DESIGNER PROFILE – ANNA G HELLGRENviews: 0
What should everyone know about you?
AGH: I´m a Swedish fashion designer and when I was 20 years old I was admitted to Parsons School of design in Paris where I had my BFA in fashion design 2007 and I´ve been working in France for approximately 6 years as a womenswear designer. I also went to London for about a year. Lately, I´ve been working as a stylist in Sweden for e-commerce, magazines and television and I really enjoy this. In total I have about 9 yrs of experience in different fields of the fashion industry.
How would you describe what you do?
AGH: My work tend to be colourful but otherwise I like simple designs with a twist. Clothes should be wearable. When I went to school my clothes were more conceptual but during all my years in the fashion business I´ve learned that in the end of the day you need to think more commercially.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
AGH: I´ve always loved to draw and I´ve always loved clothes. So I put these interests together and the result became: Designer
What steps did you take to become a designer?
AGH: I´ve drawn and designed clothes since I was very young and it became natural to go into the fashion world. I was interested in Parsons School of design ever since I was in high school, because I remember my favourite designer at the moment was Donna Karan who also went there. I didn´t know at first that the school also was situated in France so when I found out I applied immediately…
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
AGH: The fact that you have to adapt to different countries and companies and their clients is both really interesting to learn but sometimes hard. Each company and each country have their own general rules/way of working. Some countries tend to appreciate a more sexy approach to garments whereas some countries in Asia don´t want to buy clothes that are too tight at the breast area or too sexy in general. The more companies you work for and the more markets you study the more you learn if you want to work internationally.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
AGH: Probably a veterinary. I love animals.
How did you get started in design?
AGH: I took a break after my sophomore year to get professional experience before I went back to school to get my degree. This made it easier during my junior -and senior year as I already understood the different world markets, and how it actually was to work as a designer.
What do you like about what you do?
AGH: The variety of tasks and the many people you meet.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
AGH: Many people think of design as more of a hobby than a real job. They don´t realize that there´s hard work behind.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AGH: I would love to work in the States, in design or as a style consultant. I´ve worked in France, England and Sweden. I´d love to get more experience from the American market.
What sparked your interest in design?
AGH: I´m a fashion victim and I learned to sew really early. I often had an idea of a garment that I actually couldn´t find in the shops. So I thought: why not make my own idea come true…
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
AGH: I´ve done a lot of different things during my career and since I´ve lived in Paris I have experience in both haute-couture, ready-to-wear and high street fashion. I have included the Japanese market, the European market and the American as well. But as time went by I have more and more discovered the world of communication and lately I´ve been working as a stylist/stylist assistant for Swedish television, e-commerce and fashion magazines in Stockholm. My goal is to become a trendsetter or a style consultant in fulltime.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
AGH: Probably head caps …or crocs.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
AGH: I´m fascinated by how the problems of the world, the politics, the environment and the new techniques are affecting our mood and how trends come alive like this.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
AGH: That you have to be really persistence to get somewhere. And believe in yourself. The competition is crazy and people walk over each other to achieve what they want.
What advice would you give to young designers?
AGH: It´s a hard world out there and in this particular case I mean professionally.
It can be tough before you find the job that you love and that also pays you well. Be prepared that you may have to work for free first to get the connections you need to move forward. Build bridges!
You also have to understand that going to design school and being in the real professional design world are two different things. You really have to learn how to adapt to the company you are working for and every company is different. Most companies want to hire people who CAN be really super creative but who can translate that creativity into the company´s profile and “tone it down” so it will fit their clients.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
AGH: I want to learn more about fashion marketing and take some independent courses in economy since designers often tend to forget the financial aspects and only focus on creativity 🙂
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
AGH: I always try to stand up for myself no matter what.
What’s your motto?
AGH: One thing does not have to exclude the other…
I am a fashion designer/stylist with approximately 9 years of experience in the fashion industry that has given me an eye for chic fashion. During my studies and after my BFA degree in fashion design at Parsons School of Design, Paris, I started my career as an assistant designer. I have had several experiences in numerous fashion houses and RTW brands in Paris such as Galleries Lafayette, Barbara Bui and Junichi Hakamaki. I have then freelanced for several independent brands in France where I´ve designed both clothes and prints.
Lately in Sweden, my native country, I have been working for fashion magazines like Damernas Värld and being a stylist assistant for the swedish television .
My work experience in Europe and my studies at Parsons have provided me with a combination of commercial thinking, creativity and the understanding of the world´s markets which has been very useful to me. I´m very international, speak many languages, and love working in different countries.
If you´re interested, do not hesitate to contact me for further collaborations.
Learn more at: styleportfolios.com/ahellgren