Held at The Bluebird in Chelsea, the event was hosted and organised by current parent, Mrs Lisa Montague who has many years of experience working at board level in the luxury fashion and leather goods business. Her roles have included working at Mulberry, President of Loewe in Madrid and her last position was as the CEO at Aspinal of London.
Mrs Montague brought together a group of professionals from the world of fashion and beauty including Ian Hardie, Vice-President of Sephora Global, Caroline Attwood, CEO of Ally Capellino, Vanessa Lunt, a Fashion Communications Expert, Charlotte Keesing, a Director of Walpole and DH Alumna, Katie Harland who founded the successful Rogue Matilda footwear brand.
Each of the speakers talked about their own career path and gave the girls a whole host of inside information and advice on what to study, how to prepare, finding work experience and internships as well as answering questions. Lower Sixth girl, Anna said, “I really enjoyed meeting such a range of different people who gave a variety of insights into the world of fashion. The most valuable point that I took away regarding internships was to do lots of research and be passionate about your area of interest. I thought the event was very well organised and it has made me more interested in the wider world of fashion.”
After the talks, girls had the opportunity to talk informally with the speakers and start to build relationships and make contacts – putting into practice the advice on building a network of their own.
Lower Sixth girl, Sasha said, I loved the intimacy of the event and how we were able to hear from a variety of speakers and their experience as well as have the freedom to ask questions and go on to have one-to-one conversations with them, if we had any further questions. I found it particularly inspiring to hear from Katie Harland, the DH Alumna who started her own business.”
DH LINKS regularly organises cluster events which each focus on a different sector and bring together the Downe House community to provide support for girls and recent alumnae to pursue their interests.
DH LINKS Coordinator, Mrs Alexandra Barlow said, “The evening was a great success and was a valuable opportunity for the girls to gain an insight into the nature of a career in the fashion, beauty and retail sectors. Our thanks go to Mrs Montague for all of her help in organising the event and to all the speakers who so willingly gave their time and the benefit of their experience. We look forward to the next DH LINKS event in this year’s programme which builds on the success of this event and will focus on jewellery, on both the design and business sides.”
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