Occasionally I spot people with such fearless and inspiring fashion sense that I almost want to stop and applaud them in the street. It's so easy to think, 'I couldn't wear that! What would people think?' But deep down, when it comes to style, don't we all just want to be ourselves? That's why I'm such a huge fan of Debbie Shasanya. Every photo she posts on Instagram has me logging into ASOS for a (credit card-battering) shopping spree - and I LOVE how unashamed she is of dressing exactly how she wants.

The same attitude has clearly applied to her career, too. After a brief stint of working for the police, Debbie decided to ditch the comfort and steady pay in favour of fashion, which has inspired me personally. Now she works for ASOS magazine and runs Instagram profile asos_debbie full-time, so the risk was clearly worth it. I quizzed Debbie on her top tips for breaking into the industry, what style rules she lives by and how she ignores people who stare at her (fabulous) outfits...

Hi Debbie! How did you get to where you are today?
With quiet determination! I landed an internship at ASOS on the Fashion Team when I was looking for work and then got offered a job, so 5 years later I’m still here.

What advice would you give to those who want to work in fashion?
Firstly figure out what area in fashion you want to get into. The industry is so wide so knowing whether it’s fashion styling, photography or design is a start. And I know the rules/laws have changed around interning, but where possible become an intern or shadow someone i.e a photographer or stylist. Offer to assist them for free, which usually shows eagerness - but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of!

What’s the best part of your job?
The opportunities – everything from getting to travel to Paris for the French magazine launch, to being part of brand campaigns, to working with the best bunch of people on the team. There is so much I love.

And the hardest part?
Balancing my asos_debbie role with working on ASOS magazine. I’m not sure if people know, but my role at the mag takes up 95% of my time, so this can leave little time for asos_debbie! 

You started off in the police. Do you ever miss it?
Haha no!

Were there ever any signs you were meant to be in a different industry?
Yes, many signs. I had to wear a uniform while working for the Met [Police] and the fact that I used to alter it to make it fit and look better said a lot!

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
I’m gonna sound like a Nike ad, but it was 'just do it'. I was also told, 'Don’t change yourself for the industry - just be you,” which was sound advice as I was the shiest person ever and kept worrying on how I would 'fit' into such a creative industry.

How did you keep so motivated when times were tough and you were doing unpaid work?
Oh gosh those times! I can’t lie, it was hard. But what kept me going was definitely my faith in Jesus! I think I was crying and grumbling as much as I was praying, so God definitely heard it all.

What would you have done differently when starting out?
Looking back, I wish I had started a blog (something I am in the process of doing now) as I had the time to - plus I would have had somewhere to document all things fashion related. But getting the internship at ASOS was how I gained and built up experience.

Is the industry as bitchy as people might think?
No, it really isn’t! I’m not just saying this, but even when I was an intern the ASOS bunch have always been so lovely and made me feel like part of the team. Unfortunately it isn’t like this everywhere, but I always remember to return bitchiness with kindness – it’s the best thing ever (not always easy to do though!)

What are your career aspirations from here?
Right now ASOS is where I want to be and I’m just trying to build and grow on all that I am learning. All while trying to enjoy it as I stress about everything! I’ll will be launching a blog soon about my faith and fashion so do watch this space!

You have such a strong and fearless style! Do you ever feel nervous about trying bold trends out?
Oh, thank you! I don’t feel nervous to try new things, but sometimes I am like, 'er Debs, is this outfit too much?' But I quickly shake it off because I have so many clothes that if I’m not bold and just wear them, they'd never get worn! I am getting to the stage where I can’t let people’s comments/looks/stares determine what I wear. This weekend I had to pop to Dalston to run errands and instead of me putting on some flats, I threw on a pair of adidas trousers and a new pair of heels.

Who’s your biggest style inspiration?
There are a couple, but it will always be Solange and Hilary Banks. I also like Karla Deras (of karlascloset.com), Shiona Turini and Miroslava Duma.

When you look back, can you think of any outfits you’ve worn that make you cringe now?
Yes – wearing leggings as trousers! Each to their own, but with my slim legs it was not a good look and will never be.

What’s your favourite upcoming trend?
I’m not sure about trends, but I‘m very excited about the whole of Gucci’s AW16 collection. Alessandro Michele (Gucci’s Creative Director) has designed my kinda collection but unfortunately not at my kinda prices!

What are three words to describe your style?
I never know how to answer this question – but apart from bold, I’d say it’s never weather dependent. I am always doing summer dressing in winter and vice versa!

  See more from Debbie on Instagram

No comments

Post a comment


© DAYDREAMING | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig