LCF Short Courses: Sanjit Vallance tells us about the Lingerie and Swimwear Design course.
At LCF we offer over 165 short courses, the largest and most in-depth range of fashion short courses in the world. They cater for students of all ages and abilities with a passion for the subject and a desire to learn. From introductory courses to more intense vocational studying, we’ve got it covered.
We recently caught up with Lingerie and Swimwear Design student Sanjit Vallance who told us about her experience. Sanjit, who now runs her own sleepwear and lingerie business – Nui Ami – tells us why she chose LCF, what she enjoyed most about the course, and how it helped her in her career.
Why did you choose to do the Lingerie and Swimwear short course at LCF?
When I first came up with the idea of sleepwear with cup sizes I gave myself 3 months to research. As I was looking around for short courses in lingerie specifically, I came across the Lingerie and Swimwear Design short course at LCF. I was drawn to the cost and length of the course because it fitted in with my time frame and budget. The length of the course would allow me to see if my concept had a leg to stand on, and whether my niche idea of making subtle sexy sleepwear that provided support to the wearer would take off.
What did you enjoy most about the course and what did you find most challenging?
I really enjoyed meeting students from all over the world and learning about their backgrounds. This allowed me to start networking – I still text and email some of the students on my course for advice on things like factories and suppliers. I also enjoyed that the course did exactly what it said on the tin – it served me well and touched on different areas of lingerie, as well as the history of lingerie and the technicality. We were also taught how to draw and sketch with feedback and the course as a whole gave me a road map at the beginning of my journey of how to get my brand established.
I did find the drawing aspect a challenge as this is not something I feel confident in doing and I am very decisive and confident in what I want my ideas and aesthetic to look like. Luckily I have sourced people to do that for me within my company.
What advice or tips would you give to prospective students of LCF’s lingerie courses?
Be realistic about what you can learn – the short courses are designed to be a snapshot of learning and not intended to be as in depth as a full time course. The short courses are also great for entrepreneurs who see fashion as a business, so I would highly recommend them to anyone who is wanting to start their own company. They will also help you decide if that area of fashion is right for you without committing to a year or two of study.
Tell us a bit about your brand ethos and what are you working on at the moment?
The ethos of my brand – Nui Ami – is to produce subtle, sexy sleepwear that has been designed to make the wearer feel confident within themselves – it focuses on the softer side of sexuality. Giving the wearer confidence is important and each piece is cup sized with supportive underbands too.
At the moment our distribution is growing and we are currently stocked in several boutiques, with interest from department stores where we are now looking to expand to. I love to travel for inspiration and plan to create more future collections inspired by cities I’ve visited. I also showed at the Salon International de la Lingerie earlier this year.
You were also nominated for the Best New Designer award at the UK Lingerie Awards 2015, how did this achievement make you feel?
It was great! I met Sarah Clarke, editor of Lingerie Insight, who adored the collection and encouraged me to submit the collection for the awards. The publicity has been great and generated good response for Salon International de la Lingerie.
What inspires you as a designer?
I’m always inspired by architecture, travelling to different places, their colours and inhabitants. I also have an obsession with tiles where I draw some of my inspiration. Above all, I always imagine myself as the customer and wearer of my brand to help me design and create something beautiful, fashionable and wearable.
What designers do you look up to in the fashion industry?
I adore Marni for their prints, and Celine for their colour blocking. I have also always admired the way that Dolce & Gabbana design feminine pieces that also suit curvy women.
What qualities do you feel a lingerie or swimwear designer needs in today’s market, to be successful and stand out?
Definitely raw determination as well as being completely organised. The fashion industry is incredibly hard to break into, especially when you’re dealing with lingerie and sleepwear. It really isn’t an area of fashion for the faint-hearted but as long as you can identify a niche in the market that you feel strongly for and passionate about, you will succeed by remaining determined and focused.
How did the LCF Lingerie and Swimwear Design short course help your career?
It helped me at the very beginning of my career in a huge way – it helped me to plan the map I needed to start my own sleepwear brand. The snapshot of the entire lingerie industry I got on the short course, helped me realise what my weaknesses were (such as drawing) and finding people to do that for me, as well as the technical side of the business when it comes to the fit of the garment. The short course at LCF was a total investment in my career as a sleepwear designer.