Could you tell us more about yourself?
I’m Louise, although I mostly go by Lou. Originally from Norfolk, I’m Associate Creative Director within the fashion dept. at House 337 in London.
What’s something people would never guess about you?
I absolutely love trashy reality TV. Very specifically, Below Deck. Captain Lee is still the stud of the sea for me. An old flatmate of mine refers to it as “brain sorbet tv”. Pure brilliance.
Who did you want to be as a kid?
For a while, I had big dreams of being an Olympic Swimmer! I was pretty speedy in the pool, but I’m not great at getting up, so the 4am starts put an end to that dream pretty sharpish.
What gets you up in the morning?
Since swimming couldn’t get me up, within my role most simply it’s about creating meaningful work. Fashion still has a way to go to improve its inclusivity and diversity for consumers. Within the teams doing the work and the work we put out, we’re on a mission to make better and do better.
Can you share a highlight in your career?
It’s hard to choose. Can I pick two?!
The first would be the small part I played in bringing to life the first kit Stella McCartney designed for Team GB. It was all top secret and a real once in a lifetime experience for me. I designed an invitation for the launch that was about 4mm thick and covered in gold!
The second. Moving to Berlin solo in 2017 to work with the creative teams at Zalando. I grew so much from that experience, personally and professionally. Going it alone abroad makes the world feel so much smaller. It opens doors to what you can achieve when you just go for it.
Who are the women that have inspired you the most?
My Mum, for somehow bringing up two kids whilst working pretty much full-time as a nurse in the NHS. She gave so much of herself to others. And my Nana, who had a pretty tough start in life and whose strength is ever-inspiring to me.
What is good about being a woman in the creative industry?
The community of incredible women I’ve had the pleasure to connect with along the way. Some I would consider mentors who’ve become great friends too. There’s a growing honesty where we’re no longer afraid to share our struggles, which is incredible to see and I hope will benefit other women starting out.
Have you faced any challenges?
There have been a few! Starting out from uni in 2008, interning wasn’t an option for me financially. Luckily I managed to snag a junior role, but London is expensive, so I was working in a bar most weekends too!
Imposter syndrome has been a big thing for me too. But I’ve learnt I’m definitely not alone there! I think a little bit of imposter syndrome can be healthy; it keeps us pushing ourselves on in a competitive space.
What change in the creative industry would you like to see?
Absolutely more diversity in the industry. More voices who have lived the experiences that come through to us in the form of creative briefs and challenges. To facilitate this, more hiring beyond the usual university pools, more paid internships and learning on the job to open our doors to a talent that might not be spotted otherwise.
Mental health is a topic very close to my heart too. We all have it, and it’s always ebbing and flowing. As creatives, we’re more likely to experience the extremes. It’s what helps us think differently, so I would love to see more support for mental health and neurodiversity within the industry. Changes are happening already, but there’s still a huge fear around being open with ourselves and others on what we may be experiencing and coping with on a daily basis whilst still being incredible at our jobs.
What advice would you give your younger self starting out in the creative industry?
Don’t get distracted by love in your 3rd year of university 😉. Other than that, be nice to everyone in the industry and stay connected! You’re going to come across people who don’t gel so well with or others you click well with but don’t get to spend long working together. You never know where you’ll end up and who might be looking for talent in the future.
Go for catch-up coffees, and keep an eye on what your peers are up to. Some of my best roles have come from those relationships. Oh, and have fun!