14 March 2011

It’s Week 4  for Allie, Cosar, Jo’el and Mary – four youngsters handpicked for the Grazia/Reiss mentor scheme. All of them had a difficult start in life and have been helped by the amazing Kids Company - the charity set up by Camilla Batmanghelidjh to help inner city kids written off by the system. For the next six months Grazia and Reiss are transporting them onto the fashion front-line by Grazia and Reiss where they will be trained in everything from fashion design to blogging. So, how has it been so far? Every week you can check in with them on Grazia Daily and and  follow their blogs charting their highs and lows. Here, Co’sar describes how after four weeks she’s starting to struggle to keep everything on track..

When I started this mentoring scheme, I didn’t have a clue about what visual merchandising (VM) was. Yet, in just a few weeks, I’ve learnt how to display accessories, shoes, bags, change mannequins, organise stock and how to rearrange the shop floor. I’ve also done suiting displays for menswear mainline and the 1971 Reiss collection. It’s a very hands on and practical job, which involves me running around carrying mannequins most days. It has also been very unpredictable and I never know which store I’ll be allocated to until the night before. We usually do two stores a day, working on the flagship stores first – displaying all the new items, accessories, garments – and once perfect we then translate the displays throughout all the different stores.

I love the fact that I am the first to see all the new, amazing stuff we get in. My favourite pieces from the Spring/Summer collection so far are the Paris high waisted trousers in bright blue, the Danielle skirt in emerald green, the Milla leather shorts in black and lastly the 1971 Sonny jumper in cream.

But saying all this I’m still unsure if VM is for me – days are very unpredictable and it’s hard not knowing where I’m going to be. As I am also my father’s carer and have to look after my two young siblings after a day at work which makes it very demanding and tiring. So, after chatting with my mentor Zoe and my Kids Company key-worker, Gemma, we’ve worked out a way that I can try my hand at some other departments within Reiss to work out which type of role is best for me. The last thing I want to happen is to have to drop out of this scheme – which I know is an amazing opportunity.


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