As an industry that looks all glitz and glam on the outside, fashion attracts much attention for those who fancy a career in bright lights or merely a career change away from their 9 to 5 cubicles. This is why potential Lewisham Homes fashionistas were given the inside track on getting ahead in the fashion industry at a masterclass organised by Inspirational YOU and funded by the Lewisham Homes Community Fund.

Held at the Steven Lawrence Centre, Deptford, on 25 February, the event attracted more than 60 people who heard senior fashion leaders share their insider knowledge on how to become stylists, designers, photographers or fashion bloggers.

Hosted by TV and radio presenter, Kem Anyanwu, the guest speakers included Arieta Mujay, creative director of African Creative Collective, published fashion photographer Oliver Morris, Tamu Thomas, creative director of Kenema & Co Clothing, and of course FAB’s and STWO PR‘s very own Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo.

The speakers shared their journeys in their respective fashion fields and gave the audience an insight into the industry.

Amenah, 23, from Brockley, said afterwards: “I’d like to be a fashion designer and I received a lot of great advice from each speaker, especially Tamu. It was fantastic being in the presence of all these creatives.”

Another Lewisham Homes resident, Ndifreke, also from Brockley, said: “It was very empowering, listening to their individual journeys about how they got to be where they are today. I came to support my friend who wants to get into fashion design but I found it inspirational and encouraged to make a change. If they can do it, we all can.”

Sonia Meggie, founder of Inspirational YOU, said: “The fashion masterclass was a great success.  Delegates were able to meet experienced professionals in the industry who work with leading fashion houses and brands, such as Vogue. They were also able to hear first-hand experience of what it was like to work with celebrities such as Rihanna.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback. Many said they left feeling confident and empowered. We are pleased to have secured funding from Lewisham Homes to deliver such a successful masterclass.”

Inspirational YOU is one of sixteen local projects that received funding from the Lewisham Homes Community Fund in 2013. As well as the masterclass, the Inspirational You project has a number of aspects, including: a fashion design course; a mobile app design course and a workshop aimed at inspiring local residents to become entrepreneurs.

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