My name is Lucy and I’m a Senior Designer - I mostly work on Accessories like Phone Cases, Make Up Bags, Airpod Cases & Laptop Cases!
Did you go to uni?
I did, I studied Graphic & Media Design at the London College of Communication. It was a fun experience and I met lots of amazing people - but you definitely don’t need a degree to work as a designer! I actually learned most of the skills I use on a day-to-day basis after I graduated - mostly from speaking to/working alongside other designers (and tutorials on YouTube 🔥)
What made you want to go into design?
Some of my earliest memories were playing with paint at nursery! I remember joining the Art Club in primary school and watching Art Attack every week - I just loved making things and sharing them with people. I had lots of different ambitions but they were all creative: Photographer, Fashion Designer, Painter, Animator, Art Teacher, Set Designer, Comic Book Artist - I always hoped I would end up doing something related to Art & Design!
How did you get to work at Skinnydip?
Skinnydip was actually one of the first jobs I applied for when I graduated in 2016! The role was on the Web Team, designing newsletters, website banners and social posts. I had no experience outside of uni, but was asked to join for a paid internship over the summer - I ended up joining the team full time and stayed for 2 years (making some of my closest friends in the process!)
I decided to freelance full time for a couple of years which helped to expand my portfolio. I worked on a number of projects for different clients, including packaging, digital design and creating artwork for products like pins and t-shirts. I always kept in touch with the friends I made at Skinnydip, and one day they approached me and asked me if I’d like to come back - this time working on Accessories. It was an area of my portfolio I was keen to grow, so I decided to go for it (:
What’s your favourite part of working at Skinnydip?
I know everyone says this but the people are really what make it! I spent most of my years freelancing during the pandemic, so not only was I working solo, but I couldn’t get out and network or work in communal spaces. Coming back to an in-house role made me realise how much I’d missed working alongside people (other than my cats) every day! Most of our workforce is women, and we’re all girls girls - be prepared to feel loved, supported and complimented on a daily basis - it’s such a fun and positive energy to be around.
Describe a day in the life of an Accessories Designer
I never want to start my day feeling rushed or flustered on a cramped train - so I usually like to take full advantage of our flexi-time and come to the office around 9:30.
On Mondays the Design Team likes to catch up and see what everyone has on their to do list for the week! This includes designers from both Clothing and Accessories, plus our Lead Buyer who makes sure we’re all staying on track for our deadlines.
I like to get all my emails out of the way early so I can get on with the fun stuff in the afternoon - our Lead Clothing Designer, Dani, recently taught me how to use the coffee machine so that usually helps me get through my inbox faster!
- Every day is different, but I’m usually:
- Planning out what I’d like to design for future collections
- Drawing up accessories and prints to present for approval
- Creating specs to share with our factories, showing them which materials we’d like them to use (that’s when the swatch books come out!)
- If we’re lucky some samples will arrive to the office for us to review! It’s one of the best parts of the job, seeing your ideas come to life (most of the time they work great but sometimes they don’t, with often hilarious results)
- Meetings with our Management and Marketing Teams. These are usually to catch up on our progress for different projects, or to present new ideas
- Updating my product tracker spreadsheet (I am now heavily dependant on excel, it’s so satisfying to colour code everything and keep track of project progress lol)
- Getting distracted by various office shenanigans (we’re filming a TikTok / Emily brought her dog in / the biscuit trolley is coming / new Barbie trailer just dropped / Paul got everyone scratch cards / Georgie is hosting Book Club / Hannah is giving away free samples)
- Every couple of weeks the design team likes to get out of the office so we can stretch our legs and get some inspiration!
What are your current Skinnydip obsessions?
There’s too many! On Clothing I’m really loving the Happy Face Towelling Mini Dress (it comes in Shorts + a Cami too!). On Accessories I gotta shout out some of my personal faves I’ve worked on - the Toadeo Phone Case, Happy Cloud Laptop Case and Warped Lilac Flower Wash bag!
What are your top tips for someone wanting to become a Designer?
Don’t be afraid to be bad at something - if you’re trying a new technique or medium, you’re not always going to be amazing at it right off the bat! I graduated 7 years ago but I’m always learning new things and experimenting. Don’t underestimate the power of teaching yourself - the internet can guide you through pretty much anything within reason!
One of the more difficult skills I’ve had to learn is to be open to critique. It’s hard but you can never take feedback on your artwork personally, instead see it as an opportunity to learn - it’s helped me improve so much over the years!