When we talk about keeping everything in the North East, we obviously include our team in that too. We love finding local talent from Northumbria and Newcastle University to be a part of Studio Courtenay, and our latest recruit is our intern, Sam Holden.
Hi Sam, where are you from and what do you study?
Hi! I'm from Doncaster in South Yorkshire and I've been studying Fashion Design and Marketing at Northumbria since 2019.
How did you first become interested in Fashion?
Growing up I was always drawn to creative activities and I always prioritized creative subjects at school. In my spare time I always used to draw my own dress designs and mock them up in fabric using miniature mannequins. When I was in secondary school I discovered vintage fashion and would go on vintage shopping trips to Sheffield and Leeds with my friends. I left sixth form to start a college course in fashion and I haven't looked back since, the course prepared me for university and allowed me to think about a career in an area I love.
What are your career plans?
I would first like to secure a job once I graduate in 2023 somewhere within the fashion industry. I am currently drawn to areas such as surface print design, social media marketing and pattern cutting. As you may have noticed these are all very different from one another and I believe it will take time for me to work out what avenue I would like to create a career in.
What sort of things have you been doing at Studio Courtenay?
In my first few weeks at Studio Courtenay, I have mainly assisted on the e-commerce side of the business. This involved tasks such as quality control checks on new stock, product photography and editing, then creating listings for the website. In the coming weeks I hope to assist in other aspects of business such as social media content, design and garment tech.
What do you like about working here?
I love that the team is small and intimate, I get to have such interesting conversations with people that I wouldn't have been able to, if it had not been for this internship. I believe I learn best from speaking to people and collecting knowledge like a sponge. Another thing I love about Studio Courtenay is how it promotes feel good fashion and educates its customers on colour theory! The third thing is how it's using deadstock fabric in a way that is creative and expressive!
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I am very inspired by women such as Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood. I have always taken an interest in social history and specifically the change in women's place in Society in the last century. Quant and Westwood both used their platform in the fashion industry to say something important in a way that defined their respective era. In the 60s Quant pioneered the youth fashion movement and revolutionized retail. In the 80s Westwood fore fronted sexual expression and was largely responsible for creating the punk era synonymous with the 80s.
What do you love the most about fashion? Who is your fashion icon?
My favourite thing about fashion is how it is a reflection of a moment in time. Whether that be how you are feeling, what the occasion is or what the weather is like outside it. The clothes you wear say something about you. I love Instagram for finding amazing fashion personalities/icons, I love Iris Apfel, Baddie Winkle, Tiger Lilly, Alexa Chung and Daphne Blake (Scooby Doo).
Do you have any recommendations for websites or podcasts we should be subscribing to?
I get most of my inspiration from Instagram. I enjoy following magazine accounts such as, i-D, DAZED Fashion and Street Style accounts such as StyleMilkshake. I also look at Archive fashion Shows on websites such as TAGWALK and VOGUE.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love being busy and have to occupy myself with an activity most of the time. I love being outdoors and enjoy hiking and going on nature walks. In lockdown I taught myself to cook through ordering recipe meal boxes. I love to use what I have learnt and cook for loved ones. I also enjoy crafting and am a committee member in the Stitch Make and Bitch society at Northumbria University.
What does the next year hold for you?
The next 6 months I plan to throw myself into my placement at Studio Courtenay and learn as much as possible, the projects planned for me as an intern are very exciting and I can't wait for each and every one of them. From January onwards, I will return to University lectures on campus which I haven't done since March 2020, I am looking to carry on my degree and use all I will have learnt in my placement year to improve my University work.