A day in the life of a fashion designer

A day in the life of a fashion designer

From caffeine fixes to colour palettes, we discover what a fashionista’s day entails…

Sophie Stirk, 23 is director of Chic Hangers London, a Tunbridge Wells-based fashion company. After completing a degree in Geography, she decided fashion was more her style, so started the business in 2014. Now, she spends her days creating luxury wardrobe staples.

Early riser
If I’m working in London then I have to be up early in order to get a train, but if I’m working from my home office in Tunbridge Wells then the latest I’ll get up is 7.30am. The first thing I do is shower! Then I will make a flat white – I always need some caffeine.

Working wardrobe
As you can tell by my collection, I am very much about the essentials of a wardrobe. When you have essentials you are prepared for any weather and any occasion. I just style basics with a pop of colour in a jacket, hat or shoes and I am ready to go!

Checking up
The first thing I do when I start work is check my emails, then there are the everyday tasks like the accounts, invoices, customer contact, industry news updates and industry subscription reading. Then, depending on the timeline we work to, I may have to be liaising with our suppliers, boutiques, photographers, storage companies and freight companies, or organising events, such as pop up shops, doing garment fit sessions, finding design inspiration…the list goes on!

Drawing inspiration
I get the ideas everywhere and anywhere, there is no one-stop shop, but it is so important to find that time to get inspiration. Sometimes the everyday running of the business takes over and I have to stop and remind myself that the product is the most important element so a lot of time has to be spent on this aspect of the business.

Design time
I do all the inspiration and moodboards/colour palettes for the clothes, then I use a freelance designer who draws through illustrator and programmes alike.

Once that’s done we go through the approval process.

Sophie Stirk

Quick bite
I don’t have a specific time when I break for lunch – I usually grab something and eat it whilst working!

Popping up
My clothes are mostly sold online, but sometimes I get to do pop up events. They’re one of my favourite parts of my job and I love them because I get to help a customer and engage, get feedback and have a happy customer feeling great and feeling excited about their new item!

Fit for a model
We have a ‘fit’ model – she resembles the correct measurement for our average ideal customer, and when we have new designs, a garment developer and myself will work together to fit the samples to the model. We pin and make changes to the specs depending on the level of alterations needed.

After hours
I finish at different times, depending on what I get done. This isn’t a nine to five job, that’s for sure! In the evenings, I like to relax when I can, and do things like going for dinner and drinks. But most weekday evenings are spent working or prepping!