Newham finalist Shalom Siqueira likes a challenge. Her piece for tonight’s Fashion Futures final is a hand printed men’s jacket made entirely from neoprene. We catch up with the daring young designer hours before the event to talk about her London Fashion Week debut.
What made you want to get involved with FAD?
It was mainly because I heard about it from school friends who had done it last year. They told me how it really builds a bridge between school and what you want to do for a job. They told me to just go for it, that is such a great opportunity.
How was the week making your garment for London Fashion Week?
It’s been really hectic but very enjoyable at the same time. The whole experience feels like I’m on some crazy journey.
And what is it like to be an FAD finalist?
It feels like a privilege to be a finalist. The fact my work has been picked and having it showcased at London Fashion Week feels amazing. The word privilege always comes to mind. It’s a very special opportunity to have and be able to express your creativity to an audience and have the chance to make that connection at such a young age.
Is there anything you have learnt by working with FAD?
It’s taught me to be ambitious. In order to reach your goals you have to think big and be ambitious, especially in a field like fashion. It’s taught me to think outside the box and to aim high. The whole Fashion Futures thing is a reward for young people like me. Without FAD we wouldn’t be here – with the freedom and support to express our creative ideas.
Do you think there are any challenges facing a young person like you when it comes to getting a job in industry?
Connections and getting yourself out there. That can feel like a barrier. You really need to know who to contact. I sometimes feel like other people have that advantage. However FAD have so many professionals that come in and out, helping us and giving their knowledge. I feel like it’s helping us to build our future really.
Where would you like to be in five years time?
Hopefully finishing uni with a degree in fashion and being able to work within the industry.
Shalom’s design will debut on the London Fashion Week catwalk tonight, along with 22 other teens, in the 2014 Fashion Futures final. Follow @fadcharity on twitter for the latest news from the event.