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The end of a busy second year at university and exciting adventures ahead

14 July, 2016

I started my fashion blog about a year ago, collaborating with various fashion companies such as Burberry, Mulberry, Monday I'm in Love and others, writing about what happens behind the scenes in the world of fashion. I have always been interested in finding out where the inspiration comes from for fashion designers, how fashion businesses operate and how is the process of creative collaboration in the fashion industry developed. 

Having just finished the second year of her degree course, former Kings London student Irina Gorskaia tell us about the creation and launch of her online fashion magazine 'Backstage Tales' and her upcoming opportunity to spend a semester at the renowned L’ecole de management de Normandie in France. 

Two years ago I graduated from the Advanced Level Foundation course at Kings London. It seems like it was yesterday, although time passes so quick and I still cannot believe I finished my second year at the University. I am studying Fashion: Media & Marketing at the University of Winchester and this year has been more eventful than ever.

I started my fashion blog about a year ago, collaborating with various fashion companies such as Burberry, Mulberry, Monday I'm in Love and others, writing about what happens behind the scenes in the world of fashion. I have always been interested in finding out where the inspiration comes from for fashion designers, how fashion businesses operate and how is the process of creative collaboration in the fashion industry developed. This is where my idea for the blog came from and it all started with my passion to share those stories in my writing.

This year has been even more eventful both for me and for my idea. I have finally redesigned and officially launched my online fashion magazine which I called 'Backstage Tales' — www.backstagetales.com — in September 2015 right before London Fashion Week kicked off. Since then a lot of crazy and exciting things have happened. I created a great team of writers around me consisting of Winchester students as well as some creative friends of mine from around the world - Canada, Holland, India, Russia and other countries. Our team also includes a lot of photographers and filmmakers from London who help us gather imagery and digital content.

I have enrolled on an Online Marketing course at the Open University along with my studies to get a better understanding of an online environment, social media and marketing. My course at University has also helped me enormously in terms of collaborations with fashion brands and gaining inside knowledge from our lecturers - professionals who have launched magazines in the past. The University has been incredibly supportive of my magazine and has given us a grant to sponsor this new business idea. Personally I have realised how incredibly interested I am in business and marketing. Sharing the same passion towards fashion and writing with my team has pushed it all forwards.

We created a film about the project to explain our idea to the readers, the number of which is growing everyday. We have created a strong social media presence with thousands of followers, which allows our readers to stay updated with all of the latest news and articles. Recently we have divided the content of the website into four sections: Fashion, Beauty, Film and Music. The editors have been assigned for each of the sections to help gather the latest news and share them with the rest of the team at our weekly editorial meetings. The friendly and open atmosphere around the project allowed the team and the readers to connect and create a community of likeminded individuals passionate about these creative industries.

I have one more year left at University of Winchester and for the first semester I have been chosen to participate in an exchange program 'Erasmus+' which connects different universities in Europe. In September I am going to the University of Normandy (L’ecole de management de Normandie), which is one of the best Business and Management schools in France. I am going to study International Business and I hope to gain even more knowledge about marketing, business and management, which would be really helpful for my business and for my future career in fashion. I cannot thank the University of Winchester enough for giving me the opportunity to participate in this program and for endless support it has given me in the development of my business.

During my first year I was still hesitant about my future career, I didn't really know where I saw myself in the future. The opportunity that the University has given me to learn more about various career options as well as try myself in the work environment during London Fashion Week and collaborations with fashion brands, has given me a clearer understanding of myself and my future goals. What else could I have asked for?