After getting over the fact I was never going to be a famous pop star (thanks Ma and Pa), I think I thought fashion was more attainable. I wasn't ever sure exactly which part of the industry though; I toyed with the idea of being a fashion designer when I was 13 but realized I needed to know how to sew and make patterns.
As I got older, one thing led to another, a couple of friends who were doing castings for clients like ASOS, iD magazine, etc., asked me to help since I liked to look at pretty people. In doing that for a few months, I met lots of people from all parts of fashion. Through that, job opportunities come up that I couldn't turn down.
My first real job was an assistant at Models 1 (as I thought I really wanted to be in casting), which then led to me working at Wonderland as an assistant to the editor. After that, I worked as a junior fashion editor which was a lot of styling (totally different to anything I'd done before), and am now am at ASOS Likes as a writer! A lot of what I do now is meeting people and making contacts.
I need to be able to be creative in my job to be able to enjoy it. Sometimes the mundane everyday tasks don't allow this, which is something I currently struggle with. There’s sometimes a little voice in my head saying “you should have stayed at your last job', as there is quite a lot of creative freedom at a fashion magazine. When writing for a 'brand' you don't always necessarily get to be 'yourself', in a sense.
The moment I realized I wanted to 100% work in fashion was when I bought the April 2004 issue of British Vogue. Lily Cole and Gemma Ward were on the cover and it made me go “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”, as cheesy as that sounds. The make up, the girls, the dress that Gemma was wearing - I just thought it was one of the most exciting images I'd seen.
I draw inspiration from everything - mainly pictures, or films, or videos. Pictures are so engaging, and they will never stop. They always get people talking and thinking, and always give you an idea for the next thing you want to do.
There are advantages and disadvantages to working in this industry. Advantages are meeting amazing people. My friends who I’ve met through work are some of the most creative, intelligent, people I know. They never cease to amaze me. Disadvantages are that people seem to think fashion is the be all and end all of life… and it’s really hard to not get caught up in it. I think it's so, so important to care about what you do, but people get very wrapped up in it in this industry which can be quite destructive.
"I've always been told to 'Be yourself'. One can get so wrapped up in trying to be someone else to prove something, but there's just no point… it gets exhausting! If people don't like you for who you are that's their loss!"
I've learned to take time out for myself - for my sanity ha! Also, nothing will just fall on your lap. You have to work incredibly hard every day to get somewhat close to where you want to be.
To readers: believe in yourself. If you have confidence in yourself and what you’re doing or want to do, you can’t go wrong.