A fashion student who has been studying at Ayrshire College for the past three years is about to embark on the next stage of her journey – by moving onto the London College of Fashion.
19 year old Niomi Halliday, who lives in Auchinleck, will travel to the UK’s capital for a three year course in Visual Merchandising and Branding, starting in September, after completing her HND in Fashion with the College.
She is a mixture of nerves and excitement as we speak to her before she finishes up for good at the College’s Ayr campus.
“I was thinking ‘what do I want to do?’ now that my time at college is nearly over, and I saw there was a visual merchandising course in branding. There isn’t anything like this in Scotland, so I thought ‘why not? I’m going to go for it.’
“They liked my application so invited me to send over some of my portfolio. Once they liked that, I went down for my interview and then found out I got in.”
Moving away from home can be a daunting task for any young person, and moving to London would normally carry that extra pinch of trepidation for most people. For Niomi though, it’s an ideal opportunity to progress down the career path she’s decided on.
“I’m going there myself. At first I was nervous, I’m not going to know anyone; what if I don’t make friends? But everyone’s the same. Everyone’s going to be moving there to do it.
“I’ve just paid my advanced deposit for my halls – I’m going to stay there in my first year so that I can meet people.”
That level of confidence seems to come naturally to Niomi, however she points out that the London School of Fashion is something she never would have dreamt about when she first began studying fashion.
“I don’t think I would have ever thought about going to London if I didn’t come to Ayrshire College. I would never have done anything like this. I feel like in the last three years I’ve grown up an awful lot and it’s made me ready. I feel like my time here has built me up and got me ready for it – I feel like I can go and smash it.”
As part of the HND Fashion group, Niomi was recently involved in the College’s Creative Candy event – an end of year showcase put on at Ayr Racecourse by Ayrshire College’s creative students.
The event was an ideal opportunity for the group to put everything they had learnt into practice one final time.
“My job was to do the running order backstage and make sure everybody was dressed and ready in the order that they were supposed to be in before sending them on the catwalk that day.
“We’ve had a taste of every aspect of fashion in this course – whether that’s sewing, pattern cutting, marketing, commercial design, fashion forecasting or visual merchandising.
“I love visual merchandising. It just seems to come naturally to me.”