Student & Graduate Stories - Art, Design and Fashion

Emma Grieshaber

Freelance Designer

Emma Grieshaber

After graduating in 2020, Emma has been featured on the London Fashion Week website under ‘the class of 2020’ as well as being featured on the British Fashion Council website for Graduate Preview day.

Tells us about your job and what you enjoy most about it?

As a freelance designer I was commissioned to design a sustainable 10-piece collection for a start-up company called ‘MODEL CTIZN’. This project is centred around the NHS as they play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19. As my mum is a nurse, I started investigating the history of the nurse’s uniform as well as gathering photos and interviewing her about memories and experiences she remembers as a young nurse in the 80s. The collection was featured in Vogue Italia and is scheduled to feature in British Vogue in the coming months. 

As well as designing a 10-piece ready-to-wear collection, but I was also: researching trends, sourcing trimmings and ethical fabrics, sewing toiles and final samples, producing quality patterns and constructing tech packs.   

I am currently in talks to start another freelancing job, as well as finally completing my graduate collection which will be shown at Durham University Charity Fashion show in June.

Where was your placement and how has this benefited your studies?

Being a production Intern at Raeburn, in London, I was responsible for: producing quality and accurate tech packs, contracting factories, translating designs into technical drawings, updating cost sheets, sourcing trimming and fabrics, quality checking all garments that came back from factories, attending and informing other departments on production progress at weekly company meetings. The biggest thing I learnt at Raeburn was how to design with a sustainable focus. They taught me about different alternative fabrics and techniques which I incorporated into my graduate collection.  

Grieshaber 4 - Tudor Trousers, Fabric Inspiration, Trouser Toile, Tudor Hips
Grieshaber 3 - Initial Inspiration, Dress Toile, The Shirt Dress
Grieshaber 1 - Model Ctizn: Grieshaber, Freelance Design Work for Start-up company Model Ctizn.
Grieshaber 2 - Model Ctizn: Grieshaber

In what ways do you feel your studies have helped your career?

My studies have provided me with the freedom of creativity, as well as learning where to source great quality sustainable fabrics! 

What was it like being a student at RGU?

Gray’s School of Art is a fantastic place to study. At Gray’s you feel like you are a part of a creative community – the tutors are excellent in encouraging you to be your best and push you to succeed.  If you are looking to develop skill and learn about fashion design as well as textiles this is the place to go. 

What Scholarship were you awarded and how has this benefited your student experience/studies/learning/career? 

For my final year at Grays, I was awarded the British Fashion Council exceptional circumstances scholarship.  

This scholarship has enabled me to achieve more than I had visualised for myself and my graduate collection. Through attaining this scholarship, I have been presented with numerous opportunities as well as being able to meet fellow scholars/ designers. I was able to attend the London fashion awards as well as being invited to Charlotte Knowles’ show at London Fashion Week. The biggest achievement that this scholarship has given me was being featured on London Fashion Weeks Website! With the support of the British Fashion Council, I was able to explore new techniques, which I would never have achieved the collection of my dreams without this financial assistance. 

Hints and tips for students/graduates pursuing their studies/entering the job market

I would strongly advise doing an internship in third year. It can be an intimidating thought, but you learn so much, which helps you with your final year project in 4th year. You also meet a lot of people in the industry which is great to start networking before you graduate. These are the people you can invite to see your work at ‘new designers’ or the fashion show.  Doing an internship also helps you and your CV when applying for jobs after graduation.

Cookie Consent