Jade Shields

MA Menswear Fashion Design, RCA

"The course allowed me to express myself and push the boundaries of my creativity."

The Course:

I loved the BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology course, it allowed me to express myself and push the boundaries of my creativity. I was able to take my degree in the direction I wanted it to go and allowed me to recognise who I was as a designer and what I stood for and represented. It also prepared me on a business and technical level for the realities of the fashion industry.

One of my favourite parts of the course was the Design Innovation unit. The assessments set in these units really allowed me to explore both the commercial and conceptual areas of design, helping me to build a well-rounded portfolio and allowing me to realise where I am best suited within the industry. In my final year, I was one of ten students shortlisted to go and show my designs at Graduate Fashion Week.

Industry Placement:

I did a placement year at LF Americas in New York City. I was offered a six-month placement as a Womenswear Design Intern for the Knox Rose and MB Leisure team. After being at LF Americas for five months, I was asked to stay on for additional six months to work as a Yarn Intern for the Knitwear Department.

After being with the company for eleven months, the Vice President of the Knitwear Department asked me to travel to Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam as part of a trend research trip, in which I was offered sponsorship and $1000 by the company to support my final year of study at Manchester Fashion Institute.

The placement year was extremely beneficial! It allows you to experience what really goes on in the industry and how the design process works. As well as this, it sets you apart from other Fashion Design students as it practical and creative experience.

Student Support:

Jasper Chadprajong was my tutor for two years during my time at Manchester Fashion Institute. He always encouraged me and pushed me in all areas of my work, recognising my strengths and skills but also giving constructive criticism, which allowed me to develop as a designer. Jasper’s constant support and encouragement gave me the confidence to apply for various MA programmes. Without Jasper’s support, I would not be the designer I am today.

After Graduation

With the help of my course tutor, I managed to secure a place on the Menswear Fashion Design MA at the Royal College of Art in London.

Top Tip:

Work hard from the first day until the last day of the course, it allows you to truly develop as a designer and gain the best knowledge and skills to set you up for industry. Also, remember that your research is key! Think about what is important to you and base your work on it, meaning you will always be interested and passionate about what you are creating.