Teenagers from across the capital brought London Fashion Week to a euphoric close as 17-year-old Hana Minowa was crowned winner of the 2015 Fashion Futures Final.
The 19 teenage finalists were the youngest designers to showcase at London Fashion Week. To an upbeat soundtrack of electro and K-pop, they presented garments inspired by the rich cultures of Korea and Japan.
The overwhelmed young winner, from Prendergast Hilly Fields College in Lewisham, took to the catwalk with a model sporting her Japanese design. Praised by the jury for its originality, Hana Minowa’s garment brought together distressed hemp trousers with a crisp, white bandeau top. Her prize, a placement with the design team at George at Asda, was presented by George Womenswear Designer Lorraine McNee on behalf of the Fashion Futures sponsors.
“Taking part in FAD has boosted my confidence to a whole new level. The support from all the people that I have met during the course and at the final show has really given me the motivation to carry on and work towards studying design.” Hana Minowa, 2015 Fashion Futures Winner
The three runner-up awards were announced by Maria Alvarez, FAD Founder & CEO; Paul Alger, Director of International Business Development at UKFT and Carol Robb, Talent Specialist at Vohs&Co Fashion Retail Recruitment.
The Technical Excellence Award went to 18-year-old City & Islington student Anakin Telle Nakata for her unisex design. Inspired by Japanese fish illustrations, she showcased a neoprene tunic with oversized hood, mesh trim and cut out shoulder details, wowing the jury to also win a design placement at the George headquarters in Lutterworth.
“Being able to take part in FAD has allowed me to gain the confidence I didn’t have before, I’ve learnt so much about the industry. Making a garment for London Fashion Week and the feeling of accomplishment seeing it on the catwalk, that is the best prize ever.” Nurdan Sinal, Innovative Surface Decoration Award
The Innovative Surface Decoration Award was presented to one of the youngest FAD finalists, 17-year-old Nurdan Sinal also from Tower Hamlets, for her origami fold dress with spray paint print. The ultimate runner-up, David Bennie, formerly of Kids Company’s Urban Academy, won The Directional Outerwear Award with his covetable menswear jacket, featuring tribal hand embroidery.
The show was followed by an exhibition of the finalist’s work at pop-up food market Startisans. Many past FAD teens attended on the night along with industry supporters from George at Asda, Monsoon, Karen Millen and L.K.Bennet.
Now in its eleventh year, the Fashion Futures project sponsored by George at Asda provides hands-on training and industry experience to 16-19 year olds, targeting disadvantaged young people with free places and mentoring support.
To be selected for the Fashion Futures Final, the teenagers undertook ten weeks of practical workshops with FAD before presenting their finished toiles and portfolios to a panel of industry experts. The selected finalists then spent five days with FAD mentors at The University of East London creating their garments for the London catwalk.
Next year Fashion Futures will have even more to offer creative 16-19 year olds across London. Thanks to a grant from the RBS Skills & Opportunities Fund, FAD will run a 12 month programme of careers, skills training and mentoring to support up to 80 young people to progress towards creative careers.