Jo’el’s blog: REISS AND GRAZIA'S FASHION MENTORING SCHEME!

27 May 2011

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 help inner 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, Jo’el, who is being mentored in menswear design, admits he’s had a tough few weeks…

These past two weeks have been the hardest for me yet and I admit – despite writing in my previous blog that I was determined to commit – I have missed a few days’ work here and there. The problem wasn’t in the office – in fact, I was doing pretty well – but I’ve had some problems in my personal life, which really took their toll. Without going into too much detail I was made homeless. My landlord announced I had two weeks to move out of my flat and,with nowhere else to go, my priority was finding a new place to stay. Of course I felt incredibly guilty letting everyone at Reiss down, but my mentors there were very supportive, which helped a lot.  In fact, when I did return to the office, I actually wished I’d gone in sooner. The structure of 9-5 hours and the distraction of work was a welcome relief from everything else going on. I finished all my T-shirt designs and presented them to Head of Menswear, James. I also started building up my portfolio of sketches and designs. This is something I'm extremely proud of. I feel like I've learnt so much from being at Reiss, even in the short space of time that I’ve been here. I've had terrific help and support from all areas and couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with. I'm truly grateful. Thankfully I’ve now sorted out my housing situation, too so hopefully I can be more focused at work now. I’ve also talked to my mentors about strategies for solving problems like these in the future and things seem on the up again. Hopefully it was just a small hurdle in my race to success…


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