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Top clothing company honchos attend ASBCI student seminar
Apr '09
ASBCI 274 Speakers at student seminar Chris Thierry, Paul Jenkins, Dawne Stubbs, Lindsay Clarke & Sylvia Ayton
ASBCI 274 Speakers at student seminar Chris Thierry, Paul Jenkins, Dawne Stubbs, Lindsay Clarke & Sylvia Ayton
Student speaker review: Over 70 of the ASBCI's 300 student members attended the 7th Student Seminar 2009 held at Dean Clough in Halifax. The proceedings opened with a presentation from the ASBCI's student chairman and retail general manager with Australian Wool Innovation, Chris Thierry who thanked the speakers for giving up their time and expertise freely for the benefit of the students.

Dawne Stubbs, creative director at John Smedley, the oldest textile factory in the world, estsablished 225 years ago, and vertical producer of fine gauge fully-fashioned knitwear . She has headed the team that has wrought a renaissance in the brand in recent years and created an aspirational product with a 'tradition and classicism that does not fade.' Worn and loved by celebrities the world over, Hugh Grant, Madonna, Tom Cruise to name but a few, John Smedley's young design team has re-invented classic knitwear designs to give women a new 'relevant, modern, progressive' fashion silhouette. The Smedley mantra is to create an intrinisically 'Made in England' timeless fashion staple that defines 'slowear' and therefore supports its core sustainability ethic ' buy less, buy better.'

Paul Jenkins, resourcing manager for George at ASDA fast-tracked student delegates through the career path that has taken him to the top job in human resourcing for one of the UK's top volume clothing retailers. He described George's corporate commitment to 'respect, service, excellence' and its warm and friendly culture before detailing its robust training programme, promotion paths and career academies for every job function in the organisation. He advised students on where to look for graduate opportunities within the organisation and stressed the importance of the company's work experience programme in securing full-time positions.

He explained: “ We recruit for attitude and train for ability. We are looking for candidates that have gone that extra mile and that fit in with the values of our business and our culture. Strong team players, a passion and willingness and learn with the ability to help us get to be the number one volume clothing retailer by 2011.”

Lindsay Clarke, managing director, Planet Personnel then went on to give students a master class in designing, writing and submitting their CVs. She urged students: “Don't be money motivated when you go for your first job. If you show passion and ability the money will come.”

Students were then treated to a fascinating presentation from haute couture legend Sylvia Ayton, MBE, who includes Zandra Rhodes among her former design and business partners. She shared her highly personal experiences of a career that started in the 1950's and that took her through all the famous haute couture houses of the era through to the present day.

Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry

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