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Rare School of Fashion students in Liverpool take part in Los Angeles internship

PUBLISHED: 00:00 03 March 2017

Students, Molly Sutcliffe, Molly Tuck, Charlee Watson and Nieve Fernandez-Torrella busy pattern cutting

Students, Molly Sutcliffe, Molly Tuck, Charlee Watson and Nieve Fernandez-Torrella busy pattern cutting


From jetting off to internships in L.A to learning skills from the very best in the industry, students at Liverpool’s Rare School of Fashion are bound for a stylish future of stardom.

Sean Wainwright, Jessica Sutton and Emily Hughes while at the Fabletics head quarters in Los AngelesSean Wainwright, Jessica Sutton and Emily Hughes while at the Fabletics head quarters in Los Angeles

Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood – Los Angeles is known for its designer shops, glitz and glamour. So for three aspiring fashion students from Liverpool, there was no better place for a six week internship in a leading design studio.

Emily Hughes, Sean Wainwright and Jessica Sutton were all lucky enough to experience this once-in-a-lifetime trip thanks to Rare School of Fashion, a specialist college and registered charity, which enables students to train in the field regardless of their personal circumstances or financial backgrounds.

The trio all attend the school on Duke Street, which was founded in 2015 by Michelle Faulkner and Lindsey Inglesby. They already run a sister venture, Rare Studio, also a college and registered charity for the performing arts. The directors met at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and decided to set up on their own.

‘Our motto is “ability, not ability to pay”. We want to help develop real, quality talent, so anything that we can make accessible we will, from bus passes to vouchers for materials and supplies,’ said Michelle, who explained that pupils here can either study BTEC Level 3 in Art and Design (Fashion), equal to three A Levels and fully funded by Broadgreen International School, or an intensive training course over one or two years, which is privately funded by students themselves. Fees are dependant on family income and a scholarship is available.

Director, Michelle Faulkner, and Head of Rare School of Fashion, Clare WilsonDirector, Michelle Faulkner, and Head of Rare School of Fashion, Clare Wilson

‘We’ve gone from seven students in 2015 to over 20 now in 2017. There will be a limit of 23 students per year as we want to keep the quality high, intensive and often tailor-made to that student’s needs.

‘In pupils we look out for enthusiasm and passion as that’s something you can’t teach – if you don’t have it you won’t be able to complete the course. Teachers here are current industry professionals and are experts in their respective fields. That knowledge they have of what the industry wants and needs is something you can’t teach from text books, meaning the curriculum is always kept up-to-date with what is going on in the real world.’

It’s these valued connections to industry professionals that enabled Emily, Sean and Jessica to go on the all-expenses paid trip to L.A, working for worldwide fashion brand, Fabletics. Whiston-born Shaun Kearney is the vice president of the athletics label, which was co-founded by Hollywood actress Kate Hudson, and he is a patron of Rare School of Fashion.

Over the course of their internship the three rising fashion stars worked across several departments of the studio, including design, styling, photography and marketing. Sean, 24, who was the first scholarship student at the college, was even given the honour of working on designs for a number of collections including Spring/Summer 17.

Fashion tutor, Sarah Holden, leads a session on buyingFashion tutor, Sarah Holden, leads a session on buying

‘L.A was an absolute dream,’ he said. ‘To be able to work and design in-house is something beyond my wildest dreams. I can truly say it was one of the best experiences of my life, and an opportunity I’ll forever be thankful for,’ said Sean.

‘Designing is something I’ve always wanted to pursue, and I’ve finally found a springboard into the industry where I want to be. Rare School of Fashion has given me the confidence to go after my dreams, while always being myself.’ something that is important to me.’

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