New generation showcases creations during London Fashion Week

10:22 19 September 2012

The winner of the Fashion Awareness Direct Fashion Futures 2 competition, Serife Niyazi, with the model showing her design.

The winner of the Fashion Awareness Direct Fashion Futures 2 competition, Serife Niyazi, with the model showing her design.


Julio Etchart watches as fashion’s future stars present their designs on the final day of London Fashion Week (LFW).

FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) is a creative charity supporting young people to bridge the gap between education and the fashion industry.

As part of its FAD Fashion Futures 2 (FF2), 6th form students participate in workshops with professionals to gain skills and knowledge, which helps them progress to higher education and on to the workplace.

This year represents a challenging year for charities and local authorities. In spite of cuts in funding, continued demand for places in FF2 from both schools and students proves there is a strong need for initiatives which bring industry and creative young people together. Now more then ever young people are feeling the pressure to make the right career choices, and FAD can support them to do exactly that.

After beating 100 other young people for a place in the second stage of Fashion Futures 2, the FAD finalists faced their biggest challenge yet – to create a collection for the London Fashion Week catwalk in just five days.

Working alongside fashion tutors and student mentors at the University of East London they spent a week in the summer re-drafting ideas, creating patterns from scratch and sewing together their final creations.

FAD’s director Maria Alvarez de Toledo stresses the importance of giving youngsters the chance to catch a glimpse of the way the industry works at an early stage in their studies. She said: “It is vital to put them under ‘real world’ working conditions by pushing them to meet deadlines and to produce quality work to schedule.”

She is also passionate about helping young people to realize their aspirations in these trying times.

The 25 finalists, aged between 16 and 19, are from many boroughs across London and Manchester. Last night they presented their design achievements at the 2012 FAD Junior Awards. They competed for top industry placements in front of a jury panel of retail and design professionals.

The overall winner was Serife Niyazi, from Prendergast Hilly Fields College

She said: “These last few days have been really intense, because you have to get things done well and fast. I’m so thrilled I won, I can’t wait to start my placement and work alongside professional designers. But I am also aware that I have to complete my other subjects at 6th Form and get good grades for next year.”

The finalists also produced an exhibition of their work, complete with sketchbooks showing all the stages of their planning, which added colour and spice in the after-party at the refurbished Africa Centre in Covent Garden.

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