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The fusion fashion of designer Kelly Oozageer | #MemberSpotlight

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Born and raised in Croydon, Kelly Oozageer is a graduate of the London College of Fashion that founded her own brand while studying and launched after graduating. Today, Cassine is a thriving fashion label that has been featured in exhibitions, shows and at London Fashion Week.

Also using her skills to create unique animations and illustrations exploring diversity and its place in society, Kelly is a singular talent that we’re honoured to shine a spotlight on today.

How did you get into the industry?

I got into the industry independently, with a little help from my uncle Patrick Oozageer who works for Alexander McQueen as a pattern cutter, he also works at UAl – London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins and UCA helping students and as a tutor within the universities.

After studying fashion, I started to work on my own content. I also used that time since graduating for my Masters to launch my fashion label and use this time to really get into the marketing part, from promotion to creating my new website to making it into a whole business. I really learnt a lot about business marketing and how I can grow my audience wider; Instagram, TikTok, and all other social media platforms.

Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I am based in Kent and London. This is where I do my work in the house in my own little studio. It’s not much but that’s where all the magic happens. I also get assistance from my uncle and some of his friends as well who are such big supporters.

I work for myself which is what I always wanted. Becoming a Fashion Designer has really popped out for me, I never knew within a year after graduating I would get so much recognition and being asked to do shows, exhibitions.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

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I would probably be working full-time as a teacher's assistant rather than freelance. Do not get me wrong, working freelance within schools helps with my finances to keep investing in my work but if it was not the case then yes, I would be doing teaching full-time.

Can you explain your creative process? What makes it unique?

My creative process comes from everything, from the process of looking at art to outdoor environments to storytelling.  All my designs are unique, I do love looking at other designer's work, what they do or what they use but myself as a designer I look away from what others are doing and use my artistic views within my work and what story my designs are telling. 

How would you describe your style?

My unique designs are very multi heritage, diverse and gender fluid. I love to use the fusion of Indian and African influence which helps with my brands authenticity. Where my family is from Mauritius, I thought using this influence of the style, prints, and fabrics I use to show the heritage of where I am from really helps others express their identities as well.

Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

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My inspirations are mostly from my uncle, who really helps with my creative process and what things I could improve on most. I also love Alexander McQueen when he was still alive, he has inspired me a lot when I was younger, I was in school when I watch his documentaries on how much he invested his own time trying to get a job within the industry to showcasing his own shows and living in his own studio which now his work has always been inspirational. 

Olivier Rousteing who is the creative director for Balmain, he was one of the youngest ever to be recruited as creative director at just 25 years old, once seeing this I was very much inspired and wanted to be just like Olivier, who is hard-working and passionate about his work.

What tips would you give to aspiring creatives looking for work?

My advice would be to keep creating! Keep looking and grow your portfolio, no matter what it is, industry or not your portfolio will tell the employer or anyone who you are as a creative and what your work is about. Your work will always be professional no matter what it is. And never give up your dreams!

What tips would you give to other professionals to get more clients?

Keep growing your audience and showcase lots of work that would really relate to others. Show them what you can show as a professional and what does it mean to be a professional. Professional can be anything, it is how you portray this meaning and what can grow your clients to want to see your work more.

What kind of tools/kit/software could you not do without?

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Definitely my sewing machines and my Mac book! Without these I cannot create my clothing, design using ProCreate or Adobe and marketing my work on all platforms is a must!

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

To keep exploring! Go out there, travel somewhere you just felt like going and taking inspiration from there. Holidays you go to can be inspiration too, going to exhibitions or events as well. And keeping motivated by doing other hobbies than your profession is another thing that can totally get your brain working as well.

I love dancing and going to the gym, once I have done these tasks my motivation for my work and inspirations start to come through and I end up going straight home or have some kind of logbook where I just write down my ideas that come to my head.

What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

Showcasing my first full collection at London Fashion Week 2022!! I never thought the day I was able to showcase a full collection for London Fashion Week would be achievable on my own but I did it and I had such great feedback and amazing audience reach outs like never before.  This just made me want to do more and create more!

What is the one thing that you would change about the industry?

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Sustinablility, work environment and giving the experience to those wanting to work within the industry. I feel it is important to give a chance to get those gaining experience and see how passionate they are when working.

Also, bringing sustainability really needs to be addressed, as our planet is changing and not progressing how it should we really need to make some changes which will help the environment. On another note, changing the way people working environments as well, those who we hire or work for us in other countries needs to be addressed as well.

Any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I definitely use WeTransfer a lotto send work to clients or other companies which has really helped a lot. https://wetransfer.com

SquareSpace is very good for those building a business, selling their products or even just taking bookings will really help as it gives you a lot of resources and connections. https://www.squarespace.com

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