Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Becki Ball

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.

Emerging Designer To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Talented Isla Campbell

Isla Campbell is the designer and maker behind Studio_icampbell.

Studio_icampbell is a small and sustainable fashion studio based in Cornwall. Her core principles are to produce high-quality garments designed with the functionality of workwear whilst upholding style and comfort, and she deliberately designs and develops her garments with time, care and consideration.

She’s inspired by the natural world and the people she meets to produce artistic yet functional workwear.

Her designs start as simple line drawings in a sketchpad, then morphed into patterns laid out on linen, in such a way as to minimise material wastage. When meticulously cut from the cloth and sewn together, these garments, made to last, may begin their life full of love and adventure outside the studio. The sustainable fabrics and earthy colours that she chooses are particularly important to her work as they inform her design process.

When you buy a piece from Studio_icampbell you can be assured of the quality and sustainability of my practice. The nature of the fabrics is such that it will change with time to embrace the uniqueness of the wearer’s body and its movements. So, as you live and change so too can your clothes. In this way, your clothes gather your life stories and become more fitting, more ‘yours’.

As another important element of her sustainable approach to designing workwear clothes, Studio_icampbell offers a bespoke mending service where you can bring your favourite pieces back to where they were made to be mended.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Isla to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

Since GCSE’s I have always known that I wanted to be working with my hands and so I did work experience in both Interior Design and PR for Fashion Brands, working in the behind scenes of fashion I was able to go and work at LFW on three separate occasions. It was there that I saw the team of sempstress’ sewing before the show that I knew then I wanted to be the one making the garments.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Being able to design clothes that I myself would wear and then seeing these 2D sketches come to life when created in a unique fabric

The downside to being a fashion designer?

The downside is that it really never stops, I love keeping busy but as this is my own business there is always something to do…especially the business side and making sure that everything will run smoothly.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

Definitely when I went to Amsterdam having differed a year of uni after my second year to intern for 8 months for the couture designer Iris Van Herpen.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Other creators, I believe that collaboration is an integral part of my process and so I’ve worked alongside a number of really creative designs to create something totally unique.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

To trust yourself, that everything is a risk, whether it’s buying a roll of fabric for £200, it’s super important to know that no matter what you’ll make it work. And also to keep going, no matter what!

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My mum and sister and brother are very supportive. My sister actually just got engaged this morning and she’s asked me to make her wedding dress.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would have looked for my own shop from the start, and also do a business module…but there’s still time for that.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

From my experience in Amsterdam, I was told to never be scared to ask questions or ask for help.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

With this upcoming new shop, I hope to make a name for myself as a slow fashion Designer in Cornwall. I would really like to move more into creating unique bespoke clothes that are made to measure and continue to explore sustainable fabrics. I also really want to move into menswear clothes as most of my designs and fabric choices are gender-neutral.

 

Rising Star Spotlight: Introducing Emerging Designer Cristy Thapa

Cristy Thapa is currently on the verge of launching a fashion website and her fashion line. This is the latest in a long line of accomplishments from this talented woman. For example, she is a registered nurse, she has won several titles such as Ms. International Beauty Ambassador 2018, Ms. Australia International 2018, Ms. Charity International 2019, and Ms. Australia United Nations 2019 and she has also helped design outfits for multiple fashion shoots. She is the first Nepalese who has represented Australia in an international platform not only once but twice. Let’s take a closer look at this inspiring woman to find out what attracted her to the fashion industry.

She initially began in fashion by working as a creative director in various fashion shows. This meant that she was responsible for making decisions about the kind of clothes that would appear in the show. Cristy thoroughly enjoyed this experience as well as being able to meet a range of new people. Being a creative director also exposed her to a wide range of new opportunities. Because of this experience she was able to work with a popular fashion designer in her logbook shoot. Cristy loved this memorable experience, as she got an even deeper insight into how the fashion industry works.

One of the most important things that Cristy learned is the way that people are affected by fashion. She believes that the type of clothes people wear will have a big impact on both the personal and professional aspects of their lives. This is partly what has inspired her to become a fashion blogger and designer. Cristy derives a lot of happiness from experimenting with different fabrics and color choices. She discovered this passion early, dreaming of owning her fashion line when she was in high school. Through years of work, she has been able to start achieving this dream.

Cristy actually has big dreams for the future. First, she is planning to launch her website, (www.thearcreations.com) soon. Through this site, she plans to report on the latest news and events from the fashion industry. By bringing her unique perspective to these events, she’ll help people get interested in this field. She also plans to help people from underdeveloped countries better understand the fashion industry. Many of these countries make beautiful fabrics and Cristy wants to show them how to convert these fabrics into beautiful clothes. By doing this, she also hopes to make a powerful change in the lives of people in these countries. Also, she wants to start her own clothing line. Initially, she intends to focus on crafting excellent wedding gowns and eventually move on to creating high-quality men’s wear items.

Cristy wants to work for a social organisation where she can bring changes in the community. She wants to be a role model and a successful entrepreneur who can be the source of inspiration for existing people. She also wants to serve the community and be the voice of the underprivileged – she is definitely someone to watch out for in the future. So, keep your eyes open for Cristy Thapa as she continues to make an impact in the fashion industry.