A SIT DOWN WITH ZULEHA OSHODI
Describe your process
A lot of the time its inspired by people and their stories. There are a lot of untold stories in black history. They are not the kind of things you find in national curriculum, they are undiscovered and real and that’s fascinating to me.
Would you describe yourself as a conceptual designer?
No, because I really want to see people in my designs. I want it to fit into people’s everyday life. I’m quite down to earth with the shapes and silhouettes I choose. I like to play around and build on the classic shapes. When it is too conceptual or looks too much like an art piece, for me, it becomes too busy.
Tell me about this project
It is my graduate collection, the conception of this idea is influenced by a lot of world news today. From the women’s march to the trump fiasco, it’s a reflection of people awakening to the world around them. It reminds me of the social stance that black panthers had. It’s a sort of art piece or uniform reminiscent of the spirit and beauty of authentic social and political freedom.
What are your goals with this project?
To finish it, lol. To grow and find myself as a designer. I want it to help me cement my DNA as a fashion designer. I guess to get my degree as well, it’s weird, it’s like the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new chapter as well. The new chapter being my career ofcourse. Im excited and scared as to where this new chapter will take me.
What are your goals for the nearest future?
To gain as much experience as possible and hopefully finds a design role in a brand that suits my aesthetic and possibly start my own brand somewhere down the line.
What would you call your brand?
What are your thoughts on the fashion industry at the moment and what that means for prospective graduates like yourself?
The landscape is getting better for people to just branch out and do their own thing, which always makes for interesting results. However, it’s still very hard for students because there is a massive backlog of graduates and very limited design spaces. With the fashion industry at the moment its looking for something fresh, a lot of the old fashion houses are looking to change the air that has stagnant for a while. For graduating students that can make for great opportunities. I guess it is how its always been, nothing comes free or easy.
What are your thoughts on young people with no formal fashion education starting their own brands?
To be honest it’s not the fact that they haven’t gone to school, university is really just a breeding ground to realise your creative voice and full potential. What annoys me though, is the ignorance and how easy they think it is. They don’t realise all the work that goes into creating really good clothes, a lot of the time what you find is that the quality of production just isn’t there.
What is your advice for young people looking to get formal education in fashion at a time when a lot of people are going for other options?
Id suggest to them to just be sure and do a lot of research. Whether it’s through unit or experience they are both very hard pathways that lead to the same thing. A fashion degree is a very intense process. What a lot of people find after they have already started is that it is not for them.