New Beginnings

Earlier this year I decided it was definitely a time for some spring cleaning. Not in the actual cleaning sense (if you saw my bedroom you’d understand!), but instead I took a big long look at different areas of my life, and where I could clear out the clutter. This meant recognising the right things to let go of, and planning new things to replace them. 

This all sounds rather vague, deep and meaningful, but it really boiled down to four categories: my career, my studies, my living situation, and my blog.

The biggest ‘new beginning’ I’ve made is to my university life. As you may know, I studied Fashion Management at RGU last year, but decided to defer my studies for a year for health reasons. After staying back in Edinburgh for a while with my parents and doing my fantastic internship at The Scottish Design Exchange, I realised I was finally feeling happy after the miserable time I had in Aberdeen, and that maybe the capital was the best place for me at the moment. So after much ado about nothing I got an unconditional offer to study Fashion Communications at Heriot Watt University, which I start in September! Also this Autumn I move into a brand new flat with three of my best friends, and although I won’t be able to do as much with SDX as I’d like due to all the uni work, I’m really enjoying my new part-time job at Harvey Nichols in the menswear department, so job-wise, I’m pretty satisfied!

 In terms of my baby blog, this year I’ve really started to massively revamp and rebrand. Urbanity started out as a joint venture with my friend (and new flatmate!) Sarah Ewen, but we decided to split and Sarah plans to start her own blog later on. After that change of direction, i redesigned the site, making it more streamlined, minimalist, SEO and user friendly. I also began to focus my writing on three main topics-ethical fashion/beauty, local creative/business talent, and mental health, all from an Edinburgh perspective. I think this is the most important thing, for a blog to have a USP, but also be open to new experiences, spontaneous adventures, and networking/collaborating with other bloggers. I’ve also started to grow my social networks, and plan content, events, promotion and finances well in advance, which has helped me become a lot more organised. At only a year old and done on a very part time basis, Urbanity has a long way to go, and I have a lot more to learn about the big bad world of blogging, but I’m so proud of how far I have come.

Photos by Erin Kerr, London, 2013

                                                   Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Into-Industry Careers Event

The Scottish Textile Skills Partnership and The Scottish Textiles Academic Group have organised a series of events called Into Industry to help fashion & textiles students understand more about the Scottish textiles and fashion industry. 

Tonight, I attended the their event at Edinburgh College of Art on behalf of The Scottish Design Exchange ( 

The event focussed on skills and gave students the chance to speak informally to small and larger companies about their products, work and experiences. Various exhibitors, including Kalopsia Collective, Eribe Knitwear and of course The Scottish Design Exchange displayed products, materials and information, and were available to browse by college students and staff, with Q&A sessions and structured interaction.

The main focus was identifying the skills students have and highlighting the skills desirable to employers.

The event was designed to be informal to encourage interaction between students, staff and employers and support agencies, and the primary aims are:
– to increase student’s knowledge of the fashion and textiles industry in Scotland today
– to encourage students to consider employment or self-employment in the Scottish textiles sector
– to increase students’ awareness of the skills sought by textile employers or required for self-employment
– to provide an opportunity for employers to showcase job roles available in their companies, now or in the near future .We brought along samples of product, including clothes and jewellery .

Find out more information here!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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How to find Creative Internships

Someone from university asked me the other day how I find my internships within the fashion industry, so I thought I would do a post on how I look for creative opportunities. There’s tonnes of advice online on how and where to get work experience, but not much relevant to young people living in Scotland and the UK, so here we go, 10 easy ways to find and apply for internships that have worked brilliantly for me!

1. Use Creative Scotland

The organisation Creative Scotland has a fantastic opportunities tool  where employers post jobs, internships, workshops, events and calls for participation.

2. Networking Events

Networking is an invaluable way to meet people in the creative industries, as it’s about who you know, not what you know. If you don’t know where to start, try attending events, such as blogger meet ups, press days, ‘Creative Circles’ or ‘Talking Heads’, fashion shows, exhibitions and launch parties.

