Fashion illustrator hosts masterclass for students

A successful fashion illustrator visited Staffordshire University fresh from London Fashion Week to share her industry experience with students.

Jessica Bird, one of the women working behind the scenes of London Fashion Week, hosted fashion masterclasses with students on the BA (Hons) Fashion course over two days this week.

Since graduating four years ago, Jessica’s career has skyrocketed and she works with designers and brands, creating illustrations of clothes which are used for social media and marketing.

She explained: “Photographs are cold images now and people just scroll right past. Fashion illustration is coming back because it's a more warm and emotional way to connect with customers.”

During her visit to Staffordshire University, Jessica hosted talks for students and led life drawing and fashion illustration workshops.

Student Lucy Clayton said: “It's really nice to meet someone who's got first-hand experience of the industry. We can learn from Jessica what we are going to experience or what to look for out for in the future.

“It's been good to explore more expressive styles, it's more fun that way!”

The BA (Hons) Fashion degree is now in its second year and students have access to the unique Betty Smithers Design Collection, designated studio space and specialist fashion workshops. The course has a strong focus on employability and students also have the option of spending a year working industry.

Jessica said: “I think it's so important to understand how the industry works. When you are in this space with lots of like-minded people at the same level as you it's quite difficult to understand how it works on the outside.

“I'm super impressed with the facilities that you have here, it's quite an amazing opportunity."

Rachel Heeley, who used to teach Jessica as a student, leads the Fashion course at Staffordshire University.

“It was a real privilege for Jess to take time out of her busy schedule to come and visit us at Staffs. I think by meeting someone who is doing so well in the fashion industry, after such a short time from graduating is so helpful for our students as it’s so relatable.

She added: “On a personal note it was lovely to see Jess again, we have stayed in touch since she graduated but to see her again in person was great and I feel really proud of her achievements!”

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Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
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