Design Assistant / Ellery
Lauren Acciarito is one of those gals that exude style. Reeks of it actually. Long hair, big eyes and an effortless, unintentional knack for just throwing looks together. It’s no wonder she has pursued a career in the often cut throat industry of fashion. Good design, (not blood) runs through this young woman’s veins.
Some of us are lucky enough to have a support network that infiltrates every area of our lives. A group of friends, a sister, or perhaps a neighbour that somehow deeply impacts our interests, supports our career choices, and even backs us 100% when we decide to leave home and accept a job in another state. Lauren is one young woman with an exceptional support network… her family.
From somewhat humble beginnings, (growing up on a farm in the rural community of Werribee) Lauren remembers the impact that nature had on her life and drove her love to “make things”. Now at only 24 years of age, Lauren lives in Sydney and works within the design team of one of Australia’s most successful fashion brands, Ellery. Lauren took some time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her life in Year 12, her time at University and even some must have tips for budding fashion designers.
Here is her career story.
Hi Lauren, thank you for allowing us to interview you today. Can you start by telling us a bit about where you grew up and how this experience shaped the person you are and the career that you are in today?
I grew up on a farm in Werribee Victoria, where my family grew produce. I watched my dad work extremely hard, and work towards his goals and ambitions to maintain his family business. This influenced me in my career by instilling those values of hard work to achieving my career ambitions – a designer. My experience of growing up on a large property surrounded by nature and the idea of making things directed my career ambitions. My mum, Carmella had a love of design and fashion which resonated with me from a young age – she always supported my interest in creative expression.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
After Year 12, I went down the avenue of University study. I was selected to be a part of the RMIT Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours) Program. This is a full time course that runs for 4 years at either their Melbourne City, or Brunswick campuses. I really wanted to explore as many opportunities as possible at university. I was enrolled in subjects that challenged my outlook on fashion through explorative lens. This meaning I was able to take differing perspectives and apply it through an explorative lens. This meaning I was able to take differing perspectives and apply it to my own design process and aesthetic. These entail – menswear, digital print, communicating fashion through film, installations, textile experimentation. My honours year was probably the highlight of my journey as a fashion student, as it offered an opportunity for you to define yourself as a designer. Form me this gave me a clear indication of who I wanted to work for, where my aesthetic resides amongst existing fashion houses.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain to us any highlights.
I took the opportunity to further my knowledge of fashion design by completing internships while I was at university. I interned for Aussie designers such as Nevenka, Josh Goot and Therese Rawsthorne. This definitely was a highlight as it made me develop workplace skills and reassured my desire to work in fashion.
I was approached by Zimmerman while completing my honours year to meet with the design team for a potential design position. Given Zimmerman is based in Sydney; I moved my life up north which has been a highlight in itself. I worked for them for 6 months as a design assistant which was an incredible launch-pad for my career as someone who wanted to learn and take in a s much as possible.
I now work for Ellery, a company that I have aspired to work for throughout my studies. I am a design assistant where I work across a number of categories. It is an exciting time as Ellery is an internationally recognised brand where we show on the official schedule of Paris Fashion Week.
What an amazing couple of years Lauren. How did you get a look in at Ellery?
I took a chance to reach out to Ellery by sending my portfolio.
What’s the hardest part of your current role?
Fashion in general is a hard working industry as there is a lot involved in the design process than most people realise. This means you need to be flexible with your time to ensure deadlines are met. Even though this is sometimes daunting working with a wonderful team always makes everything easier.
What does a typical business day look like for you in your current job?
My business day is dynamic and changes on what needs to be done on any given day. The best part is watching a collection develop from initial concept to 3-dimensional form.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
The four closest people in my life, my grandmother, my mum, my sister and brother. Individually they have inspired me in their own unique way. My grandmother’s humbling and genuine personality influenced not only my approach to design, but my personality itself. My mum’s strength and persistence in whatever she chooses to do for herself – it reflects on my work ethic. My sister’s eagerness to strive for the best outcome within her own career decisions has impacted me. My brother’s love of life-long learning also motivates to always self-reflect on my own knowledge base and how to continuously improve.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in a career in Fashion or Design?
I strongly advise girls to undertake an Internship while studying. Experience within the industry is incredibly valuable and will not only teach you the raw end of fashion and the work involved, however will assist you to decide whether this is the career you want to pursue. With this in mind, it is important to also consider whether you are looking to work within the fashion industry for the right reasons. It is an industry you need to be passionate and solely committed to. I do feel if you apply the right attitude to work, you will definitely succeed.
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration:
- Favourite Blogs or Websites: Pinterest is really great to gain inspiration visually. I like to look at vintage sites or sites that contain historical works exhibited.
- Books: Books aren’t exactly something I would turn to, however books do have information relating to techniques that interest me, I sometimes would consider.
- People: Looking to people and the way they/we interact with our clothes and what makes us feel comfortable, how we like particular clothing items to sit or fall on us are observations I constantly turn to.