Camilla cuzner- Charles, Accessories Designer

Has worked in accessories for 12 years
Worked in London for 8 years
Worked in for NY 4 years
Working in accessories means that it’s challenging and there are a range of things you can work on.
Work history
Did a placement at Brighton University
First was a print job – was fired within the first week
Second job, same happened
Third job – did everything she possibly could and helped out – DKNY
She got work placements from friends of friends and from other jobs
She studied at The Royal college of art – knitting- likes the concept of knitting, the interlocking shaped, moved onto interlocking shapes – tiles, Islamic patterns, Lego
RCA final show – Designed a leather bag using diamonds and stars, interlocked into each other.ย She started to play with other materials, very stiff leather, acid resist copper,
Shopping bag – interlocking rectangles
Started thinking about folds
Origami – shuzo Fujimoto, twist origami
Le Klint – lamps
Modular origami – satori
Folded metal stars – made into a chandelier
Had to move back to knitting
Started to use a knitting machine,ย Moral machine, a digitised knitting machine, scan on pictures and it would knit it.
She used knitted silver and grillon bonded to leather and cut into interlocking shapes, when folded, it meld its shape
Moral machine, digitised knitting machine, scan on pictures and it would knit it
Graduated in 2004
She then heard from Bill Amburg, a bag commissioner that wanted to sell her bag ideas.
She found out later on that her bags aren’t made for commercial products because there is too much leather, cuttings and hand work.
Liberty 2004-5
Worked with all kinds of a products
Embossed leather travel bags
Embellished metal scarves
Wants everything to be luxurious
Press- living etc, embroidered pillow
ES magazine – embroidered scarf
Paul Smith 2005-2010
The Paul smith brand swirl and stripe print
Work from massive design boards – hats and scarves, visual mind map
Tech pack – what is given to the factory to make the product
2008 financial crisis and the power of accessories
New York – American Eagle
Like gap but for teenagers
Fully commercial environment
Designed into the price
Kate Spade
Design into price tiers
Has a certain amount of money to spend on each tier
Now does free lance work
‘Creativity is greater than money’
University of Brighton
Last year was a year in placement, in the industry
The tutors help you do it
Stay in touch with people in the industry
Talk to your tutors- they know people
Summer holidays work
It’s the better the experience that you’ve got, and how likeable you are
Start from the bottom, make the cups of tea
Collection designing
Kate Spade
Main designer would get a colour palette and theme
Everyone in the company in different departments would get the same theme and palette
Make a trend board, what competitors are doing, high street, anything inspiring
Keeps you focused
Meet with the buyer
Good, better, best categorising
The best one is luxury and what it given to the press, shows what the company is about
Make sure all departments tie in together, all intentional
If the designer was 10 items they would design 30 items for them to pick
Tech packs – all the designs, materials, accessories, the label, the sizing, all sent to the factory so they know what they are doing
6 weeks later, Sample is sent back from factory, everyone would say opinions
6 weeks after, final sample is sent back
All final ideas are made then and everything is made perfect
Final tech pack made,
200-300 pieces worked on at any season
Keep all the pictures and ideas so that they can be referred to later on
Photoshop and illustrator is important
In design, taking over the world, learn if possible
A range of hand drawing and computer drawing in portfolio
Do a whole project for them
Getting grilled on what you have done and why, very tough on you
Working for different companies that have different styles to yours and to other companies
Will work with buyers closely
British companies – creative lead
American companies – buying lead
Went to China
The conditions
They have to make the same thing for months
Only have certain times for toilet breaks, and if they don’t go in that time then they had to wait for the next break.
Like old industrial revolution
Went to Italy
Misoni factory
Out for lunches and dinner
Take pride in the work that they do
I found this chat with Camilla really interesting. It was interesting to hear about how the different companies work. The companies that she worked for in the UK were very high end and they worked by making very expensive and extravagant items. However, the companies in America were run very different, and were more about money and not working over the limit. I also liked to listen about her time in New York because it opened up more opportunities to think about and if I ever wanted to move away.

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