In January, Grazia magazine introduced you four twenty-somethings – Allie, Cosar, Jo’el and Mary - who have been given a fashion opportunity of a life-time. All four had a difficult start in life and have been helped by the amazing Kids Company - the charity set up by Camilla Batmanghelidjh to helpinner city kids written off by the system. Now, theyhave been handpicked to be part of a unique mentoring scheme launched by Grazia and Reiss and transported onto the fashion front-line to 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 (right here!) and www.reissonline.com and follow their blogs charting their highs and lows over the next six months. Here, Cosar, who has just learnt about the cutting department at Reiss, reveals why she’s started to think more seriously about her future in fashion…
Working on the Brand department has been amazing! I have been involved in preparing the newseason “Look Book” (a series of photographs of the outfits which gets sent out to press) which has meant meeting the models, and helping the team prepare the mainline and the 1971 Reiss collection for the shoot. It’s not always glamorous and involves quite a lot of hard work, but I feel really lucky to be working on such an important project. The photo shoot took place in a private location offsite and I was one of the few lucky people to see it actually happening.
I am now moving on from the Press Office and Brand department into the Production department. I am so excited about the move, and my life feels like it’s actually getting into full gear! Although I thought I would be based in one area for the whole of my internship, I have moved around several departments, and whilst at first I found that a touch unsettling I have now realised there are advantages… Exploring different departments and meeting new people is giving me new skills I really need and my confidence is growing all the time. I feel like I’m getting my foot in the door. Within the Production department I hope to learn about pattern cutting and construction which is the more technical side of the fashion industry. I had one day there earlier this week, and I feel this is where the magic happens! I have seen how a simple garment is transformed into an amazing piece, adjusted it to get the perfect fit. This is the team who helped create the Shola dress, recently worn by Kate Middleton – so I’m keen to learn their skills!
I am proud of the fact that I have had no issues with my attendance and punctuality during my internship, but my responsibilities outside of work haven’t changed so I still have to make sure I spend a lot of time looking after my younger brothers. I have also added into my schedule a series of workshops at Kids Company, and attending fashion classes to improve my sewing skills. Life is a lot more hectic than before, but my commitment to Reiss comes first. I am also considering what to do once this internship finishes – for the first time I’m now thinking about maybe going to university to study either fashion and textiles, or pattern cutting/construction. I am also looking at other options for training within the fashion world, and thanks to the opportunity I’ve had at Reiss, I hope to be building my experience here into a long term career.