Three University of Derby graduates, who set up their own label, were selected to exhibit their latest collection last week (June 24-27), at part one of the New Designers One Year On.
Zuzana Radicova, Elisa Hutzinger and Sabina Zwickelstorfer, graduated from the University of Derby with BA (Hons) in Textile Design, in January 2015. They founded their label Zasue in Vienna, in June 2014 after completing their degrees.
New Designers One Year On is the largest graduate degree fair in Europe. The exhibition, now in its 30th year, took place at the Business Design Centre in London. Part two of the exhibition will take places from July 1-4, 2015.
The annual exhibition is open to young entrepreneurial designers who are in their first year of business. Visitors to the exhibition can purchase pieces directly from the selected designers and invest in their lines.
All designers wishing to exhibit their work must go through an application process and are chosen on the strength of their work.
Zuzana said: "There are very few textile design companies in Austria nowadays. Textile design has become a niche market. We founded Zasue to pursue our passion and revive the textile design industry in Austria.
"Our main emphasis is on sustainability and we only use natural fabrics in our collections."
Elisa added: "We attended New Designers 2014 as graduates which was a great experience and showed us how to present ourselves in the textile industry. It was definitely easier to apply for New Designers One Year On knowing what to expect.
"Studying Textile Design at the University of Derby taught us how to make a cohesive collection in a professional manner. We were able to focus on our practical work and different techniques."
Since its official launch, Zasue has also sold products at Modepalast and in design boutique Lieblingsplatz, in Vienna.
Sabina said: "We are now searching for prospective clients.We already have a collaboration with Viennese accessories label Hey Mr."
In addition to this collaboration, Zuzana, Elisa and Sabina are receiving mentoring from University of Derby graduate Alex Brownless about further exposure around Europe.
Alex, who graduated from the University in 1995 with a BA (Hons) Textile Design, is the co-founder of Arts Thread - the world's only creative graduate website and the leading network for new creatives, bridging the gap between design education and the creative industries across five continents.
John Angus, Principal Lecturer in Design at the University of Derby, added: "We are delighted that Zuzana, Elisa and Sabina were included in the designers selected to exhibit at One Year On, at New Designers in London. Their timing is very apt, with traditional retail and manufacturing in a state of flux.
"The abiliity of young new brands to be lean and agile in their means of marketing, production and distribution is a phenomenon of our times. It is a bit like the explosion of 'alternative fashion' in the 70s and 80s, when young designers decided to go it alone. Now they can reach anywhere in the world through portals like Asos. We wish the team every success with their label and we are certain that Alex's mentoring will be invaluable to them."