I was recognised by my style icon Rihanna

A TEXTILES student was recognised by style superstar Rihanna while on a four-week placement in New York.

Sarina Mazfari, 20, from Middlesbrough is in her third year of a textiles and surface design degree, at the Cleveland College of Art & Design’s campus in Hartlepool and, as part of her course, she had a month-long work experience with LuRu Home, an interiors fabric design company with offices in New York, San Francisco and Shanghai.

Not only did Sarina have a fantastic placement, she also met her idol, Rihanna, for the second time and the world famous singer even remembered her.

Sarina said: “Two years ago I created a piece and gave it to Rihanna during her Diamond World Tour at Sunderland which she really liked, I’d always wanted to meet her and was so pleased to have the opportunity.”

Then more recently she won a VIP pass to meet her again at Macy’s department store in New York. “When we met she said I was beautiful and loved my sense of fashion so I asked if she followed me on Instagram and she said “Yeah, Sarina right?’ She remembered me from Sunderland and I was stunned.

“I just told her how amazing she is and what an inspiration she is to me personally, she gave me the biggest hug and kiss and it was the best experience ever.”

CREATIVE: Sarina in New York

CREATIVE: Sarina Mazfari in New York

Sarina was able to work with co-founder of LuRu Home on its specialist range of Chinese Nankeen indigo hand-dyed fabrics, prepare client orders for the designers wanting to use the fabric, and created some digital repeat designs with a seamless pattern.

“I was also involved in business meetings with designers and the staff at Peter Marino – architect of luxury fashion stores such as Calvin Klein and Armani, which was amazing. It was also a great experience for learning about marketing. I found that Instagram is really important as a marketing tool, and discovered how products can sell and how to take better photographs.”

Sarina in Coney Island

DREAM: Sarina Mazfari in Coney Island whilst on her US placement

Claire Russo, co-founder, LuRu Home, said: “Working with Sarina over the past month has been a true delight. She’s an exemplary student and incredibly self-motivated. Her talented designer’s eye and strong work ethic made a big impact here in our Brooklyn team.

“We’re thrilled to learn she’s been selected to exhibit her work at Surtex, a design trade show in NYC next May! A huge accomplishment for an already accomplished student. We know she’ll go far.”

Sarina added: “People used to laugh when I told them about wanting to be a designer, also about meeting Rihanna. My advice to anyone is do not let obstacles get in your way. If you want to achieve then achieve, do what makes you happy. There is no point in living life with regrets.”