FAD Stories: David Bennie

2015, FAD Projects, FAD Stories, Fashion Futures
For the past few years FAD have been working with Kids Company to give opportunities to creative young people from their Urban Academy. We are delighted to have one such raising star among our Fashion Futures finalists this year. Introducing David; a young man with bags of motivation and a whole lot of talent.
What have you learnt by doing Fashion Futures?

“I’ve learned that I can accept challenges, but at the same time I need to develop my skills more. Learning is uplifting for me, for example I’ve never done a jet pocket before and also just learning words to do with fashion.  Seeing all these materials and skills and gaining knowledge of them is really helpful.”

FAD has definitely had an effect on me. I wake up thinking “I’m going to FAD today to work on my stuff, because my stuff is needed for the catwalk.” It makes me feel that my self-worth is good – that if I put my effort into something, like I was before I got selected for the final, then it will come to a point where someone recognises that effort and rewards it. I’m really happy to be a finalist.”

David what made you want to sign up to FAD?

“Originally it was the idea of a challenge. I wanted a challenge. The things I’m learning through FAD will also form part of my gold Arts Award with Kids Company, and in September I should be having an exhibition with all my creative work.”


So tell us more about your design.

“My garment  is unisex. My idea is that I don’t really feel anyone should be put to one side, boxed in. It was originally going to be a formal jacket, but living in London it is constantly raining one minute and then hot the next, so I went with the idea of a raincoat. The fabric is rubberized cotton with a water tight zip. It’s functional, wearable and should look good on a catwalk but at the same time should be something people can wear with jeans. I wanted it to look very clean. “

What items from the Japanese and Korean galleries at the V&A inspired your design?

“My inspiration came from three things in the galleries – the Japanese armour, a tobacco pouch with some waves on it, which will feature on the back of the jacket, and a Japanese pot which inspired the bronzy colour. “

What do you think of organisations like FAD and the way they support young people?

“I’ve always felt the need to be grateful for anything that is given to young people, for example with Kids Company. I’ve always had a dream to go into fashion and FAD has been my push, my silver lining.

I tried to go to college but couldn’t because of many issues and if I want to get a job, it’s tough. When I got selected to do FAD, I didn’t know what it was about, but when I did my research I saw the progression of where young people are now from FAD. It made me realise that FAD is that stepping stone, where you feel you are able to put your foot in the door of the fashion world.

I think if anyone is willing to do FAD in their extra time it shows that they are committed to something they care about. It shows that when all your friends are doing something else, you are still determined to be creative, you are still determined to do something that you love. I love this!”


Talking about them, what do your friends think of you being a finalist?

“Because I’m also a dancer most of my friends think  “Why are your around a sewing machine?!”  I feel like my friends won’t really understand until I make it. Until then I’m just going to keep my head down and work hard.”

Do you think there are obstacles in the way of young people like you who want to pursue a creative career?

“There are lots of obstacles. There are people saying “you can’t do it”, and then there are people saying “yeah, you can do it but you need to try harder”. I think it comes down to motivation. If you have it, no matter if there is a massive brick wall in front of you, you climb over it. I think if young people get this opportunity with FAD and still don’t know what to do with it, or can’t cope with the pressure, then maybe fashion isn’t for them.

You still have a lot left to experience, but what have you enjoyed most about FAD so far?

“Meeting people, because I have met a lot of people here and they are cool. At the same time I think the thing I’ve enjoyed most is the challenge of actually completing this garment. I have this image in my head of what it is going to look like; the idea of it coming together is what’s going to make me feel really happy.”


David is one of twenty finalists who will showcase their designs on the London Fashion Week catwalk in September. He applied for FAD through Kids Company, an inspiring organisation providing  practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children, young people and families. Read more about the work they do here.
This FAD Story is made possible thanks to sponsorship from George at Asda.

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