Essi Peuhkuri
What I really like about my course is the way it allows me to follow my personal interests, which has helped me a lot in developing my own style and voice as a designer.

More about Essi

What made you choose to study at NTU?
“When I was looking at the partner universities I could apply to for my one-year exchange, NTU really stood out with its high standard of education and links to the industry. The opportunity to study fashion accessory design meant an opportunity to become a more versatile designer, by expanding my knowledge of different materials, manufacturing methods and design thinking.”

What do you enjoy most about your course?
“I really enjoy the problem solving and creativity of fashion accessory design. I love the manufacturing process, and seeing my designs in their final form is really rewarding. What I really like about my course is the way it allows me to follow my personal interests, which has helped me a lot in developing my own style and voice as a designer.”

Has the course included any industry competitions, and if so can you tell us what you enjoyed about them?  
“When entering the Student Glove Design Competition, I chose the sports glove category. As an archer myself, I was very excited to design a glove for a sport I’m really keen on; I felt like my passion for the sport itself gave the project a lot more meaning. Entering the competition was a great opportunity to show versatility as a designer by developing a functional product outside the fashion context.

“I also entered The Young and Adventurous Lifestyle Backpack by Guess Handbags category for the 2017 Independent Handbag Designer Awards competition. My design was inspired by travelling and sending letters and cards to your loved ones from the road while following your dream of exploring the world. As an international student living far from home, this was a very personal source of inspiration for me.”

(Essi was awarded £400 as the winner of the sports glove category in the Student Glove Design Competition and was announced a finalist at the 2017 Independent Handbag Designer Awards.)

Has the course included any live projects or briefs?
“We had a live project with River Island. It was a group project where we designed and pitched a collection to a River Island representative. I enjoyed the project because of its links to the reality of being a high street designer. Developing a collection in a group was a valuable experience because it taught me more about working in a group of designers towards a coherent collection. Presenting the final collection and getting feedback from an industry professional was also very valuable.”

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Essi's winning collection - she was the recipient of the YKK Accessories Award at Graduate Fashion Week, 2018

What do you think about the course staff?
“The tutors and technicians are really friendly and supportive. When I first came to NTU, I had no experience in fashion accessory design, which made me worried about how I’d be able to keep up with my classmates. However, a few other students and myself who had transferred from textile design were offered extra manufacturing sessions, which made me feel a lot more confident, and helped me a lot in understanding the essential basics of manufacturing leather products. Even when there is an emphasis on independent learning, students can count on staff for help and guidance when necessary.”

As an international student, what do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Nottingham. It has everything you need, but it is also small enough for you to get to know it really well. There is also always something going on for students.”

What do you think about the facilities available to you?
“The Bonington Gallery provides easy access to the ever-changing art exhibitions. The themes of the exhibitions I’ve been to have been very current and acted as a good source of food for thought. The Bonington shop has been a lifesaver when I’ve run out of small things like tape or blades. All the essential basic equipment for manufacturing can be found there and the fact that it is located in the same building is great. The staff working there are friendly and helpful as well. The City Campus is very lively and enjoyable to study at. All the services are close by, the SU is really nice and the library has a really good selection of books, and the latest journals for art and design.”

In a nutshell, why would you recommend your course / NTU to someone looking to study BA (Hons) Fashion Accessory Design?
“It is a versatile course with very good links to the industry, supportive and professional staff, and a creative atmosphere.”

Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
“In five years, I hope to be running my own innovative fashion brand with a collection of items from accessories to clothing.”

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