Joining us today is Helen Banks who, after starting her university studies at the age of 25, started a career in food marketing. A few years later she realised that she would love to work in the fashion industry instead.

To make the transition from food marketing to fashion, Helen had to work on rebranding herself. She learnt how to rediscover her skills, pinpointing which ones were transferable and applicable to a whole new industry.

Now, Helen looks after the Asics account. This position allows her to work on her understanding of a consumer’s needs, all whilst developing the brand’s environmental mission.

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Helen tells us that over 50% of Asics’ apparel has now become sustainable. All of the materials in their Amsterdam Headquarters are eco-friendly. However, she says that “much more still needs to be done to become a fully sustainable brand”.

Asics is looking for strategies to promote their brand to the younger generation of consumers. To answer to an increasingly demanding consumer, they have established a Corporate Commission to help them meet their customers’ needs.

“From what I’ve seen at this year’s GFW, young creatives are clearly interested in fashion from a sustainability point of view”, she says.

Helen tells us that “events like GFW are very valuable. Especially for us brands to get feedback from those who are buying our products. It is an amazing place to make connections, and a common-place for fashion houses and students to meet”.

Asics is offering three internships for those students who are eager to work in the brand’s running, apparel or sportswear department at their HQ in Amsterdam. When asked what makes the perfect candidate for such position, she tells us that “people should always try to be as honest as possible. Showing the best of yourself is of course important, but you need to have an understanding of the brand, and realise that it’s not only the brand that chooses you, you are also choosing the brand because it reflects your values and because you believe in their mission”.

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Coming back to her university experience, Helen tells us that she regrets being too shy and not taking advantage of events like GFW. She suggests that people who are graduating this year, “throw themselves out there and expose themselves to new connections”.

With a final message to the young people who are showing at GFW, Helen says: “This is not the end of your career, this is the place where it starts, the groundwork for who you want to be. Be open-minded, remember that reinventing yourself teaches you much more than sticking to the same job for years, or hiding under a security blanket. Try everything, change, aspire to learn more everyday, and you will succeed a lot more. Experience, don’t just sit at home, waiting for the perfect opportunity to come along. Even a bad experience is going to teach you about yourself and about what you want from your life. Have an open mind, and hopefully you’ll flourish”.

Written by Sara Liberati

Photography by Deborah Iona