Meet the gorgeous Chontelle Cripps the master designer behind Pitbull
Manison. Inspired by her ragtrade
family Chontelle had the inside take on the industry from around the dinner
table... Poised for success
Chontelle will inspire you on how she has made her mark..
Where did you start your career?
last couple of years of Uni I started working as a buyer for a bargain store
chain. This was my first official foray into buying, but unofficially I had
spent some of my childhood and Oakley sunglasses outlet teenage years growing up with parents who were
fashion agents, and owned a boutique, and running my own market stall. I then
moved into marketing and graphic design which resulted in my husband and I
owning our own studio. Pitbull Mansion started up during this time as a side project
but eventually I left design altogether and Pitbull Mansion is now my full time
What do you love about your job?
the creativity involved with fashion. The photoshoots, runway shows, styling
etc. And I love the buying as well. I love seeing looks come together when
working with models, make up artists, hair stylists and photographers. I also
love the fact I get to meet a wide range of people when on buying trips.
Tell us about your ‘average' day, what do you do?
average day is certainly far from glamourous. It generally involves answering
customer enquiries, packing and sending orders, sorting through enquiries and
lookbooks from new designers/suppliers, updating our blog and facebook page,
and placing orders for the next season.
Is there anything you dread doing?
creative people I dread doing anything to do with accounting and
administration! Even though I scored well in my accounting subjects at Uni...
it is just so tedious and boring! Thankfully at the moment I have someone
helping me with admin, but there is still always stuff I need to do. I also
hate turning down labels that approach me. I have to do what is right for us as
a store, but there are so many great designers out there, large or small, and
I'd just love to stock them all!
Your advice to someone wanting a career in fashion...
prepared for the fact that there is a lot of competition in this industry.
Everyone wants to get their foot in the door, but only few will survive. Make
sure you are prepared to work hard and that it may take some time before you
start seeing the fruits of your labour. Whether you want to work in designing,
retail, photography, styling or some other area of fashion you will need to
find a way to stand out from the crowd. My other piece of advice would be to
enjoy fashion and have fun with it, but Cheap gucci handbags never take yourself so seriously that
you begin to think the whole world revolves around what brand jeans you wear. I
love fashion, but I can't stand the pretentiousness that can sometimes be found
within the industry.
Is it what you know or who you know?
definitely a mixture of both. Having contacts that can introduce you to the
right people, give you advice or mentor you, or help you out with publicity is
always a bonus and can help get you started. That being said I didn't know
anyone within the industry when I first started, and even if you know the right
people you still need the substance behind you. Networking may open doors, but
you have to be able to prove you have what it takes to last the distance!
What inspires you?
I love seeing the creative genius inside
people. I just got back from fashion week, and some of the make up, hair,
clothing, set design, and even outfits on the delegates totally inspired me. I
see fashion as being another art form and way for people to be able to express
their creativity. I take inspiration from everywhere around me. Whether it be
streetstyle blogs, fashion magazines, movies, photography, or people I walk
past on the street.