For the second year running Grazia has teamed up with Kids Company and Reiss for a unique mentoring scheme to help four amazing 20somethings break into the fashion industry.
In the latest a series of regular blogs, Albin Lamaj, 18, tells us what he’s been doing...
‘The first four weeks of my internship have flown by. I’ve learnt so much already. But even though it’s busy I never feel tired – you don’t when you love doing something so much.
I moved to England from Albania four years ago, aged 13. I didn’t even speak English, but my foster brother introduced me to Kids Company and it changed my life. I’m so thankful to them. I’m not sure what I’d be doing now otherwise.
My internship is very structured which is great. I’m not just here to get a feel for what a fashion company is like, but to learn practical skills which will – hopefully – get me job. After this I want to be able to go to an interview, show them my portfolio and say, “I could be a design assistant for you.”
Albin with his mentor Jemma
The first week was all about getting to know my mentor, Jemma Ruddock. The next week I started drawing bags and shoes so she could get an idea of my style and what level I was at. She seemed pretty pleased with what I did, which was great. In my third week we went to Portobello Road to look at vintage bags for some inspiration. My style is quite street but I admire classic accessories too. I’m hoping I can combine the both at Reiss, and come up with a classic with a twist!
I get ideas everywhere – from magazines to people I see in the street. I’m always snapping away on my iPhone! I’ve just started to design a belt, but my major project is to design a scarf. Towards the end of the internship I’ll present my idea to the Accessories Director and – fingers crossed – she’ll like it. If things go well, then this time next year I could spot someone wearing a scarf that I designed. I can’t imagine anything more exciting.’