Dubai based Hiba Jaber graduated from BA (Hons) Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion in 2012. Since graduating, she has used the skills and contacts she acquired to gain the experience and confidence she needed to be able to set up on her own, launching her own brand of jewellery this year.
What made you decide to come to London and study at LCF? And what specifically interested you about fashion management?
When I was about to graduate from school, I looked for universities and colleges that offered the courses I was mostly interested in, mainly in the art and Design field, and LCF was one of my top choices. I knew I wanted to eventually have my own brand in the future, so I worked towards that. I started off with a Foundation Degree in Art & Design, and from there I went on to BA Fashion Management. At the time, I felt that this degree would give me a solid base on which I could further build on with creative courses and experiences. This turned out to be true. I always had an interest in both business and art, so it was the perfect amalgamation of both.
What was the best thing LCF taught you?
It was a great experience! I think the most important lesson learnt is independent problem solving and learning. We had the right tools and guidance, and a lot of what we learnt was based on problem solving, figuring things out on our own and finding our ways, working on our own as well as in teams! Also the internships we were advised to take while we were studying were also an interesting way to learn more and gather more experience.
Did it help you prepare for life after?
Definitely. For starters I managed to secure a job in Dubai straight after graduating because of my degree, and a contact I’d made in one of the internships I did while studying. It was a junior buyer role with Juicy Couture. Also the skills I learnt in school have prepared me well for the competitive industry; being able to work well under pressure, work on a variety of tasks and being aware of the business side of the industry and not just the creative side. As well as essential things like presentations, excel, networking, pitching your ideas and projects, and researching and working on extended projects. These are all things that can get you a long way in the professional world. Not to mention, being in a cosmopolitan atmosphere really teaches you a lot.
What have you been doing since graduating?
After graduation, I worked as a junior buyer for Juicy Couture at MAF Fashion in Dubai. I was there for about a year and three-months, and after that I did some magazine freelance work until I landed an editorial role in one of the most prominent Arabic publications in the Gulf, yasmina.com. I worked with local as well as international luxury brands on a variety of projects that included editorials, photoshoots, social media and PR. I left the job to continue another year of jewellery design and making in Florence, and then I launched my own business in June 2017, which was something I have been working towards since very early on.
Have the relationships you formed at the University of the Arts helped you since leaving?
The contacts I have made through my internships were great, and have helped me and some of my colleagues in our careers. I am still in touch with some of my closest friends from LCF, and we always look for ways to help each other out, especially now that some of us have our own brands. It was a place to meet lovely people and make great international friendships.
What has been your proudest moment?
Generally speaking every time I reached a milestone or a goal I had worked towards I would feel it was the proudest at the moment, because I always told myself that hard work goes a long way. My most recent proudest moment was being approached by Grazia Middle East for a feature, and then reading the lovely things they had written about the brand. Also, when a customer gives you flattering feed-back. It feels really great when you can see your dream turn into reality.
What’s next for you?
The jewellery brand will be the focus of my attention at the moment. I plan to participate in two pop-up events in the coming two months, and will hopefully be working on growing the brand’s awareness and presence, first in the Gulf region and then internationally.
Visit the website to find out more about the brand and their latest news – www.HibaJaber.com.
Facebook: Hiba Jaber Jewellery