3. Pounding the Pavement

I have found most of my employment the old fashioned way- walking miles and miles round all parts of the city with a CV in hand, going into relevant places and talking face-to-face with people. You never know, your dream company might want an intern just like you.

4. Get Business cards

It doesn’t matter if you don’t technically have a business, you need a card stating in simple terms what you do (whether it be ‘fashion blogger’ or ‘art student’ or anything in between!) that you can hand out to influential people so they can easily contact you and more importantly, have something physical to remember you by!

5. Cold Calling

Whether you prefer phoning or emailing people, it never hurts to hunt down the contact details of the organisations you want to work for and simply send them a message saying you’d like to get involved.

6. Have a Portfolio

I say portfolio in a fluid sense, meaning it can be anything that shows a varied and relevant collection of your previous creative projects achievements, such as a well written CV, personal website, or folder of work.

7. Social Media

Follow your favourite local companies on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with any vacancies or opportunities, and also to stay informed on their latest projects so when you contact them, you have relevant comments and suggestions to make.

8. Create a Blog

This isn’t a necessity of course, but personally I have found it particularly useful for looking at freelance writing opportunities as it gives me a bank of posts to refer to, and it also keeps me up to date with the fashion world, and allows me to connect with people of similar interests. If you are particularly computer savvy it is also a chance to show employers your IT and design skills.

9. Comb through Job Sites

It’s not often that websites like Gumtree or Indeed post relevant creative internships, but you do get the occasional opportunities with pursuing. Also, try out Fashion Workie, it has lots of stuff for fashion lovers, mostly in London but sometimes elsewhere!

10. Aim High

I’m no stranger to low self-esteem, but when it comes to bettering my chances for a successful career in the creative world, I big myself up, big time. I often see job postings that are slightly, or VERY, above my experience or qualification level, but I go for them anyway, because quite frankly, one day I’ll get lucky, and it’s always interesting to hear feedback if you get rejected anyway!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Fashion Burnout

These are just some of the headlines that have hit the news in the past few weeks, and in the wake of legendary Scottish fashion designer Jonathan Saunders resigning and closing his label, I wanted to open the discussion about this very real problem.

In the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival this summer, I went to a public talk celebrating the late great Louise Wilson, and Saunders was one of the panellists. His passion for good quality fashion education and for the creative industries across Britain was inspiring. It is not only his designs that were awe-inspiring, but his personality too. The industry is mourning the loss of his label, and mulling over the pile-up of other designers leaving their lucrative careers due to personal issues; Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, Alber Elbaz, just to name a few.

I recently watched Dior and I on Netflix and it truly shocked me how hard these couturiers have to work. The stress put on creative directors to create and curate flawless collections under the pressure of time, reputation and the press, is clearly becoming too much. I also attended a guest lecture by Kenny Wilson of Cath Kidston last week and he spoke extensively about the effects of a high-flying career on relationships. Is there really a need for such fast fashion, when personal lives pay the price?

And its not just the big names that are suffering too. On a more personal level, last month it suddenly hit me- I am not happy. Studying fashion at university is insightful, interesting and valuable, but the increasing pressure of personal issues and mental illness has made it impossible to enjoy, or achieve my full potential. Sometimes, we have to put ourselves first, and a year out back home seemed like my best option. Overall, I am a huge advocate of happiness, and as much as I adore the fashion industry and will continue to immerse myself in it, sometimes it limits our ability to be truly content. 

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Fashion Industry Expert Career Advice

Here are the most beneficial pieces of advice we’ve received from successful people in the industry we love. Real, practical tips and authentic experience that will help young people climb their way up the ladder! Whether you want to be a designer, start your own PR firm, edit a glossy magazine or just find your feet in the fast-paced world of fashion, we hope these quotes will give you an insight.


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