The YKK London Showroom is once again delighted to be sponsoring the Accessories Award at Graduate Fashion Week from the 3rd – 6th of June. Our judging panel consists of some of the leading figures in the UK fashion industry.
In this special blog series we will be interviewing each of our judging panel, giving you an insight into their careers and how they began working with YKK.
We will start our series with an interview with Jas Sehmbi, accessories and furniture designer.
How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
I had a huge interest in art and fashion from an early age. In high school, I was always inspired to create my own pieces, rather than being told what to design. After a couple of disagreements with my art teacher, I went directly to the head teacher and showed him my designs. The head teacher then gave me my own art studio at the school and I had this for two years. My career in the fashion industry began in accessories design and I launched my own brand, Jas MB London, in 2000. My focus now is on accessories, but I also design furniture.
Who/what inspires you?
Our bags are handmade in London, and I will always be inspired by the city. I’ve been in the industry for a long time and this experience also helps ideas to flow naturally. I like to simplify my ideas and find that when I do this, the final pieces become more difficult to create – and they end up being very unique! For materials, leather is a very exciting component to work with as it can be moulded into anything.
Could you tell us a bit more about your current role and responsibilities?
Running my own brand, Jas MB London, takes me all around the world. We have over 500 stockists globally and have worked with leading luxury brands including Louis Vuitton and Swarovski. I’ve also lectured at fashion colleges around the world.
How did your relationship with YKK begin?
I have known Kei Kagami, YKK Europe Limited Ambassador, for over twenty years, supplying him with leather throughout this time. In April 2016 I designed an exclusive collection called ‘Concrete Jungle’ for the YKK London Showroom window display. YKK is a brand everyone in the industry knows and respects.
What are you looking forward to most about Graduate Fashion Week?
Celebrating the success of students. I have lectured at the London College of Fashion and always felt it was important to recognise and promote young talent, often providing prizes to winners of competitions. Students are the future and should know that nothing is impossible. The ability to design and develop something with our bare hands is incredibly exciting.
If you had one piece of advice for fashion students, what would it be?
When you are walking down the street, don’t plug yourself into your iPhone. Instead, look around for inspiration – it’s everywhere! Open your eyes and listen to the natural noises around you.
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