From Corporate to Fashion

As a kid I wanted to be a pilot. The supersonic aircrafts looked so exciting. Later I found out that I couldn’t do it because of my myopia and astigmatism. Honestly I was really sad. I would never be able to feel all the adrenaline and be a cool adult. But like all the kids I had tons of other dreams. I ended up studying Criminology. I wanted to understand what motivates someone to deviate from the norm. What is their story? This bachelor degree ended up being a disappointment. Not only did the Law Faculty had an old school approach to crime but I also started considering creative careers. I
felt like a misfit although I was able to find my tribe there. Nevertheless I finished my
degree and never worked in criminology.

I don’t remember how my interest in fashion started. I guess it was always there but I was ignoring or avoiding it. So in 2014 I did a course in Fashion Image and Styling. I loved the experience! I finally found a way to express my creativity in a way that I liked. This was even more interesting when during a summer I went to Central Saint Martins. That first creative experience in London changed my mindset and what I thought I wanted for myself. However the dream died when I got back to Portugal and it took me some years to lose the fear. It was in 2019 that my life changed. I was working in a company assisting a team leader and learning engineering crazy stuff. It was an ok job but I was really unhappy.

So I started thinking about what made me happy, what was my dream and goal in life. After realising that I came so far doing something that I didn’t like. I imagined how my life would be if I did the same with something that I loved. Losing the fear was empowering. My goal became to move to London until the end of 2019 and start working in fashion. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I wanted this for real that time. In August I quit my job and did it. It was the best decision of my life! Through Instagram I met Vanessa Davinia. She was the first one to give me an opportunity. She didn’t know me in person but she did it. My first experience was at London Fashion Week. Backstage work is insane but I loved every minute. And from then on I just said yes to all the opportunities. I met amazing creatives, got published, went to Paris Fashion Week, did an internship in a PR…I also styled a music video which happened way sooner than I expected. I am feeling for the first time the power and support of a community which is different from a corporate environment. Everything still feels like a dream! Although I am very new to the fashion industry, I know how ugly it can be sometimes. But there’s enough space for everyone and people sometimes forget that. We can get inspired by everything around us and everyone has an unique background, fears and hopes. Now I am taking my first steps in a startup, I just continue to say yes.

A little bit about the author:
Manuela is a freelance fashion stylist based in London.
A curious soul that loves to explore and understand other cultures. She found in fashion a
way to express her creativity. After living in four countries she never stopped wanting to
settle in London. Her inspiration comes from everything related to everyday life. From
books, magazines, movies to observing people in the street. A bit of a daydreamer that
sometimes gets lost in her own thoughts she is always looking to get out of her comfort


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