It is a great satisfaction for me seeing my designs coming to life, being bought and worn by consumers.
Katrina Ho is an apparel designer in Shanghai for Adidas, one of the world’s largest sports apparel companies. She designs sports lifestyle apparel for the female millennial Chinese consumer.
Sports lifestyle apparel has had “crazy” sales growth in China, she says, and young consumers line up outside stores for hours to buy limited-edition products.
“It is a great satisfaction for me seeing my designs coming to life, being bought and worn by consumers,” she says. “This feeling doesn’t get old, it is still very exciting when you see consumers wearing products that you created.”
Katrina gained her initial work experience at Bonds in Sydney.
She then spent two years overseas, firstly travelling and exploring in Europe before living and working in London.
Here, she gained different experiences in various well-known brands such as Ted Baker, Ben Sherman and Burberry.
But a career in fashion did not always seem within reach. Initially, having finished high school, she was uncertain if she could fulfil her dream of being a designer.
Her parents were initially not so encouraging about following a career path in design and her marks in high school did not meet the intended marks required to be accepted into the degree at UTS.
“At the time, my parents really wanted me to do something ‘stable’, like business and accounting,” she says. “But I really wanted to follow my passion, which is design and at the end of day it’s about being happy. Design is what makes me happy.”
After convincing her parents that she would find a way to follow her dream, she enrolled in various courses that enabled her to be accepted into the degree at UTS one year later.
Her advice to students in a similar situation is: “If you don’t get in at the first attempt, don’t give up. You may be there a year later. Just keep persevering and keep going.”
UTS provided Katrina with the ideal mix of a practical and theoretical environment. She had access to technology, a print room and professional studios.
“These facilities set you up to be prepared for working life because you can be really comfortable working with the tools and materials and you have a chance to be collaborative, which is a necessary skill working in the design field,” she says.
Katrina is still in touch with the lecturers who encouraged her to nurture her creative curiosity and to not be afraid to ask questions. She advises other prospective fashion design students to “be yourself – there’s no one else like you in the world”.