A passion for fashion

Fashion Promotion student Lucy Smith is making her mark on the fashion industry in Wales and London. Find out more about Lucy, whose title is officially Resident Fashionista

A fashion show - photo by Art Comments

A dream assignment…

Photo of Lucy SmithSometimes you come across a job title that makes you sit up and realise: someone must be living their dream. Take the title “Resident Fashionista”, for example. Clearly, someone with that title must be enjoying themselves. To the Glamlife’s delight, it’s a University of Glamorgan student: Lucy Smith.

When Talbot Green Shopping Park decided to appoint their Resident Fashionista, they ran a contest to find the perfect person. The contest required participants to provide written answers to questions. Lucy’s good journalistic style ensured her victory in the contest.

Her position involves writing a blog, posting updates on Twitter and doing Public Relations work, all about the one thing that she is most passionate about. “To me, fashion is a form of self-interpretation. You can never get an outfit that everyone loves, or one that everyone hates. Fashion is in my blood. My grandmother is my style inspiration. She always mixed vintage and current clothes, cheap and more upmarket items, selected and matched outfits from different sources. She didn’t work in the fashion industry, but she loved to look nice, and she taught me how to put things together so they work well.”

Sandwich Year

Work experience

During the interview, Lucy mentioned several times how crucial work experience is in the fashion industry. Work experience can be helpful regardless of which field you ultimately want to work in.

If you are trying to find work experience, check out GO Wales for Work Tasters and Work Placements – they may really give you a competitice edge.

Even though she is the Resident Fashionista, she fulfills the role from a little further away now: She’s moved to London for her Sandwich Year. “I’m an intern with the Daily Express, working on S Magazine, assisting with photoshoots… This week, I had to choose the styles and clothes for Anthony Worrall Thompson, the famous chef, for a Christmas food photo shoot. I learnt a lot about choosing an outfit to fit a certain brief. It’s been a manic two weeks since I moved to London!”

Not that this is her first time in London. The last time she was there, she made quite an impression. “I’ve worked at London Fashion week twice now. The first time, a reporter from Vogue magazine spotted me, because I was wearing a hairband that I’d made myself, and she asked me two questions, took a photo, and it turned into this short little story on the online Vogue Magazine!”.

Once her placement with the Daily Express finishes, she’ll be moving right into the next placement “From January, I’ll be an intern at ASOS magazine – I’m doing a variety of internships and placements this year. In this industry, you have to get work experience. No one can just walk from graduation into a job.”

Passion

A student adjusting clothes Her drive and ambition is fuelled by passion for fashion – but this general interest has been narrowed and targeted into a specific career path Lucy is pursuing. "When I started studying Fashion Promotion, I knew I was really interested in fashion, but I didn’t really know what part of the fashion industry I would want to specialise in. The course has been fantastic – the modules cover such a variety of aspects – the entire industry. In my first year, we had to write an article, and that’s when I realised this did not feel like I was doing it for the course, but because I really enjoyed writing. I decided that I really want to go into fashion journalism. It’s what I really love doing.

“The placements have helped me learn just what it takes to put a magazine together – and just how much people love working in this field. Let’s face it, it’s not the best paid work, and people often have to get up at 6am, but everyone is so passionate, everyone is really thriving on their passion and joy at working in fashion journalism.”

The future

A student fashion photo shoot Her chosen career may well take her to bigger cities, permanently. She’s in London at the moment – coming back to Cardiff for her final year, but after that… “I love London. I definitely want to move here after I graduate. London, or maybe New York. London is a very creative city – people here have their own styles, follow their own, more individualistic trends. I don’t quite know how to put this, but other cities can be a bit more subdued. London is just so full of interesting characters, and people are a lot more free to experiment with fashion styles. Just walk down Camden for an afternoon, and you’ll see so many different, unique styles.”

Meanwhile, her blog about products and events surrounding Talbot Green shopping park has been syndicated by Walesonline and a magazine has registered an interest, which is excellent news. If her blog gets a larger audience, it can help speed up her career in fashion journalism. "Blogs have become really important in the fashion industry. Some fashion bloggers are now so influential and popular, they get invited to every event, with free tickets. Take Suzie Bubble, for example. Her blog is great, and if she mentions a designer, it creates a real buzz.

“I would like to start up my own blog soon with a bit more freedom to discuss anything and everything to do with my new London life, where every day is different. Coming soon…!”

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