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Rags to riches: KU’s fashion graduates in big name jobs

By Åsa Hedvig Aaberge Oct 19, 2017
“My collection was solely made from vintage garments that were transformed to create new garments,” Kingston graduate Tara Khemiri said about her collection (pictured) that secured her a job at Stella McCartney. (Photo: Rosemary Pitts)

Fashion design graduates from Kingston University secured remarkable positions at world leading fashion companies Chanel and Stella McCartney, only months after graduating. 

The four young fashion designers Kate Clark, Giorgia Presti, Rebecca Holmes and Tara Khemiri graduated from Kingston’s BA (Hons) fashion programme this summer. They have already got their careers off to a flying start in Paris, London and New York.

“I was super shocked when I got an interview because Stella McCartney is such a huge brand. I didn’t even think they would interview me at all. When I got the news I was really happy and excited, just ecstatic. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity,” graduate Tara Khemiri said about landing her first job.

The 24-year-old applied for jobs every single day for months before she got her dream position at British label Stella McCartney.

Fellow graduates Kate Clark, Giorgia Presti, both 22, and Rebecca Holmes, 24, also quickly made their way into the fashion industry. Both Clark and classmate Presti secured positions at French fashion house Chanel and are now working alongside in the textile department at the company’s Paris headquarters.

Holmes impressed the American brand Banana Republic at the international knitwear competition ‘Feel the Yarn’ in Florence, that landed her a six-month position at the American brand’s offices in New York.

Kingston University’s head of fashion associate professor Elinor Renfrew, said the young designers are rewarded for their talent and hard work. “These four graduates are extremely creative and professional and we’re thrilled they have the chance to further develop their skills at such renowned brands,” Renfrew said.

Kingston University has played a significant role in the young designer’s journey into the fashion business. “Fashion design at Kingston University really focus on design. Throughout three years of studying there, I had numerous design projects that have enabled me to design for different levels of the fashion market in a quick and efficient way,” Khemiri said encouraging future graduates to listen to their tutors and work hard.

Kingston’s fashion programme has a renowned name in the fashion world. This year the Guardian University Guide placed Kingston as the highest ranked university in the country specialising in fashion and leading fashion website, Business of Fashion, ranked the course at number two in the world in 2016.

“The university ensures its fashion students gain extensive industry experience throughout their studies, making them some of the most employable designers in the UK by the time they graduate. Our students are creative, innovative and proficient – and throughout their studies, they acquire the skills to apply their creativity in a professional environment,” Renfrew said.


Picture from Khemiri's graduate collection. (Photo: Rosemary Pitts)
Picture from Khemiri’s graduate collection. (Photo: Rosemary Pitts)

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