In conversation with past FAD beneficiary Melissa Allada
Melissa’s involvement with FAD goes back to 2013 when she took part in FAD Fashion Futures, reaching the London Fashion Week final. She came back to present the Fashion Futures show in 2015, and since then she has been an FAD stalwart, volunteering for many projects as well as being a member of the FAD Creative Core.
After finishing school, Melissa decided that uni wasn’t for her, and chose to follow her interest in tailoring, honing her skills on Savile Row. That led to her current role, as an apprentice garment technologist in high street giant M&S’s menswear department. She blogs as the Tiny Tailor https://tinytailor.wordpress.com/
This spring, Melissa shared her skills with the 2017 FAD Fashion Futures cohort as a volunteer. We caught up with her during the workshops.
Why did you volunteer in the Fashion Futures workshops?
I volunteer at FAD’s projects because I benefited greatly from Fashion Futures myself – it was inspirational and it gave me the confidence boost and connections I needed to get into the industry that I wanted.
What does volunteering mean to you?
Volunteering means a lot as I want to give young people the same opportunities, knowledge and support FAD has given to me. It’s incredible how a lot of those who have benefited from the programmes come back to help out – it’s an ever-growing circle of support.
What have you learnt from FAD?
I have learnt a lot, not just skills that are desired in the industry but also soft skills such as networking and timekeeping. I’ve also learnt to have the patience and empathy needed to work with young people – not everyone has the same work ethic and I learned to work around that. I will never forget the first lessons in pattern cutting and garment construction from the Fashion Futures workshops- I think I learned more at FAD than I did in college.