Alexandra Gardner, a fashion graduate from Nottingham Trent University, won Adidas' London 2012 Design Award Collection, launched in association with the BFC Colleges Council.
Alexandra is now assistant designer at Adidas by Stella McCartney (serious WOW) but took some time to speak to MyDaily about her final degree project and breaking into the industry amid fierce competition.
What challenges did you face during your final show?
The biggest challenge was overcoming the pressure that I put myself under to do as well as I possibly could in my final year.
The awareness the course was coming to an end with the final show being the product of three years of hard work felt overwhelming at the beginning of the year, but as I began to work on my final project, I fell in love with my inspirations and the year flew by.
I was keen to show off all the skills and ideas I had developed throughout my time at university whilst creating a concise and well thought through collection, meaning that meticulous time management was crucial.
Between my dissertation, extra project for adidas and my six outfit collection, time was always tight but I am so glad that I pushed myself so hard to complete all the aspects of the course to the best of my ability as it has really helped me in my time since graduating.
What advice/ words of wisdom would you offer to students about to graduate?
My main words of advice would be to keep focused on your end goal despite any setbacks. I found that there was so much competition to break into the industry as a graduate that it was important to stay determined and to set yourself apart from other candidates.
I also think it is a great idea to continue to work on and update your portfolio in the time after you leave your course as it is a real display of dedication to your work and to your continual ideas. Most of all it is important to be open minded as you never know where your next opportunity may come from.
It's true that completion of your degree is only the beginning of your learning and although my course at Nottingham Trent University gave me a solid start, my time within the industry since then has utilised and developed my skills and knowledge incredibly.
LOVE ALEXANDRA'S WORK? Be inspired and take a look at these shots from her final collection, you can also follow Alexon twitter here: @alexandrakhalif
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