On set at the GFW18 Talent of Tomorrow campaign shoot, there were many talented and interesting influencers, all with strong and inspirational values and perspectives. We caught up with Zahra Rose, to hear more about why she's representing herself, why she loves London's liberal attitude toward self expression, and why it's important to utilise the tools in place on instagram to curate your feed to emulate positivity, and avoid the pitfalls of social media induced negativity.
What made you want to get involved with GFW?
The fact that I studied fashion about 3 years ago now. Going through the process of designing and then marking the garments and going through the selection process being selected and actually showcasing your work, there was somewhere that could do that before I thought that anything I can do with my platform, bring an audience to the new graduates for a good future, I think that’s its good to help support wherever you can.
What's your favourite collection from the Talent of Tomorrow Campaign?
The one that I’m wearing- especially the attention to detail. It's kinda like Christmas wearing this. I just feel like there has been so much effort that has gone into the construction. Having been in that position I really appreciate things that are well made and have good finishes.
London is known for being a real creative hub! What about the London design scene do you like?
I definitely think London is the fashion capital of the world. The fashion that you see on the street is not something that you would see in other countries, they are very conservative. When it comes to expression, I think we’re definitely ahead of our time.
'Influencer' is a relatively new term and professional pursuit! How did you become an influencer?
I just didn’t see much representation of graduates in the fashion industry. When I worked in the industry I was the only graduate and it’s a multi million pound business so with things like the media and campaigns, I thought I'd they’re not going to represent me I’m going to represent myself and what I stand for. But it was never my intention to become an influencer. I think that when people see authenticity they’re happy to support that. I think that its great that there’s definitely a growing market.
There are a lot of people that struggle with mental health, which has been linked to social media use. How do you stay true to yourself on social media?
I only follow people that I come across in my livelihood, I don’t follow celebrities or anything I’m very strict with what comes up on my feed. There is a button that you can press, that says 'I don’t want to see that on my feed'. I think its really important to utilise these tools because I think if something is making you feel bad about yourself like seeing images of someone who’s had hundreds of plastic surgeries that make you think about changing part of you so I would just say that be very cautious about what you expose yourself too.
What advice would you offer to those busy preparing for Graduate Fashion Week?
Take every opportunity that’s presented to you because where you wanna be and where you end up are two completely different things and sometimes where you end up is better than where you thought in the first place. When I graduated I was very fixated in becoming a designer but just through experiences I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Through learning it that hard way I realised that I wanted to start my own business but if I hadn’t gone through those experiences I wouldn’t of come to those realisations
Yeah and definitely don’t settle for what you don’t want to do, if you want to do design go for it and especially if you want a wage, its unlikely you’ll get a wage at this stage but if you want one, you need to push for it, you wont get anywhere without asking.
Words and Interview by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins