Sidonie Sandrine hasn’t looked back since graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Management from London College of Fashion in 2005. Ten years on, she has gone on to set up a successful e-commerce website Froufrou Boudoir, as well as build and grow a successful fashion and styling agency ‘Style By Definition’. Read more about Sidonie’s journey, from realising that she had to follow her passion for fashion, to making it on her own…
While in my second year at the University of Westminster studying a BA in Tourism Planning and Management, I met a group of students from LCF at an event, and after that encounter I knew that I had to follow my heart in to the world of Fashion. I applied for the BA in Fashion Management and got accepted. In 2005, after three years, I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Management with my main pathway being buying and merchandising. The rest is history.
I had an amazing time at LCF, it was easier to be myself in the fashion environment, and I was lucky enough to meet good people with whom I forged great friendships, which are still standing. We created our own ‘Post-LCF’ family, and it is humbling to look at my friends and to see what we’ve all achieved; professionally and privately.
My highlights were without a doubt the lecturers, who were inspiring and passionate. I was lucky enough to get some very insightful advice from two of my lecturers. Even the modules that I did not enjoy ended up being exciting simply because they provided me with that real window I needed in order to start understanding how exciting and complex the fashion industry is.
One thing for sure is that my degree from LCF has helped make the process of pitching for work and appealing to new clients easier. I did not realise that until many clients and potential business collaborators pointed it out to me. It proves that investing in your education at a renowned institution really pays off later in life.
The key after graduation is not to take a job that isn’t related to your industry, because that will push you further away to your dream.
Be yourself and attend as many interviews as possible. Channel your passion and enthusiasm into each and every opportunity you get. We only get one shot and sometimes that chance comes only once, so make sure you are always ready. Do unpaid work experience and pretend it is paid. And take a risk; you never know who may be watching or asking who the new intern is…
I have been running my fashion and styling agency for the past five years now. I started out as a freelance stylist but then I decided to work under my own terms. I was only interested in promoting my styling services to the average men and women who don’t realise they can afford the services of a personal stylist without having to break their bank balance.
To change someone’s mind about a misconceived idea is what excited me the most! My niche target is the average and middle-class person. I feel very privileged to share personal experiences with my clients who are from different cultures, background and professions.
I registered my limited company in April 2010, and Style By Definition, my Fashion and styling agency was born. In 2012 I added a new venture – a lingerie eCommerce site called Froufrou Boudoir. This was a project that I wanted to undertake because my husband and I were starting to talk about having a family, and I believed that an Ecommerce business would enable me to earn money while on maternity leave. However, before my daughter was born in January 2014, I also added the wholesale market fashion sales services to my agency. This enables me to act as brand agent in the UK to designers and companies, advise, and introduce exciting emerging and established international fashion brands not yet here in the UK.
I am extremely excited at the moment with the new brand I am representing IOANNA KOURBELA – BASICS. The collection consists of off duty pieces and statement and classics separates made from high quality materials. It’s affordable and refreshingly stylish. Sidonie will be presenting the IOANNA KOURBELA ” BASICS” AW 16-17 collection by Appointment only from her showroom the 1st of February to the 19th March 2016, and will also be showing at Pure London from 14 – 16 February 2016.
I am either a big fool or simply a huge risk taker and a born entrepreneur. Otherwise why would anyone choose the hard way of earning money rather than working for a company with guaranteed income and all the benefits? I suppose I am a sucker for making it on my own and getting direct credit for my hard work, something that I feel extremely blessed to be able to do.