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Future stars of the fashion industry join Graduate Fashion Week showcase

25th June 2024

The 33rd Graduate Fashion Week was held at London’s Truman Brewery and provided Northumbria Fashion students with another opportunity to shine.

Organised by the Graduate Fashion Foundation, the event features collections from final year fashion students at universities across the UK while providing them with the visibility they need in order to begin conversations and establish industry connections with recruiters, buyers, stylists and the media.

The four-day event took place at the iconic venue on Brick Lane from Monday 10 June to Thursday 13 June and the class of 2024 soon-to-be Northumbria graduates returned with a number of impressive accolades.

Fashion Design and Marketing student Katarina Chovancova was named winner of the SNAG Inclusive Fashion Award with her sensory-friendly fashion brand, NEW ESCAPE, which aims to build a calm, safe space for the neurodivergent community and create a sense of belonging.

Katarina explained: “Receiving this award means that my efforts to blend aesthetics with functionality and inclusivity have been recognised and appreciated. It's incredibly validating to know that my designs, which focus on comfort and inclusivity, stand out in the competitive fashion industry. Winning this award not only boosts my confidence, but also opens up exciting new opportunities, like potential collaborations with other fashion brands and increased visibility for my work.”

Fellow Fashion Design and Marketing student Abbie-Louise Inwood, who was recently crowned winner of the Graduate FashionFoundation (GFF) x Next Design & Trend Competition, was selected as the winner of the Creative Pattern Cutting Award.

Caption: Graduate Fashion Week 2024 winner Abbie Inwood

Fashion student Olivia Eplett was given the Highly Commended title and had her garments featured on the Best of Show catwalk, which closed Graduate Fashion Week on the Thursday evening, along with fashion students Taima Castor and recent UNTAGGED x Graduate Fashion Week competition winner, Ocean Murray.

Olivia said: “Specialising in womenswear pattern cutting, my collection focuses on menswear tailored jackets that translate into womenswear through softer feminine silhouettes. To leave university with an underpinning skill within womenswear pattern cutting and tailoring has helped give me confidence and technical understanding. I am very excited to continue learning and developing skills. My next goal is to find a job either in the UK or abroad that will allow me to help continue the development of creative womenswear tailoring within design, pattern cutting or a combination of both.”

Meanwhile, Fashion Design and Marketing student Jessica Colegrove impressed industry figures with her innovative work and was invited to interview for a potential job role the following day with Debenhams, the official Graduate Fashion Week sponsor for 2024.

Overall, 14 Northumbria students featured on the Graduate Fashion Week awards shortlist. They were:

  • The Sportswear & Leisurewear Award supported by Gymshark – Maisy Pope-Mitchell (Fashion)
  • The Considered Fashion Award supported by SNAG - Sophie Commons (Fashion Design and Marketing)
  • The Pattern Cutting Award - Abbie Inwood (Fashion Design and Marketing) and Taima Castor (Fashion)
  • The Fashion Portfolio Award – Abbie Inwood (Fashion Design and Marketing)
  • The Fashion Marketing Award - Alex Weaver (Fashion Design and Marketing) and Katarina Chovancova (Fashion Design and Marketing)
  • The Inclusive Fashion Award supported by SNAG - Katarina Chovancova (Fashion Design and Marketing)
  • The Fashion Communication Portfolio Award - Louie Glen (Fashion Communication)
  • The Terry Mansfield Fashion Publication Award - Leah Fan (Fashion Communication) and Eve Woods (Fashion Communication)
  • The Culture and Heritage Award (non-design) - Maya Shrestha (Fashion Communication)
  • The Culture and Heritage Award (Design) - Isha Hamid (Fashion Design and Marketing) and Taima Castor (Fashion)

Northumbria students are now continuing to showcase their work as part of the REVEAL graduate degree shows held annually on the University’s Newcastle City Campus, which are open to visitors, industry professionals and family members.

Programme Leader for Fashion Design and Marketing at Northumbria, Assistant Professor Sarah Walton, said: “We are so proud of all of our Class of 2024 Northumbria Fashion Students. Across Fashion, Fashion Communication and Fashion Design and Marketing we had 14 shortlisted at the GFW awards this year. We continue to be so impressed by the talent, perseverance and creativity of our students.

“Winning the Inclusive Fashion Award, Pattern Cutting Award and Untagged Sustainable Fashion Competition validates our values of responsible design and the celebration of craft skills. Having students showcased in the Best of GFW24 catwalk showcase is an amazing achievement for all students and staff who work so hard to realise these projects and exciting events.”

The Fashion BA (Hons), Fashion Communication BA (Hons) and Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons) programmes offered by Northumbria’s School of Design are internationally recognised for producing innovative and industry-ready graduates.

Northumbria’s School of Design was ranked fourth in the UK for research power in Art and Design in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, sixth in the UK for product design in the 2024 Guardian league tables, and named Best Design School at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. The school offers study programmes in fashion, industrial, communication and innovation design which are delivered internationally, with partnerships including the BINUS-Northumbria School of Design in Indonesia and the Academy of Design in Sri Lanka.

Discover more online by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/design or plan a visit to a Northumbria open day.

Northumbria School of Design

Northumbria’s alumni include Apple’s Sir Jonathan Ive, principal designer of the iPad, iPhone and iMac. Our School of Design covers the discipline areas of Industrial Design, Fashion Design and Innovation Design.

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