Fashion Foundry, a new initiative led by Cultural Enterprise Office in association with Wasps Studios, launched on Friday 14 September 2012.
Fashion Foundry will see 10 of Scotland's most promising fashion and textile designers helped in developing their businesses to target the lucrative luxury market both at home and overseas.
MSP Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop launched the initiative on 14 September, at the Fashion Foundry studio in Glasgow's Merchant City.
The Fashion Foundry participants are:
Pea Cooper Millinery
After graduating in 2006 Pea Cooper moved to Melbourne to work with Richard Nylon and in 2009 was nominated for 'International Milliner of the Year'. She subsequently won 'Best Collection of the Year'. In 2011 Pea Cooper was nominated for a Scottish Fashion Award and has been ranked in the top 40 designers in Scotland, by Textiles Scotland. Her hats have been featured in British, Turkish, Russian and Spanish Vogue as well as been shown at Melbourne and London Fashion week.
As a Master’s student men’s knitwear designer Jennifer Kent independently secured sponsorship for her final collection from Sirdar Yarn, Designer Yarns Ltd and EMB Knitwear, Scotland. The previous year she had won the Incorporation of Weavers Innovation prize, was a finalist in the British Knitting Association student competition and had her work selected to feature in the annual WGSN ‘Generation Now’ directory.
Women’s wear designer, Laura Ironside exhibited in New Designers London immediately after graduating with a First Class (hons) degree. She interned for Richard Sorger Womenswear and then went on to work for Le Tour de Force Womenswear, where as an Assistant Designer she was responsible for designing and producing the laser-cut work for the entire AW11 collection. One of her designs was later worn by Lady Gaga.
Womenswear designer with a strong focus on hand embroidery, Lauren Day, won the Selvedge Award for Excellence in Textiles at New Designers Exhibition, London and was invited to exhibit work in their shop window in London for the month of February 2012. Her work at New Designers also attracted interest from the Embroiderers Guild who approached her to exhibit work in their 'Graduate Showcase' at highly acclaimed 'Knitting and Stitching Show'. Lauren was also awarded Madeira sponsorship for a graduate collection.
Saunt & Sinner (Emma Noble & Toni Roddie)
Emma Noble and Toni Roddie have previous business experience through the successful S.T.A.G Studio and fawnd of, a small independent Scottish design label at high street level. S.T.A.G Studio was a faculty prize-winner at RGU and made the final 18 in the national S.I.E new ideas competition. fawnd of sold globally on the online clothing platform ASOS Marketplace. Saunt & Sinner recently dressed Chloe Campbell for the Scottish Fashion Awards. Campbell was a nominee for Scotland’s Top Model.
Rebecca Torres Limited
In 2009 Rebecca Torres was selected as one of the “top five designers to discover” by The Herald. A nominee for "Young Designer Of The Year" at 2012 Scottish Fashion Awards, Rebecca was also shortlisted for the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards 2012. In 2011 she had been one of 10 designers selected to participate in the Brand Alleys “Evening Black Dress” competition. Her Design was the best seller. She has since been described as one of the 30 most creative talents under 30 in the UK by Vice Magazine.
Hilary Grant Knitwear & Textiles
Orkney-based designer Hilary Grant launched her first collection in 2011 at Pulse Launchpad and by September had secured her first stockists in Hong Kong and Denmark. In December 2011 she was invited by Supermarket Sarah to produce a 'wall' popup shop for her online emporium and in February 2012 was invited to show her collection at ASOS. This year has also seen Hilary gain outlets in Tokyo and New York and has recently been nominated for a PSYBT regional business award.
Orkney-based Kirsteen Stewart first showed her work in a catwalk show at Graduate Fashion Week. With investment from PSYBT and Starter for 6 she has established a creative business with FairTrade partners in Bangladesh as well as making clothing and accessories in the UK.
Laura Spring was awarded the Scottish Craft Residency at Cove Park last summer where she developed her first luggage collection. During this residency she was invited to exhibit as part of Charlotte Abrahams’ “Spotted” showcase at Top Drawer in London where she launched her brand. She went on to develop a new collection of outerwear for Pulse this June for which she received a Glasgow Craft Makers Award and SDI funding. This new venture complements her luggage collection.
A Fashion Designer and London College of Fashion graduate, Mairi McDonald began her career with a year’s internship with Julien MacDonald from 2003-4, working on catwalk showpieces and made to order celebrity commissions and gained further high profile experience with Givenchy and Boudicca. She went on to design for a vintage inspired luxury Womenswear label designing best-selling dresses in Harvey Nichols and featured in publications such as Vogue. She has continually created Womenswear and Menswear ranges for national and international brands and the UK High street. As well as writing and styling catwalk reports for magazines, she now has her own Fashion Blog ‘The Trendspotter’ for The Herald. In 2012 she is developing her own luxury Womenswear line ‘Mairi McDonald’.
Fashion Foundry will help the fashion and textiles designers develop a deeper understanding of industry practices, strengthen their skills to build viable business models and establish routes into luxury markets.
Find out more about Fashion Foundry on the Cultural Enterprise Office website.
Photograph: Designer Rebecca Torres, milliner Pea Cooper and model Melisa McCombe attend the launch of Fashion Foundry on September 14 2012 at South Block, Glasgow. (Photo © Angela Catlin)
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