Episode 4

NABIL ALIFFI (Part 2)

Breaking into the fashion industry

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Nabil (instagram: @nabilaliffi) is the Digital Fashion Director in Selfridges, a chain of high end department stores in England. In his current role he leads a team of 120 people and coordinates Selfridges’ brand position across a variety of media platforms. Back in 2009, Nabil received the Mendaki scholarship to study Fashion Management in London College of Fashion. Prior to graduating, he was offered a job as an Art director in Urban Outfitters, where he rose to the role of Creative Director, before being headhunted to his current position in Selfridges. In 2013, Nabil was awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Youth Promise award by the government of Singapore.

3 Things I’ve Learned

  1. There’s not much hand-holding in a creative education. It’s not wise to expect a finished product spoon-fed to you. Nabil’s perspective is interesting: the right way to think about it is that it’s the opportunity to pursue projects that develop your artistic voice, your skills and your network. Because people will help young students who are eager to learn. And you’re psychologically safe in the knowledge that even if you fail in these side-projects you’re (hopefully) still on the road to graduating with a degree.
  2. Start with a low stakes side project, but don’t be afraid to push it as far as it takes you. Case in point: Vulture magazine that Nabil started – eventually it was his ticket to a job. More on this in the podcast.
  3. I learnt so much about how the fashion world works in this chat with Nabil. I now have a greater appreciation for how it is a lens into society. It draws a lot of inspiration from subcultures, and puts the spotlight on what is topical / what the next wave would be. This can be a significant force for good – e.g. pushing forward ideas of diversity and sustainability.

Here are links to some of the references we make in the podcast:

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