New Talent Fashion

What it takes to be a student designer

To give further insight into the fashion industry and the progression within creative education, we spoke to Chloe Hedges to tell us all about life as a designer and the challenges that come with it.

1. What does it take to be a fashion designer? As in, what motivates you and keeps your creativity alive?

A: To become a fashion designer I believe takes guts, the ability to not care what people think whether they love it or hate, and the ability to share your creative, crazy side and not be scared. I also feel as though it takes a lot of determination and resilience as we all know the creative industry isn’t the easiest to get into and I think this really makes you a determined person. What motivates me is not only that it’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was young but also the concept of being able to walk down the high street and go ‘that person is rocking my design’. That is something I really hope to be able to do one day! Also, I feel like every opportunity I get big or small motivates me, it allows me to see that every opportunity is a stepping stone to what’s next and the next goal. This brings me to another thing that always motivates me is having goals, thinking ahead of what I would like to achieve next and what my next moves may be. I don’t feel like I necessarily need anything to keep my creativity alive as I’m a creative individual, I work in a creative job I come home and I’m creative it’s just part of who I am. 

2. How has design shaped you as a person?

Design has allowed me to explore and understand myself as an individual more, pushing me to talk about topics and concepts I’m passionate about and using my work to showcase these. I also feel as though it’s allowing me to fully be myself (as cheesy as that sounds) I feel like I was almost scared to show this bright, colourful, and crazy self that I was hiding away because it doesn’t fit with what influencers wear and what’s popular on Instagram. It’s more out there so that being said it’s given me the confidence to worry less about what others think and not allow their judgment to bother me. I also feel as though design and creativity is my release, my escape for some it’s going to the gym or certain activities but for me, since I was much younger creativity has been my release, the element of my life that keeps me busy, I’m never bored as there’s also something to do, something new to learn and things that are inspiring every day. 

3. What challenges have you overcome as a student designer?

Personally, for me I think one of my greatest challenges as a student designer was trying to establish an aesthetic for myself as a designer, having that key to my work that would allow people to go ‘omg that’s Chloe Hedges work’. I think this fear for me came from one of the university interviews where I was told I had not established myself as a designer yet and that I hadn’t discovered who I was as a designer (I was only 18 at the time). Because of this, I think in my head I had built up all this pressure to discover this aesthetic, beating myself up for not having yet figured it all out when other student designers had. But over time I’ve come to realise that even now at the age of 21 and with my degree this aesthetic won’t remain the same, it will alter and change just as I will as an individual and that’s perfectly okay! 

So, I would say to other student designers that whilst you’re studying have fun, try lots of new methods and techniques and just find what clicks with you and makes your work what you want it to be, and don’t put lots of pressure on yourself to be perfect and a well-rounded designer from the get-go! Another massive challenge for my year and surrounding years was definitely Covid, it was a massive challenge but it allowed me to realise how adaptable I was, how willing I am to make the best out of any situation and how driven I am to complete work to my best ability no matter what’s thrown my way and I’m really quite proud of myself and fellow student designers (creative students) with how resilient we have all been in such a crazy time! 

You can follow Chloe over on Instagram @bychloehedges 

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