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Abercrombie & Fitch snap up Fashion Design graduate

Fashion Design graduate Kelly Walker's world has been a whirlwind since she was offered her dream job at retail giants Abercrombie & Fitch in America.

Fashion Design graduate Kelly Walker's world has been a whirlwind since she was offered her dream job at retail giants Abercrombie & Fitch in America.

She travelled across the Atlantic to the firm's headquarters in Ohio, got an American driving licence, house hunted, bought a phone, car, furniture and started training in her new job.

Kelly, who graduated from Nottingham Trent University last year, has now settled into her role as a female sweaters and winterwear designer.

She said: "I was placed on the Abercrombie Girls Knitwear team and so we are currently designing jumpers, cardigans, hats and scarves for Christmas 2014, while also developing and fitting the styles we designed for Labor Day and Spring / Summer 2014. I'm also learning to knit! It gets really busy, but it's also very exciting!"

It was during her studies at university that Kelly, 22, was given a three-month internship at Abercrombie & Fitch as part of an internship programme specially developed by the company for Nottingham Trent University.

"I actually entered a competition in my second year of university to win a three-month summer internship with Abercrombie," she said. "I was fortunate enough to win and at the end of my three months here in the states, A&F offered me a full-time post grad position."

She said her hard work at university equipped her with the skills she needed to succeed in the States.

"My degree at Nottingham Trent University taught me the importance of time keeping, professionalism and team work and how to be proactive and efficient," said Kelly. "My studies gave me skills in programmes that are used daily within this industry such as Adobe Illustrator. I learnt how to tailor my designs for specific markets and consumers. My final year taught me to be patient and how to cope with long working hours! It increased my confidence in myself and my abilities and taught me to push for what I believe in."

As well as securing her internship and job at Abercrombie & Fitch, Kelly said a highlight of her time at Nottingham Trent University had been Graduate Fashion Week.

"Without a doubt my highlight was my collection being the grand opening of my Final Year Fashion show and getting chosen to be in Graduate Fashion Week! Seeing my collection going down the runway was an incredibly proud moment and so emotional.

"It was amazing seeing that the hard work that my friends and I all put into our collections had finally paid off. And honestly, although there were some stressful long days – and nights – during my three years studying fashion design, mostly I loved spending my days in the studios, surrounded by my best friends and doing something that I loved. Looking back I definitely remember the laughs and fun that we had more than I remember the stressful moments!"

Gilly Staples, Kelly's final year tutor at Nottingham Trent University, said: "Kelly was so focussed, so hard-working and highly creative and she deserves all the success.

"Kelly was offered the job in her second year but when she came back for her third year, she didn't relax knowing she had a job, she actually stepped up her game. I am sure she will do well at A&F because she is such an adaptable designer and so creative."

Having just finished her first three months at the American firm, Kelly said she is loving her dream job and has some advice for current fashion students wanting to follow in her footsteps.

"Put yourself out there, be confident in yourself and your designs and strive to gain as much experience as possible – you never know where it will get you!" she said.

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Abercrombie & Fitch snap up Fashion Design graduate

Published on 10 February 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Art & Design

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