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Northumbria graduates recognised by Oscars of the fashion world

17th March 2015

Graduates from Northumbria University, Newcastle have been recognised by the ‘Oscars of the fashion world’, for their award winning degree show work.

The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) has honoured eight Northumbria University fashion graduates with a prestigious CFDA+ accolade each – one of the most illustrious awards in the fashion industry – following their hugely successful degree shows last summer.

More than 400 graduates from 51 of the world’s top-ranking fashion schools submitted portfolios for the 2014 selection process, with Northumbria University hosting the most British award winners out of all the UK institutions selected

The winning graduates have subsequently gained access to an international network of fashion industry professionals. As part of the prize, their portfolios are being showcased on the world stage via Arts Thread’s website, the world’s leading network for new creatives.

Northumbria fashion graduate and CFDA+ winner Sarah Quasie-Woode has since been scouted to work in London-based recording studio, Seventy Hertz Recordings, with its up and coming female solo artist, Dakota.

Sarah, who is originally from Huddersfield and graduated from Northumbria University with a First class BA Honours degree in 2014, said: “The CFDA+ award has catapulted me into a professional network I would have otherwise struggled to penetrate. The exposure it’s given me has been incredible and I’ve no doubt it has contributed to me landing my role at Seventy Hertz Recordings , providing me with the opportunity to style one of music’s newest and most talented female artists.”

Douglas MacLennan, International Development and Recruitment Director at Northumbria School of Design, encouraged his students to apply for the awards, where applicants had to submit a 30 page online portfolio and were individually interviewed by the CFDA.

Douglas said: “Doors have opened to all the winners thanks to the opportunities found within CFDA’s network.  North East graduate Katrina Wagster has been shortlisted in the Mittelmoda Italian Fashion competition, whilst Chloe Sanders from Derbyshire was approached by Parisian fashion house, House of Balmain. Other winners have seen offers from big name household fashion brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and House of Holland.

He added: “Our annual graduate fashion shows are watched closely by the industry looking for up and coming designers and awards such as this provide a great platform for talented graduates looking to enter what’s an extremely competitive industry. The 2015 degree shows are just around the corner so this certainly bodes well for our graduating students, who are refining their end of year collections as we speak.”

Final year fashion students at Northumbria will be presenting their final collections this spring at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead for their North East fashion show and at Graduate Fashion Week’s Exhibition and Catwalk show in London, in May and June respectively. 

The Northumbria University Fashion Show is a highly-anticipated annual event which offers graduates the chance to showcase their collections to industry experts and celebrate their creations and achievements from throughout their degree.

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