Back in May I did a feature post on Sera Ulger and her collaboration with Malibu rum (http://textilecandy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/sera-ulger-for-malibu.html). Since then I have been fortunate enough to interview her about her design process and how she has established herself as a print designer.
After graduating what did you do? Did you go straight into freelancing or did you do some internships? If so, where..
"I went on to intern with Topshop, specializing in print department for 3 months. I was designing prints for the Spring Summer collection, which they used and launched. I was also working freelance for New York- with Jcrew and Victoria Secret."
You've worked for brands such J.Crew and Topshop, how did you forge connections with such prestigious brands?
"As much as it is important to have contacts in the industry, its really important you know how to put your self out there and make sure the industry knows of you and your specialist skills. I had a great reaction for my final year collection, which helped build awareness as a designer. It was essential to set up my website and have an online presence. "
|Sera Ulger's graduate collection.|
How did you begin working on the Malibu collection, what was your inspiration? Were there any other ideas you played around with?
"Malibu was one of the most exciting projects I've worked on! I designed the final Summer bottle, using this design I used the print in various ways, placing it on to dresses, bikinis, couture pieces. Making sure I created a story, a perfect MalibuRum X SULDN summer 14 story.The inspiration all started with the feel for Malibu as a brand and the beliefs. It was the perfect suited collaboration. I'm very colourful, bold and bright in the way I design, and Malibu’s feel screams exactly this. I started with looking at birds, and painting everything tropical."
|Sera working on the Malibu collection.|
What artists/designers inspire you most?
"I have designers who have inspired me from a young age and still do now, like Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci and Versace to name a few. What’s really inspiring is being part of London’s movement, the music scene has a great influence on the industry and this is something that definitely plays a part in the way I designs."
When you're running dry with inspiration, where in London do you go to get inspired?
"I’m weirdly obsessed with painting and illustrating animals. I love starting a project with an animal painting- to get inspiration and be more inspired; the best place would be the aquarium/ zoo. Being out and about in London is inspiring in its self- the inspiration never really drys out. Especially being at the heart of Dalston."
If you had to choose a quote that motivates you when you're having designers block what would it be?
"I’ve had a poster on my wall since 13 yrs old-
‘The future belongs to those who can see it’
I still have it on my wall. I love it!"
What has been the most beneficial lesson you have learnt since graduating?
"Gaining industry experience is essential, working for different fashion labels I’ve learnt how individual fashion labels run as a business and the manufacturing side of textiles."
What projects are you working on at the moment?
"I'm launching the next season collection in Sep/ Aug- This collection is vibrant and pretty bold. Its really exciting putting together another collection and a launch party. I also work with a print company, where we will be going to New York to show at Indigo Textiles Fair."
What print trends will you be championing this Summer?
"I absolutely love the camo print- need to see more of it! The dog tooth is also in the wardrobe!Not print but- I have my fave white jelly shoes… cant get enough of them. Also rocking a white maxi dress- 90’s eat your heart out."
Finally, Any advice for budding print designers?
"My advice would be to make sure you keep your portfolio updated, and don’t be afraid to make those initial connections your self-put your self out there, and know who you can see your style of work, works best with."