplified many of the different detailed print designs that have been crafted by some of Karen Millen’s most successful protégés. “It’s a special process. We have people that have ended up staying for years and years such as Emma from Ravensbourne who has now become one of our Karen Millen designers”, says Gemma. “It’s incredibly hard to come out of University and make it in the industry. We want to help that”. This brilliant program gives graduates the chance to gain experience in a design studio where they can come into their own and gain the contacts they need to form themselves a successful career path.

Gemma talks about her past protégés with a degree of fondness, saying, “We’ve had several people come back to our extended family throughout the years and make it as a designer for Karen Millen”. Certainly encouraging words for all of those who fancy a shot at working at one of the most successful high end high street brands in the country. For Gemma, your portfolio is the most important thing that sells you. She looks for personality and opinion, saying, “I don’t mind if you don’t like a piece, having an opinion is what makes you stand out in an interview”. Your passion for work is certain to shine through your opinion, and important lesson to learn during the frantic process to find a job.

When asked about whether she has any other tips for interviewing Gemma is careful to consider the most vital piece of knowledge she can pass on. “Taper your portfolio to your interview- Think about your audience- your portfolio can be a moveable feast. What I really look for is whether you can draw, because we use predominantly design sketches, an important skill in itself ”. We don’t all dress the same way so as a Karen Millen designer Gemma expects her protégés to cater to a whole collection for their customers.

Be sure to apply now by dropping Gemma and email at,uk, or finding her in the Oracle VIP lounge today to discuss your designs. She’s always welcome to listening to new, fresh, approaches to high end high street, so get creating now. 


Written by Tallulah Belassie-Page

Photography by Angharad Thomas