We caught up with Miromoda emerging designer winner Jacob Coutie for a quick Q&A.
Sans Pareil – What first influenced you to become a designer, do you have a background in fashion or a similar industry?
Jacob – Well I made the choice in my last year of high school that if I wasn’t going to continue my sport endeavours then I better consider taking a path in a more feasible career. I was already introduced to the nz fashion industry and the many up-and-coming labels at this point and that kind of gave me a bit of hope.
SP – What are your main inspirations when it comes to designing?
Jacob – Wow! It truly depends.
I’m inspired by culture mainly. The idea that dress plays a small part in one’s culture is quite a beautiful thing to me. I think, as a whole, philosophy is something that drives me to tell a story through design
SP – What obstacles or challenges have you faced whilst building up your career?
Jacob – Oh man. Probably time!!!!! Seriously, 24 hours per day is not enough! Everything is so quick these days and deadlines are called “dead” “lines” for a reason. The biggest challenge is also decision making. I feel like that’s a big skill in itself.
SP – How did you get involved in the Miromoda Showcase and what has it meant to you to be involved?
Jacob – Actually I was introduced to Miromoda from the previous year winner, Pania Greenway. Like myself, she went to Massey University.
But to actually get in and be a part of the Miromoda whānau has been one of the greatest achievements/experiences yet! We are all so supportive of each other’s work. There’s none of that “I wanna be better than you” mentality bullshit.
Just good mana all round.
SP – What was your 2017 Fashion Week experience like? Did it differ from other shows?
Jacob – It was a very jam packed week to say the least, we were a group show so had to plan everything as a group.
All I can say is, our show was completely sold out.
SP – What are your plans for the near future?
Jacob – I’m going to finish my degree and then perhaps some light travel and find work in the industry.
I’m keen for some more experience.
SP – What is the most valuable piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Jacob – Oooh I have received some good advice over the past few years. “Practise what you preach” I believe is one that has stuck with me.
SP – What should aspiring fashion designers know before entering the industry?
Jacob – Be ready! Both physically and mentally.
Don’t show up unprepared, don’t show up uncommitted. If it is truly your passion then it won’t be much work for you.