Fashion student wins prestigious Young Designer Awards

17 February 2015

Derby based BA (Hons) Fashion Studies student Nicole Wells was awarded ‘Young Designer’ at the St Andrews Young Designer Awards (YDA), last weekend (Saturday 14 February 2015).

Nicole’s concept for the submission was based around integrated technology; how the immersion of our everyday life into technology shapes our environment as quickly as we shape it. The collection was deliberately asymmetric and oversized to incorporate not only different forms of technology but the industrial material that she was able to source for the garments from a local recycling company.

Nicole, originally from Wolverhampton, said: “The process of developing my concept to finished product in only 10 weeks gave me a real taste of how production house deadlines operate.

“As hard as the judging was it was definitely worth all the work when I attended the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show. Not only was I able to speak to current designers but I sat in the corporate area and could view my whole collection as it was showcased on the catwalk.

“Developing my collection for this award has been a real culmination of all the experiences and skills I’ve accumulated on my course so far including my year’s placement. I’d never developed a menswear collection before but as I now look for a job in the fashion industry I’m definitely hoping to move further into this area.”

Fiona Hawthorne, Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) Fashion was proud to discuss Nicole’s achievement: “We have been working with the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show for some years, the networking opportunities gained by winning students and finalists is incredibly valuable as they progress into the industry as independent practitioners.

“As a department we strive to ensure our students are given a thorough grounding in all areas of the fashion industry ensuring they obtain as much work experience as possible. Nicole has been an especially dedicated student whose hard work has been rewarded with recognition through her success during this year’s awards.”

University of Derby students have won the award over two consecutive years with Jos Swinnerton winning in 2014 as well student Courtney Blades being shortlisted in 2013.

The St Andrews YDA are organised by The St Andrews Charity Fashion Show which for 24 years has been a force for philanthropy in Scotland, giving over £380,000 to a variety of worthwhile charities and causes across the UK. The YDA is a national search for the very best design talent to help young creatives achieve their potential. Now in its 5th year, YDA is more exciting than ever. 

Find out more about studying Fashion at the University of Derby.