Working life

NCAD Alumni Stories: Rebecca McCabe & Lucy Folan, Fashion Design

22 Jun 2023, 13:24

woman working using a sewing machine

Lucy Folan

What career path did you want to follow as a child?

I was always interested in fashion design as a child – while I wasn’t particularly stylish or good at drawing, I was excited by the idea of creating wearable pieces with a story or meaning behind them.

Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?

I grew up going to NCAD degree shows every summer and I always felt a great energy from the students and their work. NCAD also offers the option to try multiple disciplines in First Year, which suited me perfectly. I love trying all aspects of art and design and I think I would have been happy in any course.

Tell us a bit about your small business concept and how it got started?

Offcuts was created during the height of lockdown in January 2021. After almost a year of online college, myself and Rebecca felt a need to begin creating physical work again. We put out an open call to the Fashion, Jewellery and Textile & Surface Design students in our Studio+ year, asking them to create and photograph pieces with the idea of collating our work in a physical zine.

What is the one experience during all the time you have invested in this venture that has informed you most in your career preparation and work to date?

I have a new respect for the time and energy that goes into a project like this. It was a slow and tedious process – nine months in the making – and we are extremely grateful to everyone who was involved in it. I have really learned to value other people’s time and skills.

If you were chatting with current NCAD students today about starting your own business collective what is the one piece of advice you would offer?

I think the hardest part is sticking with it – it can feel so much easier to give up but, if you’re struggling, then ask for help. There are always creatives eager to support you or get involved in projects!

Rebecca McCabe

What career path did you want to follow as a child?

I was always keen on drawing, painting and making as a child but never thought I would pursue a career in it. It wasn’t until my last two years in school that I really began to look at design as an option for the future. I was obsessed with clothes and piecing outfits together when I was young so the marriage of the two should have been obvious.

Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?

I was aware of NCAD’s immaculate reputation for artists and designers but it wasn’t until I visited the campus that I decided to study here. The students were so friendly and the campus was so laid back, I felt instantly at home and could see myself growing as a designer here.

Tell us a bit about your small business concept and how it got started?

The idea for Offcuts was born half way through our 3rd year of study (Studio+ year), which we were working completing remotely from home. Lucy and I both felt a need to create something physical having been so absorbed in a virtual world of design. We agreed that a student run platform to promote undergraduates was an authentic idea. We reached out to our classmates and they jumped at the opportunity of getting back to making and being displayed in a once off zine.

What is the one experience during all the time you have invested in this venture that has informed you most in your career preparation and work to date?

Having our Zine and designs for sale in Om Diva Boutique was an amazing experience. I found this experience extremely informative. Working out pricing and branding was a huge learning curve, but the experience also showed me the brilliant design network we have here in Ireland. It makes me excited for what’s to come next!

If you were chatting with current NCAD students today about starting your own business collective what is the one piece of advice you would offer?

Do not be afraid to lean on others for support. Offcuts taught me that I have an amazing network of friends and designers to seek advice and guidance from. Amazing things can be born from collaboration so don’t be afraid to reach out.

Portfolio Links:

Lucy Ryan Instagram

Rebecca McCabe Instagram

Offcuts Instagram

Follow NCAD on social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ncad_dublin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NCAD.Dublin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NCAD_Dublin

This article originally appeared on www.ncad.ie .

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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