Monday 15 August 2016
Within weeks of finishing the second year of her BA (Hons) Fashion degree at the University of Northampton, Elena Hristova has already notched up some impressive work experience with high-quality leather manufacturers Pittards.
Elena was one of five students who won the opportunity to complete a month’s placement after taking part in a collaborative project set by Pittards to create and produce a collection of outfits, footwear and accessories. The project was designed to enable students to make the appropriate connections across the disciplines of fashion, textiles and footwear and accessories, extending learning beyond the classroom to help them gain experience in meeting external industry deadlines and to support them in managing their workloads, therefore gaining employability skills.
Pittards has been producing high-end leather accessories since 1826 and Elena was invited to its head office in Yeovil, Somerset so she could work with the different departments to understand how the products are made and marketed. She was also given her own project to design and create a women’s wet pack for travelling.
She said: “My time at Pittards was allocated between the design and production departments, who supported me with the travel wet pack that I was tasked to make for the Heritage Collection. It was very exciting, but was also challenging as there were a lot of points to take into consideration, such as price point and customer needs, as well as quality and materials.
“After sampling and discussing my ideas with the teams, I eventually designed and created the ultimate final product. My wet pack has waterproof qualities, yet suggests elegance and femininity, enabling women to take all their necessities when they are travelling, in a beautiful leather product.”
Alongside her creative project, Elena also got involved in other tasks, such as cutting, making belts, cutting leather, sewing, helping prepare the exhibition stand for a trade show and attending meetings with leather and material suppliers.
Summing up her experience, Elena said: “I received an incredible insight into the leather manufacturing industry and gained valuable experience which will help me build up both my professional and personal development.”