Successful fashion graduate shares wisdom

News News & events

27 Mar 2014

A fashion graduate working for one of the most well-known brands in the United Kingdom recently returned to the place his career started, CPIT, to share his story.

CPIT graduate Reid Galbraith works for UK menswear designer clothing label Ben Sherman in London. On a recent holiday to New Zealand, Galbraith visited CPIT’s budding class of fashion designers to share his wisdom.

Galbraith originally became interested in fashion through his father, who worked at Levi’s factory in Christchurch for over 20 years.

“He brought fabric home and basically taught me how to make jeans,” he says.

“When I finished school I tried to do a science degree but I just wasn’t interested so I quit that. The next 5 or so years I worked in office jobs which I realised bored me because they offered no real challenge.”

He then made the life-changing decision to come to CPIT to study fashion.

“I finally got round to going back to trying do something I really liked. I always wanted to make things, like my Dad, so I decided to come to CPIT. They focused on technical skills and I thought this is what I want to learn.”

Galbraith graduated from CPIT’s fashion design course in 2004.

Fashion graduate talks to fashion design students

CPIT graduate Reid Galbraith shares his story with fashion design students.

“I really loved it. It is still the most rewarding three years I have done, that includes working. If you end up in a 9-5 job you will never has as much freedom as you do when studying.”

After graduating, Galbraith got a “really cool” job working for a surf wear label, before moving on to work for a Wellington based designer and later for Christchurch design label Sakaguchi.

Eventually he moved to London, working as a temp in for a variety of fashion clothing companies before securing his present job of product developer at the world renowned menswear Label “Ben Sherman”, which sells clothing in about 40 counties worldwide.

“The CEO actually described it the other day as one of the most well-known small brands in UK, but if you saw the quantities being produced they’re not huge but everyone seems to know the brand,” Galbraith says.

He has now been working at Ben Sherman for the 2 years.

“I could never go back. Whenever I have a bad day I think back to working in an accounting office or something similar and realise a bad day in this industry is still preferable for me ,” he says.

Fashion Programme Leader, Nicola Chrisp, says CPIT is “very proud” of Galbraith and his achievements.

“He wasn’t straight from school when he started at CPIT. He came knowing what he wanted to learn, he took his studies seriously, gleaning as much information about the fashion industry as he could and he was committed and passionate,” Chrisp says.

“The course has changed since Reid was here. We are forever looking to improve to give students the best learning experience that we can. One of the great things about this course is that our graduates keep in touch. They come back to visit and talk with current students; sharing their Industry experiences”.