Interview with Mizuho – Part 1
Mizuho, the former student of AAA, her studies and professional experience in France
I spoke to Miss Mizuho OKAMOTO, a former AAA student, who is currently working as a freelance patterner.
In autumn 2017, Mizuho finally obtained her residence permit “Liberal profession” overcoming those difficulties and problems.
She explained to me why she decided to come to France, and her experiences in France, her way of working and the administrative steps needed for a change of status.
- When did you arrive in France?
I came to France in March 2014.
- You told me that you first entered a fashion school. Did you take French classes at AAA after you finished your course there?
- How long were you registered at AAA?
For 1 year and a half. Since I was living in France with the “student” visa, I had to take an intensive course (20 hours of classes per week).
- What do you think are the advantages of AAA?
All French teachers are friendly and available to students. I felt very comfortable in class and the atmosphere was perfect to make friends. The staff was also kind and adorable.
- Why did you decide to come to France?
I came to France because I wanted to study haute-couture. After studying in a fashion school in Paris for 1 year to specialize in the haute-couture, I entered a company that produces customized dresses as an intern patterner, then I was hired by the same company.
- Why did you decide to apply for the “Liberal profession” residence permit?
It is because I considered that the “Liberal profession” residence permit would allow me to work in an ideal way. If I am part of a company, I wouldn´t have time for my own projects and / or to work with individuals. That’s why I chose to work as a freelancer to reconcile collaboration with companies and my personal work.
- What did you provide as documents when you applied for the “Liberal profession” residence permit?
In addition to my ID card, I provided:
– 2 recommendation letters ;
– 2 recruitment consents;
– a covering letter ;
– a CV
- What were the difficulties you had?
Whenever I asked for a document or proof, I could only get it at the last moment. It might be a good idea to give them the deadline you need it by in advance when you ask for a document.
- Tell me what you are currently doing as an activity?
I work in a company that produces customized and unique clothing. As I have just changed my status, for the moment, I would like to concentrate on my own work to work with companies until my personal projects materialize.
- You told me that you often make customized dresses. Why are you interested in producing tailored dresses?
By creating customized clothing, I visualize the joy of the people who wear them. I would like to please each person. What often happens is that ready-made clothes are made by people who we cannot meet, and worn by people we do not know… And this can surely create a link between strangers, but I prefer to create clothes for people I know or who I can meet. I would like to see their smile with my own eyes. I think I’ll be happiest if I can contribute to their happiness.
- Have you noticed any differences between France and Japan, and / or experiences that you have had only in France?
In France, everyone has the opportunity to try new things: for example, if your boss asks you if you want to do something, and if you answer that yes, you can do it. It is the same case not only in the field of fashion, but everywhere else.
I also noticed, by creating tailored wedding dresses, that the French spend money differently than the Japanese. For example, the Japanese spend a lot of money for the wedding : the rent of the place of the wedding, the banquet, the gifts for the guests, the beauty salon, the diet before the ceremony, the rental of several types of dresses for the photographs taken before the ceremony etc … However, the French organize the wedding and a small convivial party only with close people. That’s why French can spend more money on a tailored dress.
It is true that there are some who want to wear several different dresses. But it is still better to wear a customized and ideal wedding dress, carefully made with the heart by an identified designer. Since tailored dresses are made by measuring, it would be better to feel involved in the creation of a dress, choosing the design, fabrics, style etc …