Cool Job Alert: Our Senior Design Director Takes You Behind-the-Seams

Last month, we gave you a look at the day-to-day of our Associate Print Designer, Aasha, who brings her passion for fine art to life on beautiful bebe dresses. This month, we’d like you to meet our Senior Design Director, Sue! Who is: (1) insanely talented (she’s previously worked alongside Alexander McQueen), (2) seriously awesome (she hails from the capital of cool—London, England), and (3) she’s got a workspace that’s just as inspiring as her personal style (that is, if you dig fashion tears, color swatches and racks and racks of clothes).

Here, Sue takes us on a tour around her digs on the 2nd floor of our LA Design Studio + gives you the dirt on everything from a typical day in the life of a Design Director to what you can do now to make it to the top of the fashion world yourself…

NAME: Sue

TITLE: Senior Design Director

DEPARTMENT: Design

STYLUST: Who do you work closely with on a regular basis?

SUE: As head designer at bebe I oversee the 18 designers on our design team. I work closely with them, as well as our VP, CEO and President. I also work daily with our R and D department (fabric and print development) as well as production, plus our in-house sample and pattern room (which we are very lucky to have).

STYLUST: What school did you go to and what degree(s) did you obtain?

SUE: I obtained a first class honors BA degree in Fashion Design from the University of East London—I’m British.

STYLUST: How did you get your start in design?

SUE: My first job after graduating was at Ghost in London, where I had previously interned. I then moved to New York to work for Daryl K and became head designer at Tocca. I also freelanced for Alexander McQueen before setting up my own namesake label in 2005. My first big break launching my line was designing a dress that Kate Moss wore to her 30th birthday lunch… And I became a member of the CFDA in 2008.

STYLUST: What exactly do you do now? Describe a typical day.

SUE: No day is ever the same at bebe! We work in a really fast paced environment, which I love. We’re currently designing Fall 2 (which will be in stores this September), receiving our samples from Fall 1, and conceptualizing for Holiday 2011.

STYLUST: What’s the best part of your job?

SUE: The best part of my job is when people are excited about our designs. Also, seeing girls wear our clothes really well and looking great in them.

STYLUST: Tell us about a few of your favorite designs for spring, and why they stand out to you.

SUE: This champagne silk jumpsuit, inspired by 70’s Halston, is so cool on. It’s super-chic yet easy to wear at at the same time. Then, the madame butterfly print is one of my personal favorites. It was a nightmare getting the colors just right, but worth it in the end! Lastly, I love this handkerchief hem dress—it’s an update to one of our Spring ‘11 runway looks and it looks really new and fresh. The hemline is an important trend for spring.

Below, from left: (1) Silk Halter Jumpsuit, $139, SKU # 176689; (2) Silk Butterfly Drape Maxi, $149, SKU # 176540; (2) Swiss Dotted Lace Trim Dress, $149, SKU #174636. Click to shop.

STYLUST: Do you have any parting advice to share with aspiring designers?

SUE: I would advise any aspiring designers to get a couple of great internships—industry experience is invaluable, plus it often leads to a job. Also, get as involved in the fashion world as possible… Read all the magazines, the fashion blogs and websites, go shopping, look at vintage, research fashion history, and be out and about!

Have any questions for Sue or requests for future job profiles? Comment and ask away!

~ by bebe on March 30, 2011.

13 Responses to “Cool Job Alert: Our Senior Design Director Takes You Behind-the-Seams”

  1. Hey Sue, I been trying to get a job with Bebe for a number of months now, I have done two interviews. I was wondering if you could better prepare me for a Bebe interview because it seems I may be doing something wrong seeing as how I’m not getting the job. Because I am still in school, about to graduate this summer with my bachelors in merchandising management, I have been applying for sales associate/stylist positions to start me off. Do youhave any suggestions for a good interview? Also, at what point would you say I could start applying for corporate jobs within Bebe?

    • Hi Marissa – Great question! Sue suggests, “Work with her career counselor at your school to do a mock interview and ask for tips on how to improve. You could also ask them to assist with resume, portfolio, outfit, goals and interview tips. Do a project for your interviews when appropriate.”

      Hope this helps! xo

  2. Hello Sue,
    I am a young aspiring college student and a dedicated fashion lover. You’re so lucky you have a job that a lot of women only dream about having. What advice could you give for people who want to pursue this career? Is there anything that you would advise against? What is the Number 1 thing a person must have in this field to be successful?

  3. Just wanted to say thank YOU for this Cool Insiders look!!! It’s so great to see that such awesome & dedicated people are behind the brand I adore forever♥

  4. Hi,
    I wanted to know if Bebe brings back products that they sold from the prior years. Last year Bebe had some really nice layered charm necklaces. I just thought i’d let you know that the necklaces last year were really nice.
    Ravip

  5. I was sooo in love with a blue silk chiffon long dress from the fall/winter bebe collection!! Unfortunately, I lost all my belongings when hurracaine Ike hit Houston. I was wondering if you could send me a picture, or tell me where I could find one. I was and is still so in love with that dress! It was the most beautiful dress I’ve ever owned and I felt like a princess, and I got alot of compliments on it. You would be my new hero!! I will be anxiously waiting for a response!!!!

    Betty

    • Hi Betty,

      I’m sorry to hear that. Don’t worry, we have some suggestions for you! Printed V-Neck Silk Maxi Dress – bebe for 90210 #186058, One-Shoulder Chiffon Belted Dress #183380, Drew Asymmetric Belted Drape Dress #185406

  6. Thank you for really great advices.I’m also fashion major student. Just visited this blog by accident.Never knew I will find some information that will help me get an “A”:).

  7. Hi Sue,

    My name is Maria Andrade, I think BEBE is an amazing store and I love the fact that the shoes are so comfortable, even if you’re wearing 6 inch heels. I’m about 5’2, so I’m always in search for really high-heel shoes. Not only does BEBE have these type of heels, but they feel great and supportive. I’m planning to get married next year in August, and I’ve been looking for white glitter wedge booties. Sometimes, when I think about a shoe that I would love for someone to create, it usually comes out. This is the reason why, there was a period when leopard wedge booties were becoming very popular and everyone had them, but mainly the top designers, which were very expensive, and weren’t affordable to me. So I hoped that BEBE would come out with 6 inch leopard wedged booties, and they did. I couldn’t believe it. Not only did I purchase them but I also bought the black Charlotte studded booties, which were also 6 inches. I love wedge-heels because they are easy to walk in and very comfortable. I feel amazing every time I wear these shoes, that’s the reason why I’m dying for BEBE to come out with 6 inch white glitter wedge booties. Since BEBE already came out with the Mariah Satin Glitter Peep Toe Pump, I’m hoping for the booties next. I’ve been trying to get in touch with the design team, but I haven’t had much luck. Would you be able to help me, how to go about this? Thank you!

    • Amazing post sweetie!!love that photo of you rinnung away and the dress is magical. the contrast of black and yellow works so well. you should really share these and all your work on flickr so more people find you that way. or maybe you have and i missed them.you have a great way in front of the camera, wish i had your confidence!love kat xox

  8. Iv always been inlove with fashion. I would be sitting in class not paying attention but making up designs on my head and looking through fashion magazines and hearing my heart beat so fast when i see something i love. Im 19 years old and in my second year of college but i have no idea how to get into the fashion world. Its my dream to be somebody like you oneday. That would be my dream job. Bebe is my favorite designer and i would really love some advice to wear i should start.

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