So here we are, at the end of lockdown - the promised utopia. With the "new normal" just around the corner, we chatted to Dr. Mike Banna about how we should approach this new world in order to keep ourselves happy and healthy...
Can you tell our Central subscribers a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I'm Rochelle (Roch), 23, born in Worcestershire and grew up here. I later moved to Nottingham to study Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University, specialising in Womens’ Street & Sportswear. I now still live in Nottingham and have a love-hate relationship with the M42 every morning and night (100% worth the drive to this world class office).
My role at Gymshark is Junior Womenswear Designer, designing for our ‘Life’ category. I hope to bring my street style background to the new athleisure area of Gymshark apparel.
I originally came to Gymshark in my 3rd year at uni as a Design Intern for 3 months. When I graduated, I came straight back as a Graduate Designer for 8 Months and have recently been promoted to Junior Designer with 2 months to go until my 1 year anniversary at Gymshark!
How did you land yourself the role at Gymshark?
So, I managed to land my job at Gymshark by laminating a hell of a lot, colouring up items way too much and just general hard graft in my internship to prove my work ethic and how much I love the brand!
When returning to university, I was sure to let the team know about my progress and even asked for their opinions on some of my work! I even invited them to my final collection catwalk which led to me getting the job as Graduate Designer!
Has working here inspired your personal style in any way? Or is your personal style reflected in your designs at all?
I have always loved athleisure. For me, comfort is key and I love the heritage of streetwear. I based my dissertation on rave culture & that's very much influenced by sportswear.
I see streetwear as an international language. The straight up urban styles of London, sharp smart Tokyo, to the rough and ready street styles in Europe. Each culture has their own spin on it and I love that!
In terms of it effecting my own style, I've started to work out a lot more since joining Gymshark so I have a new love for performance wear and have also become a lot braver with colour (though black is still by far my favourite colour).
What would you say is the best part of your job?
It's an amazing part of my job! I love being able to just take time to see what the industry is providing and what gaps in the market there are that I can inject into.
Seeing new techniques and technologies that will bring our apparel to a new level. All very exciting stuff.
What was the first product you’ve played a part in designing?
My first design is a range that hasn't come out yet! I love it and it was a great start to designing! Though designed 8 months ago, it will be available this summer! The design process means it usually takes 6-8 months for products to be available online.
What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of Gymshark?
I'm most excited about the growth of the family, us changing the apparel world and becoming a household name.
My brother was one of the first few employees at Gymshark, and to see us grow from Ben’s house, to a shipping container, to Redditch to now this world classic office.
It's a journey I feel honoured to be a part of. Design wise, I'm looking forward to our lifestyle category making a true impact for Gymshark!
Finally, give us a fact about your time here. Something that maybe not everybody knows...
Hmm...some days it takes me a 5-hour round trip to get to work and back. I would only do that for this company.
Rochelle (rochellekmm)Meet the rest of our design team!