Sitting atop a table outside Brick Lane’s Café 1001 in a vintage sweater and faded denim, giggling as she explains the story behind her pink sparkly nails, Zara Appadoo is the embodiment of cool. A Junior Designer for River Island, Zara began her career in fashion studying for a BA in Fashion Design at the University of Creative Arts, followed by a postgraduate degree at University College for the Creative Arts.
I had a chat with Zara to find out what a typical day in her profession might involve.
Debjani: First and foremost, I have to compliment you on your nails!
Zara: Thank you! Everyone at work is very chic, they rock up in heels and power-jackets and there I am in jeans, so I thought I’d make an extra effort with my nails.
D: Your style is always effortlessly cool. What inspires the way you dress?
Z: Aw thank you! Well when I go out I like to be comfortable, so it’s all about looking good but staying practical. When I go out raving I can’t really rock the stilettos, you know?!
D: So, what made you want to be a Fashion Designer?
Z: Well, I didn’t always know this is where I’d end up, but I’ve always been into clothes and fashion and obviously my degree is catered towards Fashion Design…
D: What’s it like being you? Describe a day in the life of a Junior Fashion Designer.
Z: Well, I’ll tell you about a standard week, because my job differs from day to day. One day someone will come in with hundreds of buttons, and I’ll spend the whole day choosing a handful that I think will look good. Maybe another day someone will come in with a tonne of fabrics, and I’ll have to whittle it down again to just a few. Then I might do some sketches, or I might have to attend a meeting about what looks we’re expected to focus upon [this season].
D: What’s the best part about your job?
Z: I think it would have to be the travelling. My job’s taken me all over the world, from Hong Kong to Bangladesh to Turkey. It’s really good as well: it’s all paid for, and we get to stay in 3/4 star hotels!
D: Wow! Sounds like a good perk to have.
Z: It’s really amazing.
D: Just one more question before we wrap it up – what advice would you give to any aspiring Fashion Designers?
Z: Work hard! If you just stay focussed, good things will come to you.