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The Big Fashion Conversation – Raising the Profile of Careers and Training in the Fashion Industry



The event will feature: 

• The Life Cycle of a Garment – find out about the major stages of a garment from design, production and sales on the highstreet
• Talks and Presentations – from leading employers and high-street retailers (names to be confirmed!)
• Information on job/career and training opportunities in the fashion industry
 Design – The opportunity to take part in a design your own garment competition, where the winning design will be turned into the finished article!

The event is targeted at 14-24 year olds interested in careers and training in the fashion industry.
So if you are a Wandsworth based school/college/organisation and would like to take part in this event or require further information, please contact  jenni@fashion-enter.com  

Big Brands Confirm Attendance
New Look

“Today I am the Head of Quality at New Look with a large team. However I started my career working in factories learning from the bottom up. In my view this is the only real way how to learn about all the factors of a garment. New Look were the first to introduce Level 4 apprenticeships into buying and merchandising and we have had excellent results on the Level 3 with Fashion Enter.  Education today needs to be vocational and real and this is why New Look is totally supporting the Big Fashion Conversation with Wandsworth.  It’s a great concept for schools of today” 

Sof Sofocleous | Head Of Quality


Sof with the New Look Apprentices

Carolyn Springett – Ex Managing Director of Jaeger 
“I have worked for nearly 30 years in fashion and the Big Fashion Conversation is an excellent way for schools to realise that there is so many more jobs than just being a fashion designer. When I was MD at Jaeger and Aquascutum I actively encouraged on the job learning and this is why I am supporting Wandsworth Council with this ground breaking initiative.”
 Nigel Rust | Production Expert from London Manufacturing Advisory Service
“I dont think people realise how much fun garment manufacturing is today. I have worked in manufacturing for thirty years and I am looking forward to explaining how important it is for any would be designer to understand how factories work. Congratulations to Wandsworth Council and Fashion Enter for this innovative event – its just what schools and colleges need to know about the world of fashion today.” 
Nigel Rust 
Paul Swaby and Alejandra Campos – Cult of Fashion (Fashion Shows and Production) 
“Fashion Shows are the glamour of fashion and we will be taking Wandsworth behind the scenes! Looking forward to meeting everyone on 26th November at the Civic Centre!”
Alvanon | CEO Janice Wang
“As leading fit specialists in apparel in the world we are delighted to be supporting the Big Fashion Conversation with Wandsworth Council and Fashion Enter.” 
Janice Wang with an Alvanon Fit mannequin 
UKFT – John Milne CEO 
“The UK Fashion & Textile Association is the most inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies. UKFT brings together designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry throughout the UK and internationally.”

Barjis Chohan is a trained Fashion Designer/ Entrepreneur. 
Barjis is a graduate from London College of Fashion and Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. Barjis completed executive training at Cass business School, worked at Vivienne Westwood and French fashion house before launching her label ‘Barjis’ in October 2011.

barjis image

No Fixed Abode

No Fixed Abode is a Luxury Streetwear Fashion Brand, Designed and Made in London. ‘We have unique, individual fashion garments of premium quality for people that like tobe different and get noticed, the rebels, the individuals. We like to stand out from the crowd, do things differently. To be ourselves, we don’t want to fit in or to conform. We’re all about freedom of expression. We are all different, let’sembrace this, that’s why we live by Individual Anarchism.’

No Fixed Abode are recruiting now for their first fashion apprentice and will be talking to students about this exciting opportunity at The Big Fashion Converstion with a view to interviewing potential candidates!


Agenda confirmed

As The Big Fashion Conversation approaches we are delighted to confirm over 250 students from local schools and community groups will be attending the big day! 

8:30 – 9:30          Registration

9:30 – 10:45        Presentations on careers opportunities drawing on Garment Lifecycle concept; employers, industry leaders  and apprentices.

10:45 – 11:15      Break

11:15 – 1:00        The Big Fashion Conversation

1:00 – 1:30          Lunch

1:30 – 3:00          Garment Lifecycle Exhibition

3:00                        Event ends

Presentation agenda on ‘careers in the fashion industry’ drawing on the ‘Garment Life Cycle’ concept


Speaker and topic

09.30 – 09.35

The Mayor of Wandsworth –  introduction and welcome

09.35 – 09.40

Jenny Holloway, CEO Fashion Enter – introduction

09.40 – 09.47

The Idea

Carolyn Springett , ex MD Jaeger, Aquascutum

The first stage of the Garment Life Cycle – ‘The Idea’ is brought to life on stage through visuals, fashion show clips and an insight from the ex MD of Jaeger and Aquascutum – Carolyn Springett

09.47 – 09.54

First Sample

Tanya Elizabeth, ex French Connection designer and own label

Barjis Choran, own label

‘The reality of being a designer’

Two designers discuss their background, experiences and what it takes to be a designer in today’s industry and creating that ‘First Sample’

09.54 – 10.01

Showman Sample

Cult of Fashion, production company

‘The fashion show’ Showcasing the showman sample on models and why it has to be perfect

10.01 – 10.08

Customer Order


How an AAB works (Admin Assistant Buyer) what skills you need, what is the career progression for an AAB

Video clip – Senior Buyer ASOS

10.08 – 10.15

Grading and Sealing


‘The importance of fit’

‘Price this Garment’ – Q&A sessions with Jenny Holloway

10.15 – 10.29



River Island

‘Life as a Garment Technologist Apprentice’

Job opportunities and training with River Island

New Look, Senior Garment Technologist

  • What is a garment/ product technologist?
  • How does the technologist influence the lifecycle of a product?
  • How apprenticeships can benefit you and the industry?

10.29 – 10.36


Nigel Rust, Manufacturing Specialist

‘Getting it Right First Time’

Visuals of a non-compliance factory. What makes a fully compliant Factory?

10.36 – 10.45

Feedback and review

John West, Creative Skillset and Jenny Holloway

Your route into fashion’

Conclusion and discussion on opportunities and career routes into the industry

10.45 – 10.50

Final Q&A with schools

JH will invite all speakers onto the stage to answer three questions asked by students


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