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Ever wondered what it’s like to work at River Island? Well, now you can find out. Meet Islander Jade, one of our talented womenswear designers. 

While it definitely isn’t business as usual, Jade is back in the office and doing what she does best – being creative and designing our seasonal collections. Learn how your clothes go from sketch to sample and what it takes to be a successful fashion designer. Are you ready for her inside scoop?


GETTING PERSONAL

How long have you been working for River Island?
I’ve been working at Head Office for about five years but while I was studying I actually was a sales advisor part time so all in all I’ve been with the family for 10 years

How did you get the job? 

I started in May 2015 and I came in as a very entry level designers assistant and from there I’ve just worked my way up. 

What’s the best thing about the job?
Definitely the creativity and seeing people wearing your designs is always amazing. 

How would your team describe you? 
Passionate. I feel like I’m very expressive and you’ll know definitely when I love something. 

Why is fashion so important to you? 
Fashion is so important to me because it allows you to express yourself freely.

Apart from designing, how else do you flex your creative muscle? 
I love everything crafty, whether it be painting or making bracelets. Just time to switch off and read a book, do some yoga or go for a walk is important to recharge your creative mind. 


What advise do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career in design?
I’d say it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to really make it in this industry. It’s extremely competitive so to really stand out you have to give it your all. 

Post lockdown, do you think we will stay loyal to our loungewear or embrace getting really dressed up to make up for lost time? Give us your expert predictions!
I definitely believe comfort, practicality and versality will become a non-negotiator however I feel we shouldn’t be limited to just cut & sew. We will have to become cleverer at looking at multi wear pieces that will transcend seasons. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely ready to get dressed up in a romantic minimalist way for all those brunch dates and picnics in the sun!

LIFE ON THE ISLAND

Tell us a bit more about what you do 
I work on multi product woven source that are produced all the way out of India.

It looks like you love a bit of trim …
I do of course! I think that’s what I love about India – the craftmanship. Everything has that attention to detail with embroidery in the fabrics, the sequins and the lace.

What’s the most common misconception about your job? 
I think people think we sit here and draw all day which we do, we are very creative but we’re also aware of what’s selling well and know those figures and statistics.

How did you adapt to designing at home during lockdown? Did you find anything particularly helpful to keep you motivated?
I feel very proud of not just myself but the entire design team for how we adapted to WFH. A saying our Head of Design instilled into us was “creativity rules in turbulent times” and that’s exactly what it did. Going for a walk every morning really helped as well as the occasional blast from my Westlife playlist!

Can you describe the River Island customer in three words? 
I think she’s definitely flirty, she’s fun and she’s feminine.

Is that how we’d describe you too? 
Yes, of course!

You mentioned India, can you tell us a bit more? 
India really is full of amazing craftmanship and that attention to detail.

Talk us through the process of creating a dress … 
It starts via a sketch and then I give the manufacture all the details and the measurements and then I play about with the base material. And then two weeks later I get my sample.

IN THE STYLE SEAT

What motivates you?
Definitely the creativity and obviously my team.

What is a sign of a great work day?
Prosecco. If it’s a long day red wine but if it’s a good day prosecco definitely.

What’s your best work memory?
I think that moment when my first piece went into stores. I’ll remember that day forever.

Who would you love to see wearing your designs?
Hailey Bieber

Describe your own personal style in three words.
I like to think I’m a bit boho but also a bit rock n roll. I’ll edge it up with a tough boot.

What can’t you leave home without?
Lipstick.

What makes a good Islander?
I think our love for fashion. We do really live it and breathe it. Also, we’re very fun and down to earth.

Can you tell us a River Island secret?
I don’t know if I have any actually and if I did I wouldn’t be telling on camera so my lips are sealed!

Why is it called River Island?
Oh my god … Alexa! Where’s my Alexa?! I want to say it was something really random like a lightbulb moment. The family were on a boat and something to do with a river and I think it just came to them? Don’t hold me to that!


You’ve met Jade, now meet her designs …
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