Alumni interview: directly from graduation at Beckmans to responsible designer

Beckmans alumni and degree2018, application and fashion

Amanda Borgfors Mészáros went from graduating from the Fashion Program at Beckmans College of Design to a job as a responsible designer at the fashion brand ATP Atelier in just a few months.

Congratulations on your job as a designer at ATP Atelier! What did the road look like? What does the job mean in concrete terms?

"I got the job after I did an internship at the brand. By then, I had already been in contact with them in the project Fashion Collaboration (a course that is carried out last year at the Fashion Program at Beckmans reds note.). I got a very good learning experience during my internship, when I assisted Elin Krönström who is their designer and who has now gone on parental leave. I was asked to stay and take over as responsible designer and accepted because it's the perfect experience like this at the beginning of my career. To have such a great responsibility right after graduation felt very unique and instructive.  

In concrete terms, the job means that Amanda is responsible for developing new products that speak ATP Atelier's clear and unique language and to take each product all the way from idea to finished result. 

 "As I am responsible for designing the entire range, both shoes and bags, I learn an incredible amount about structures and processes. I feel very grateful and humbled to have this responsibility so early in my career.   

What was it like to collaborate with ATP Atelier in the Fashion Collaboration course last year? What did you think of your interpretation of the brand? 

-It was very educational and fun. I learned a lot about brand building and collection structures that I benefited from later in my degree. But when I was first awarded ATP, I felt it would be difficult to challenge myself and my design process because I was both close to them in my personal aesthetic and think they make very good products. I thought the ultimate thing would be to be assigned a brand that was far from my own aesthetic, so that I would have a whole new framework to work within and challenge. 

"But it turned out that ATP was perfect for me. There is a natural connection to durability, craftsmanship, quality and leather that I feel incredibly much for, and chose to highlight it in my collection by celebrating the design process that is so important for a strong and smart end result.  

What else have you done since your graduation last May?

–Got very good experience in the industry and continued to create collections where I test myself slowly but surely in order to in the future, when all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, be able to launch my own brand. In January I participated in Designers' Nest at Copenhagen Fashion Week where I met a lot of talented and inspiring people. I also went to the final of the Show Up Fashion Award in Borås, and learned an incredible amount about business acumen and brand building that has really helped me to find out what I as a creator can contribute.  

"Right now I'm working on a new collection in parallel with my position at ATP. It will be released this spring and is a continuation of my degree project, which I look forward to very much to present!    

Do you have any tips for those who dream of becoming fashion designers? 

–Find a place in the market that does not yet exist, alternatively that is very unexplored, and create products within a sustainable framework. Sickly difficult, but unfortunately there is too much clothing in our world, and the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil that is in first place. It says a lot about what challenges we face, as an industry and as individuals who want to become fashion designers.   

"So imagine that you should contribute more than just products to people. Try to contribute with a mindset, a buying behavior or a production that makes the consumer choose your product because they want to be part of something bigger and something that does good for our industry. We have a very big responsibility as new creators and designers to set the standard we want the industry to have now and in the future.   

"Another tip is not to be afraid to make mistakes or to "fail", before and during studies, but also in working life. It just means that it might not have gone well at the time, and doesn't mean you can't try again, that's often how you come up with what you really want in the end. Maybe you weren't supposed to succeed, because it was just life that wanted to take you in a different direction. Then I talk, for example, about applying to design schools, participating in competitions and applying for an internship/ job.   

"Personally, I saw Beckmans and my time as a student as a time to try to apply for as many competitions as I could to meet other students from the best design schools, to practice speaking for me as a creator and my creation, and to present my work to very experienced juries with industry professionals that I can then benefit from in my future career," he said. It is important to be humble and open to learning, both from others who have similar dreams to yourself, but also to take advantage of the contacts you get during your studies with students and industry professionals who have more experience than yourself. Dare to ask for advice and tips!

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