It is our pleasure to announce the winner of the Industry Partner Newcomer Award, La Perla!

Second Year work by Philippa MacConnachie, BA Fashion Contour

Second Year work by Philippa MacConnachie, BA (Hons) Fashion Contour

La Perla were a very exciting new partner for London College of Fashion last year, as they collaborated on a sponsored live project with our students on the BA Fashion Contour course. Their Creative Director, Giovanni Bianchi, came over to London in person to brief the students, who were very excited to get the opportunity to work with such a prestigious and aspirational lingerie brand.

The students were given the chance to design for the La Perla brand within a set project brief, and the top designs, as selected by the design team at La Perla, would result in a 6 month work placement at their headquarters in Bologna. The students were just elated to be given such a high profile brief, and were incredibly grateful to have that connection with the company. On completion of the project, the La Perla team were so impressed with the standard of work produced by our students, that they extended their offer to provide four 6 month placements rather than one, and four of our talented students were flown to Bologna for 6 months from July 2014.

Second Year work by Philippa MacConnachie, BA Fashion Contour

Second Year work by Philippa MacConnachie, BA (Hons) Fashion Contour

La Perla were fantastic to work with, and despite the language barriers they were incredibly generous, supportive and accommodating to our students. All four students returned from their 6 months in Italy having had an incredible and unforgettable experience.

LCF News caught up with La Perla’s Creative Director, Giovanni Bianchi to find out what it is like to be in his shoes for a day…

I get up… at 7.00am / 7.30am. I head to a SPA in the centre of town first thing and have a training session in the swimming pool with a trainer. I then have a cup of hot water and lemon and a glass of Orange Juice. I will then have breakfast and read the news.

I arrive at work… at 9.00am/9.30am. I then go straight into meetings and appointments with suppliers, staff and also the design and graphics team.

This morning… is devoted to reviewing the work of my design team.

Right now I’m working with… the new creative director Emiliano Rinaldi.

The best part of the day is… the late afternoon, when the day is finished and myself and the creative team can exchange views and ideas and discuss the work we are doing and meetings of the day etc.

I arrived at this point in life after… more than 30 years of experience and sacrifices, and now, I have a great serenity and a desire to help young designers, to help them to grow. I have many other things I would like to achieve in life, Fashion is a passion that has given me so much and I feel I have been successful in it.

My advice is… those who want to work in this industry must have a lot of curiosity, a desire to know and learn and they need to have humility and patience!

Doing an internship is so important because… it helps you to build new professional relationships. However, the most important thing that work experience teaches you is how to work together and have mutual respect for each other.

LCF students I have worked with have… brought a fresh approach without having any preconceived ideas about the company. This is often not expressed by our home grown students.

The most valuable and creative students who have proven their worth during their work experience can expect to eventually be employed by the company as assistants to the designers.

Congratulations to La Perla!