Becki Ball currently lives in Norfolk, Norwich, and since graduating from the Norwich University of the Arts last year, she launched her label BECCI. Her work is inspired by the contrast of ‘streetwear meets elegance .’ Her womenswear designs are heavily print-based, portraying a bold sense of confidence and empowerment. Femininity is key to her pieces, and this is highlighted with her sense of colour and silhouette. She has recently collaborated with fashion label SHEIN to create two collections, with her first curve collection launching in Winter.
Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Becki to discuss her journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:
How did you get into the fashion industry?
I graduated last year from the Norwich University of the Arts, and since graduating in Fashion Design, I have been working on my brand BECCI. When growing up, I have always loved fashion, and during my time at Sixth Form before university, I studied textiles. I took part in local fashion shows for which I made my own clothing; I worked backstage at fashion shows and took on styling work experience when I could. During my gap year before going to university, I launched my brand, and from there, I started buying wholesale pieces. I really loved the marketing side to the brand and putting photoshoots together, collaborating with local creatives, and managing the social media side to things. When I started university to study Fashion Design, I realised that I wanted to design and make my own pieces to sell and be more sustainable- instead of buying general wholesale designs to sell to my customers.
What do you like most about being a designer?
I love how creative it is and that fashion is a form of communication and expression of how we feel, our personality, and who we are. The process of a simple 2D sketch becoming a final wearing garment is incredible; there is no other feeling quite like it, and that sense of accomplishment and achievement is so rewarding. I love styling my pieces for the shoots, learning new techniques, and meeting other creatives along the way.
Downside to being a fashion designer?
Probably the amount of time one has to put in to get ‘somewhere’. Fashion isn’t easy, and many people have a false conception that fashion is simple. Not many people see the hard work (and tears) behind creating a collection or project! The other downside to being a fashion designer is believing in myself- sometimes, self-doubt is the worst. There is no set path for becoming a designer – and I think that is what makes it difficult (but also great), as there is no one’ right’ way to become a fashion designer or easy path to follow.
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?
My most memorable experience so far has been the SHEIN X 100k Challenge. This was so incredible! I made it through to the top 30 of the competition, where I got to create my 3 looks and put together a look book for this in the space of about 3 weeks. Sourcing fabric samples, getting my fabric printed, sourcing final fabrics, making the patterns for the designs, sampling the pieces, creating the final looks- and organising a photoshoot was extremely hard work! However, on the day of the shoot, seeing the looks on the models and having everything come together was phenomenal! The late nights, endless work, and stress had definitely paid off! Then, not only did that happen, but we got to be part of the SHEIN X 100k Challenge show series that was aired on the SHEIN app! I was also awarded the SHEIN Choice Award for my collection!
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Probably my class members at university. The amount of talent and determination they have is amazing, and I love how different we all are! Everyone there had a totally unique design style and aesthetic, and for me, that was really inspiring. I loved hearing about their inspiration and what they were going to design next.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
I think budgeting is really important, and the SHEIN X 100k Challenge Shoot was the first project and shoot I got to do with a budget. I loved being able to pay my team for their hard work, but I think next time, I would have liked to manage the budget better and more equally. However, this is something I will improve on in the future. The most valuable lesson I think is probably just believing in myself, this challenge made me realise that I can do this, and even with an extremely tight deadline, it is still possible!
Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?
Yes, they are; although they do not have any ‘fashion’ background, they always ask me about my projects (and sometimes are quite surprised at what I am working on!) My mum helped me prepare for the big SHEIN x 100k Challenge photoshoot late at night before the shoot, taping the bottom of the shoes for my models so that I could still return them!
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I think this is a difficult question; I would love to have not had the pandemic happen if this was something I could have stopped, as I felt like I missed out on a lot of opportunities that I was looking forward to for my final year at uni. However, because of the pandemic, I believe some of the opportunities I have met online and worked with SHEIN happened because of this. So I probably would not change anything as everything happens for a reason.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I think being open-minded, always be open to learning. You might not do something perfectly the first time, but giving it a go and getting started is the only way you can progress forward.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I would like to launch more collections in collaboration with SHEIN and launch my own Ready To Wear collection. My overall goal is to have a successful fashion label I can live off, produce consistent collections, be part of runway shows, work with celebrities, and have my own team behind the brand! Outside of my career, I would love to move out soon and have my own fashion home studio.