The Start of Placement: Belfast Design Week, Fashion and Textile Society

Textile and Fashion Society for Belfast Design Week, Panel Discussion

No one said it was going to be easy, actually if I recall correctly most people said its quite difficult, I went to countless interviews and applied to at least two dozen places, costume design, textiles like weave and print production, active wear brands, independent boutiques the list goes on. This activity was the most character building I’ve had in a while, it taught me to keep going develop thick skin and adapt to different situations.

Looking for placement I wanted to find something that aligned with my own values as a designer, that’s how I came across a luxury brand that catered towards plus size women and was based in NI, I applied with my CV and a cover letter, then did a Zoom interview, then had a trial day and after three sleepless night I got the offer for an internship.

However my happiness didn’t last long, after a month of dedicated work, doing their tech packs and rearranging their office space I was kindly informed that the company didn’t have enough funding to keep me as an intern and sadly had to let me go. From this experience I have learned that you always have to sign a contract, it is your only proof of offer and you shouldn’t wait more then a week to sign it, I believed I was going to sign the contract so I put no pressure on it.

After a week of crying, my friends decided enough was enough, another important life lesson is to have a good support system in place, when situations like these do happen, my friends help me get back out there. This was at the same time as Belfast Design Week, I attended countless events put on a bright smile and started networking. “It’s not about what you know but who you know.” is a motto I live by. I applied for some part-time jobs in and around the fashion business world. I worked my Saturday’s at Una Rodden, a local couturier, who runs a boutique along with bespoke wear, I had previously worked for Una Rodden as part of my Professional Practice in Year 2 of my course.

In collaboration with Belfast Design Week as the Fashion and Textile Society I along side Katie Ireland and other committee members decided to host an event. This event was held at Ulster University, as a series of sustainable workshops, a photography collaboration with the Photography Society and a clothes swap followed by a panel discussion with some of the biggest influences in the Belfast fashion and textiles community. Hosting this event helped to build my confidence and proved crucial for what was to come. 

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