Fashion Communication graduate creating content for wagamama
Ella Light, a BA (Hons) Fashion Communication graduate of Arts University Plymouth, is working as Creative Content Manager for Asian-inspired restaurant chain wagamama. Having worked previously as Brand Coordinator for Ellesse, 24-year-old Ella has also interned with Red or Dead, Brighton Fashion Week and Aveda.
Graduating from BA (Hons) Fashion Communication (previously called BA (Hons) Fashion, Media and Marketing) with a First Class Honours in 2019, Ella’s role involves developing and establishing the online presence of the wagamama brand. The role builds on her industry experience and studies at the forefront of fashion communication at Arts University Plymouth leading social media campaigns and fashion shoots, as well as learning how in-store experiences and disruptive technology are changing consumer behaviour.
Ella said, “I look after creative content for wagamama from a social and digital standpoint, including everything you see on Instagram and TikTok. I work with the Head of Creative Content, who I assist by working on photo shoots, working with influencers, making lots of mood and Pinterest boards, art direction and creating mock-ups on Photoshop. It’s a super fun job, with challenges that can make the role super creative. When I was doing the Fashion Communication course, a lot of my work was food-related, so that’s really fed into what I’m doing now. I’m sure when Kirsty Smith taught me Premiere Pro, she didn’t imagine me editing noodle scenes professionally! I picked up so many transferable skills from Arts University Plymouth that I now use working in industry.”
Based in Kent, Ella cites Salvador Dali and the Mighty Boosh’s Noel Fielding as some of her biggest inspirations, and ‘Architects of Taste’ Bompas & Parr as direct inspirations for her work at wagamama.
Ella said, “I love anything a bit camp, a bit weird or flamboyant. Bompas & Parr do some strange things with food, and I tend to like anything that’s a bit ‘out there’. I’m such a mixed bag, I spend a lot of time having a good old scroll on Instagram, following people like Polyester Zine and It’s Nice That as well as indie artists and content creators who are all doing such amazing things at the moment. It’s awesome seeing what people can do on a budget or just making stuff at home. I really like that spirit and vibe.”
In her last year of study, Ella was featured in a showcase by ArtsCulture as an Arts University Plymouth graduate ‘Ones to Watch’ based on her 2019 Degree Show, where her surreal, kitsch and eccentric approach to editorials stood out from the crowd.
Ella said, “I really enjoyed the Fashion Communication course. It was quite a small class, so you really had that connection with the tutors. I don’t think I would be in the role I am today if I had been in a traditional university with massive halls. I have dyslexia so having that one-to-one contact with my tutors was amazing.”
“When we first started our studies, we did a brief with Red or Dead. It was amazing to have those connections with industry so early on. I also really love Plymouth! There’s an incredible nightlife, which I was worried about when I first came here, but it’s super social. Plymouth is such a beautiful city and Arts University Plymouth is such a gem. Most universities really aren’t like this. On some of the bigger fashion courses around the country, some tutors won’t even know your name. I don’t understand how you can operate like that. My lecturer Alanna still occasionally messages me on Instagram like ‘Have you seen this?! You’d love it!’”
“In my experience, don’t be scared to reach out to people. Never be scared to say to someone ‘I love your work, I’d love to work with you!’. Social media is such an amazing place for connections, just go for it. Don’t be disheartened if they say no or don’t reply, you’re still on their radar. If you’re super friendly and nice, the worst they can say is no. Other than that, my advice to anyone would be if you’re doing something creative, put it online. Put it on TikTok or Instagram, utilise those platforms and show the world what you’re personally creating! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Also, wherever you are in your career, being nice is 80% of it, being good at what you do is 20%. If you’re willing, helpful, respectful and nice, people will want to work with you again.”
Ella spoke at a Fanbytes by brainlabs talk about growing lasting brand awareness on TikTok
Kirsty Smith, Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Communication said, “Studying with us provides students with the opportunity to hone and develop their experimental creativity. Ella is a shining example of what can be achieved when a student is encouraged to explore their own individual style within an arts university. She embraced the challenge of thinking outside the box, creating humorous and inventive outcomes that brought us laughter and joy. It is wonderful to see how those same skills have transitioned into her work.”
BA (Hons) Fashion Communication students at the arts university have opportunities to collaborate with students with other specialisms on campus, including graphic designers, photographers and filmmakers. To find out what it’s like to be involved in a creative community, visit www.aup.ac.uk or check out the next Arts University Plymouth Open Day.