BA (Hons) Fashion alumnus Daniel Rynne graduated from AUB in 2017
He won the Debenhams Menswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week in 2017 and is now Assistant Menswear Designer at the national department store. We caught up with Daniel to find out more about his career to date and his time at AUB.
Congratulations on being the winner of the 2017 Debenhams Menswear Award. How did you feel being announced the winner?
It was a fantastic feeling. Never in a million years could I have expected to have won an award such as that! It’s opened up so many doors for me that I never would have expected a year ago. The whole process of Graduate Fashion Week still feels surreal and is such a blur!
What happened once you received the award?
So much has happened since the award! Firstly, as part of the award I was offered a year’s work placement at Debenhams which has been a fantastic eye opener to the industry for me. Working with a recognised and loyal customer in mind is a far cry from designing for your final collection, there are so many factors to consider!
I was also given the opportunity to go to Dubai Fashion Week for the Future Fashions Event that showcased 12 UK graduates from Graduate Fashion Week.
This gave me an amazing opportunity to showcase my work to the people, designers and sponsors in Dubai that I otherwise would not have ever done. My work was also taken to Ralph Lauren’s head office in New York where it was displayed for a group of industry professionals and the feedback from that event and my work has been great! It was such an honour to be represented in the US by Graduate Fashion Week.
Having read the Graduate Fashion Week interview you mentioned menswear wasn’t really on your radar, so what made you take this route?
I had always loved menswear but I had focussed on accessories for much of my university experience. It wasn’t until my course leader, Iain Archer, took me to one side and said for third year I should put all the detail I put into accessories and ideas into a menswear collection. I still can’t thank him enough for that! It was a massive learning curve moving from bags to pattern cutting where I actually had to consider so many different aspects of fit and function.
Where do you see yourself going next?
After this year I think I will move on to another brand as I think it’s important to broaden my experience in the industry. My own brand is always on the cards for me but I want to be in the right place first and I still have so much to learn! I would be happy designing and making my own pieces for individuals as I love being part of the whole process from design, to making the end product. There is no better feeling than holding something you have made that was just a sketch a few days ago. It is so rewarding and I think that why so many of us battle through that final year!
How did you find your time at AUB?
It was great! I loved AUB. There is such a good feeling in the uni and I have always had the help and encouragement I needed along the way. I think it’s also about the size – AUB felt like a little community of like-minded individuals, which I found so inspiring.
Finally, what’s your one piece of advice for the next generation of creatives?
It’s so cliché to say, but never give up. Third year is hard, long hours that never seem to end, with more time in uni than you had ever imagined, but it is all worth it if you put the time in. It reflects well on you and your work. Also, listen to your lecturers! They are there to help and if it wasn’t for me listening to what mine had to say, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now.
Find out more about BA (Hons) Fashion at AUB.