We wouldn’t be able to run our Fashion Futures workshops without the help of our invaluable volunteers. Today we got the chance to find out a bit more about Namoi, who has helped out with the project every single week!
Q: How long have you known about FAD, and how did you come to know of it?
A: I found out about FAD on Instagram at the beginning of the year, just when I was scrolling through, and I started to follow them because I thought “this is great, helping young people”. As soon as I saw the volunteering opportunity I emailed straight away and asked if I could get involved.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you saw the volunteering opportunity?
A: I thought it was the perfect opportunity to help and get involved in something I’m used to, so I’m used to fashion and designing, along with the whole technical aspect. I’ve always wanted to work with younger adults, especially at that age when they’re about to go into either a professional environment or a university – I think that’s the best time to see whether they really into fashion or what direction they want to g into in terms of fashion. That drew me to FAD.
Q: What’s your day job – what sort of thing do you get up to outside of FAD?
A: At the moment I’m freelancing, designing my own collection. I’m also doing some printing, helping someone print on some African scarves. So I’m still in a design aspect right now.
Q: What’s been the highlight for you here volunteering every Saturday?
A: I think getting to know the students on a creative level. They all have different aspirations, and getting to know them individually has been great. I never thought I’d enjoy that the most, but getting to know each of them one on one has been really great.
Q: What would you say is the thing students have struggled most with here, and how can they overcome it?
A: It depends – a few of them struggled with their time management. It’s also the new skills that they’re not used to, so a lot of the students who were not used to pattern cutting struggled with it, whilst the students who are not used to sewing on industrial machines also struggled at first.
Q: What advice would you give the young people as they figure out what area they want to go into, in particular if they end up working in fashion?
A: A lot of the young people I’ve spoken to want to be designers, and I would say to practice their design skills, find their own unique illustrations and just draw every day. Be inspired – when you go out and see something intriguing, take a picture, use it as a project and just build on your own sort of look and style. That’s very important if you want to be a good designer. I also feel that they should know who they’re designing for – a lot of them are designing for themselves, but when you think of the bigger picture, you have to sell clothes to people, so a lot of them have to remember that they need to find their muse or who they’re designing for.
Q: Could you summarise your volunteering experience in three words?
Inspirational, exhilarating and challenging.