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Posted 30.11.18

Pre-Degree Alumni talks life as a Fashion Assistant for Hunger Magazine

By Jasminne Gwalter
After graduating from our pre-degree campus last Summer, Femi Hurley-Scott already has some incredible industry experience under her belt. Femi completed our Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Fashion & Textiles) course in July 2017, and then moved straight to London to work as an assistant to Kim Howells, Womenswear Fashion Director at Hunger Magazine and freelance stylist, who has styled campaigns for The Body Shop, Lulu Guinness and ghd to name just a few.

As Womenswear Fashion Director at Hunger, Kim has styled cover shoots with the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Dakota Fanning and Alicia Vikander, and video shoots with Grimes, and Rita Ora.

Launched by Rankin, one of the world’s leading photographers, in 2011, Hunger Magazine is just one of a series of seminal fashion and culture focused titles created by the iconic photographer in the last two decades. He launched Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack in 1992, AnOther and AnOther man followed in the early to mid 00s. Rankin has also created campaigns and films for the likes of Nike, L’Oreal, Diageo, Vogue and Rolling Stone, as well as shooting portraits of notable figures - from Queen Elizabeth II to David Bowie, and Kate Moss to Damien Hirst.

We caught up with Femi to chat about life working with a top stylist at one of the fashion world’s most influential and highly sought-after titles...

Can you tell us a bit more about your role working with Kim?

My role was as Kim’s second assistant, which meant supporting the first assistant in whatever jobs we had on, whether it was for Hunger Magazine, or for a commercial job, or we may even be shooting for Another magazine.

I was in charge of keeping track of all the samples we borrowed for shoots - from requesting lookbooks from PR agencies and designers, to the collection and return of all samples, including docketing, which essentially means checking all samples in and out of our fashion cupboard - some of the items we borrow would be very high value so it is really important to keep track of everything. I was responsible for keeping track of credits for shoots - making sure that all the designers and brands are correctly credited for the pieces that we feature.

I was also responsible for sourcing looks that fit with our shoot briefs, so I had to build relationships with the teams at PR agencies and designers, gathering the latest seasonal lookbooks in order to create and update moodboards and visual references for Kim.

No two days are ever really the same working with Kim. We oversee all the fashion shoots in Hunger Magazine, which means any stylist shooting a story for the mag will always have to get the all-clear from Kim. That also meant we were not only keeping track of credits for our own shoots, but that we had to do this for everyone else’s.

My role also included going to shows and press events, and assisting Kim on show styling at Milan and London Fashion Week. Kim is also a freelance stylist which means we would often work on commercial jobs, which would entail spending a lot of time shopping for clothes and keeping track on the budget we’d get from the employer.

Kim and I got on very well, and she liked my work ethic and attitude and therefore offered me a role as her assistant upon finishing college. Until then I continued to help her out wherever I could.

Can you give us some examples of the work you’ve done whilst working with Kim?

During my time with Kim we have worked on a vast number of different projects, with many different people. I have assisted on two cover shoots; one with actress Dakota Fanning and the other with Alicia Vikander. I met musician Wizkid whilst he was being shot in the studio, and also met transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf.

Kim also worked very closely with the lead singer Skin from the band Skunk Anansie so I often did one on one fittings with her at her house. There were a number of big models I worked with, including Charlie Barker and several others. Working so closely with Rankin also meant that I was lucky enough to meet some extremely talented and experienced makeup artists, hair stylists and nail technicians also.

Have you been able to work on any of your own shoots since you moved up to London?

Just one day after finishing college last summer I moved straight to London, and right away I was working solidly, with just one or two weekends and bank holidays off so it was extremely difficult for me to find time for any of my own shoots.

However, as Hunger is one of Rankin’s magazines, we often had access to his studio - his assistants were allowed to book it out when it wasn’t being used so that they could do their own shoots. It was quite a challenge to find any spare time, although I did one shoot there in the studio with Rankin’s assistant Derrek, which was a lot of fun and even though I was apprehensive at first, I’m pleased with the outcome considering the short amount of time I had.

My best advice would be to make the most of your time at Plymouth College of Art, as you have so much creative freedom and such amazing resources - now is your chance to produce the work you feel proud of and that really represents you.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I am just about to start my first year at London College of Fashion studying Fashion Styling and Production. I’m very excited to get started on projects and make further contacts within the industry.

I decided to go back and continue my studies in fashion as I felt after learning the technical skills during my time Assisting Kim Howells-the Fashion Editor at Hunger Magazine that I should now go back to experimenting with my own styling and creative direction in a safe and creative environment.

I aim to take all the skills I learnt from my year in the industry and apply and develop them during my time at university whilst also learning many new exciting things. During my degree, I would like to shoot as much as possible in and out of university and so will stay freelancing, working with different teams across London. I am currently the Fashion Director of an online platform Reform The Funk and therefore will keep myself busy on projects and shoots for the website.

Within the next five years I see myself having graduated from university with my own extensive portfolio, client base and list of contacts enabling me to move straight into a career as a freelance stylist or junior fashion editor for a magazine.

Interested in taking on a career in the fashion industry? Join us at our next Open Day to explore the facilities and opportunities for students.

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