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Fashion grad Elena revels in New Look design role

Elena Hristova

A graduate who has landed a coveted role with one of the UK’s leading high street fashion chains has credited the University of Northampton for setting her on the road to a successful career.

After graduating from the Fashion course in 2017, Elena Hristova spent three weeks on a work experience placement at New Look’s head office in Fitzrovia, central London.

She so impressed New Look in her short time there, that Elena was then offered a freelance design assistant role, before being taken on full-time shortly afterwards, to work on the swim , active wear and teen brand clothing.

“I definitely believe the course was an indispensable step towards my career,” said Elena. “It equipped me with great technical knowledge of designing, garment construction, fabrics, plus industry standard software – I am building on this knowledge in my position of design assistant.

“My tutors were so motivating and had a great impact on me, as they were always pushing me to be eager for opportunities and success.

“But, perhaps the most important aspect of the course is the way you are encouraged to secure a number of industry placements. I worked with Michael Kors, Pittards, We Are Kin and The Clothes Show Live – all of which have me an invaluable insight into the industry and above all, connections.”

Elena is now reaping the rewards of her hard work at Northampton, but still has to pinch herself that she’s working with one of the country’s biggest fashion retailers.

“It is not an ordinary office job,” she said. “Every day is different. One day I will be researching and designing, and the next I will be in meetings and dealing with suppliers.

“I’m often out and about conducting market research, visiting New Look branches to see how the products look in store and analysing customer behaviour. We also receive tickets for events like London Fashion Week, which is amazing to attend for inspiration.”

Elena added: “I do a lot of research on key fashion events, shows, and trends, which I later present to designers and buyers in reports. I sketch ideas for new styles and, after discussions with my senior designer and buyers, I prepare tech packs to send to suppliers which contain everything from technical sketches to fabric and trim information. I participate in fitting sessions once samples have arrived, to decide whether the fit is right and if any changes need to be made.”