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Introducing the WGSN Future Makers: Jas Thomas

The Future Makers Mentorship Programme

Over the last two months, we have met and read the stories of 1058 individuals who applied for WGSN’s first mentorship programme, the WGSN Future Makers. People from the most varied locations and backgrounds shared their paths and passions with us, and we were overwhelmed with the response. This week we introduce you to the 26 individuals that make up the first group mentored by the WGSN team.

Introducing the WGSN Future Makers: Jas Thomas

Today we have a chat with Jas Thomas, a second-year graduate student at The Savannah College of Art and Design, who’s balancing a focus on her final graduate piece with her role as a keyholder and visuals at The Copper Closet.

Let’s start from the beginning: where did your interest in fashion come from?

I have always been a part of fashion since the moment I could voice my opinion on what I was wearing. I was 14 when my dad told me I should study fashion since I always enjoyed dressing other people. I’d never been big on academics – growing up, I always enjoyed my art classes more than basic studies.

We’re all for being proud of what you create. What is the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?

My most proud project is my senior collection from my understudies. I really put all my energy and time into each piece I made, designing huge handmade embroidery motifs. I had only three months to finish my final collection and on top of that, I was getting ready to graduate, which made the pressure 10-times more stressful. I was able to pull it off in time for the fashion show and graduation.

When it comes to creating, where do you draw inspiration from?

I love to travel, read or watch documentaries on what is either happening around me or past events.  This helps me get inspired to create. I believe it is important as an artist to be able to see objects, people and real-life situations from multiple perspectives. I love expressing my feelings and political views through hand-embroidery and print design.

The WGSN Future Makers programme is all about exchanging experiences. What is something your mentor can learn from you?

With me being a Millennial and going through several interviews and rejections from the industry, I can definitely be a great voice to represent and discuss with my mentor how recruiters should be very mindful. When deciding which future candidates they want to move forward with, recruiters should offer answers and professional follow-ups.

How do you think the fashion industry can make a difference in the world?

I think if the industry continues to open more doors and opportunities to people that are diverse and equal opportunities, I believe the world can definitely make a huge impact and bring more new creatives to make a difference. The next generation drives me to inspire the future in fashion. I want other girls of colour like me to have someone to look up to when it comes to being a fashion designer.

Jas is mentored by Sharon Jautz, Head of HR at WGSN, based in New York, who leads the human resources team in North America, honing in her experience in iconic media brands to guide WGSNers with career pathing and transitioning.

Keep your eyes peeled as we reveal more WGSN Future Makers over the coming weeks here on WGSN Insider. Can’t wait? Get to know other Future Makers.

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