Subject: Meet the girl who's interning for Victoria Beckham
Olivia Jane Riley
How old are you?
Where are you from?
Do/did you study?
I am currently on my Placement year between second and third year at Birmingham City University studying BA (hons) Fashion Design.
Where have you interned?
With the buyers at Monsoon Accessorize, the Buyers & Designers at White Stuff, with the Design team at Suzannah and with the head Designer at Sneaker Club Clothing. I am currently working as an Artist in Residence at an Art foundation course but soon I start a six-month placement at Victoria Beckham.
What's been your best intern moment?
My best Moment as an Intern so far was at White Stuff, I did a lot of research and mood boarding for their A/W16 collections and they chose one of my ideas for one of their final 8 stories. The head designer appreciated my input on the team and said I could come back whenever I wanted! Another great moment was when I had done some hand sewing on a dress at another company, and then I found a photo of Pipa Middleton wearing that dress! It makes it all worth it.
What has been your worst intern moment?
My worst intern moment was when I was working at a company that had a lot of high profile celebrity clients, I posted a photo on Instagram of a certain Royal location that I had had to pick up a dress from, just to show my friends what sort of work I was getting up to. The company saw it and were very angry at me for being open about this sort of information! I was so embarrassed and annoyed with myself for doing it, but at least I wont ever do that again!
Where do you/did you go to look for internships?
Most of the internships I have gotten so far have been through knowing someone in the company through a friend of a neighbor of a family member or something. But being confident and social is part of the industry, I once met a head designer at a pub, I now have her as a contact! You need to make the most of any contacts you may have, the worst people can say is no. But I found that most of the time if you show people that you are talented and dedicated they are more than willing to help you out. As well as contacts I use Fashion Workie and LinkedIn to find Intersnhips and people that I can contact.
What piece of information would you of liked to have known before you starting out your internship?
Something I always get asked in interviews is ‘Who are our competitors’ I’m so bad with remembering names that I often stumble on this question. I would recommend that before your interview for an internship you research the brand heavily, write it all down and memorize it! If you can’t tell them what you know then there is no point in knowing it!
What are you currently doing?
I am currently an Artist in Residence developing a small collection for SS17. Part of my residency is also tutoring students to help them develop their work and I have also run sewing and pattern cutting workshops to the Fashion and Textiles students.
What's your career goal?
Global warming and running out of natural resources is the biggest threat to life on earth. The Fashion Industry is one of the worst culprits. The Fashion Industry has to change soon, I want to be a part of this new generation of designers that will work with the fast pace of consumerism today whilst creatively solving problems that deal with ethical and environmental issues that surround our fashion industry.
Where can people find you?