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Graduates showcase fashion success

29th May 2018

From designing a self-titled AW18 collection, to travelling to India to source unique and colourful fabrics, Fashion graduates from Northumbria University are busy making waves in the industry.

As this year’s final year students put the finishing touches to their collections ahead of Graduate Fashion Week 2018, course alumni Harriet Eccleston and Genevieve Devine know all too well the opportunities which lie ahead, after both previously sending their collections down the catwalk at the event in London.

A total of 23 students from the Fashion BA (Hons) course are following in their footsteps, putting their creations under the spotlight in front of industry experts, fashion brands and well-known designers, at 5pm on Sunday 3 June 2018, at the Truman Brewery in Hanbury Street, London. They will be joined by final year students from Northumbria's Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons) and Fashion Communication BA (Hons) courses, who will also be showcasing their work during this year's Graduate Fashion Week event, which runs from 3 to 6 June.

For Harriet Eccleston, Graduate Fashion Week launched a blossoming freelance fashion career – and she is now in the midst of designing her own AW18 collection.

The 23-year-old, who lives and works from home in the Peak District in Derbyshire, said her final year collection, which was showcased at last year’s Graduate Fashion Week, was inspired by a mix of traditional menswear and her family heritage – with oversized pieces featuring traditional pattern cutting with a modern twist.

“It was incredible to be there, and the buzz was amazing. I was lucky enough to be spotted by a stylist, and a couple of months later, took part in a photo shoot with my collection. The shoot was then published in two US magazines,” she said.

“After graduating, I entered the 2017 Midlands Fashion Awards and won the Young Designer of the Year category, leading to brilliant opportunities including working with the fashion scout behind Young British Designers, Debra Hepburn. I am currently working towards launching a new collection for AW18, as well as working on exciting freelance projects.”

She added that the Fashion BA (Hons) course gave her the necessary skills to pursue a career in the industry. “I loved my time studying on the course. I had a brilliant time and learnt so much, including pattern cutting and sewing skills.

“The course lecturers are really experienced and extremely helpful. They get the best out of you and your style and show you how to stay true to yourself.

“It’s been such a whirlwind since graduating. I’m loving working on my new collection as well as my freelance commissions. I hope to keep doing what I love and see my business grow and become established.”

Fellow young designer, Genevieve Devine, graduated from the Fashion BA (Hons) course in 2016, after winning the TU at Sainsbury’s 25th anniversary scholarship award for her final year collection.

Genevieve, who is from Northumberland and now lives in London, said: “Winning the scholarship was incredible and meant my collection was manufactured and sold through the company. I was mentored by the designer Holly Fulton and worked in the company’s head office with the design team. I had the chance to travel to India to source fabric, meet suppliers and look at how the garments are fitted.”

She has since showcased her designs twice at the Houses of Parliament and is now working for womenswear designer Saloni London in the product development team.

“I’m looking into potentially studying for a master’s degree in design and stepping off in my own direction. I’d love to go out on my own and carry on designing,” she added.

Senior lecturer for Fashion BA (Hons) at Northumbria University, Nick Sellars, said: “At Northumbria I believe the skills the students develop underpins their success in the industry. We have a variety of alumni students working within the industry for brands including H&M and Ralph Lauren, and wherever you go in the world you bump into them. Fashion is an important industry in this country and it’s great to see our graduates finding success and becoming fashion stars of the future.”

For further information on Harriet Eccleston, visit:; and Genevieve Devine, visit:


GFW Shortlistings for the Exhibition Awards 2018

This year’s final year fashion students have been shortlisted in several awards ahead of the start of the Graduate Fashion Week exhibition. Please see below for award shortlisting information:

Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainability & Ethical Awards sponsored by Levi

Shortlisted: Emelia Erland (Fashion) & Katie Gourley (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Fashion Marketing Award

Shortlisted: Daisy Ratcliff (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Tessuti Sports & Leisurewear Award

Shortlisted: Daisy Podmor-Childe (Fashion Design & Marketing)

YKK Accessories Award

Shortlisted:  Lois Sleightholme (Fashion)

New Business Award

Shortlisted: Sarah Young (Fashion Communication)

New Fashion Media Award

Shortlisted:  Elle Robinson (Fashion Communication)

Size? Fashion Photography Award

Shortlisted: Megan Jepson (Fashion Communication)

Boux Avenue Swimwear Award

Shortlisted: Lucy Nolan (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Boux Avenue Lingerie Award

Shortlisted: Daisy Ratcliff (Fashion Design & Marketing) and Amelia Wilson (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Superdry Outerwear Award

Shortlisted: Hannah Williamson (Fashion) & Hannah Scoins (Fashion)


Northumbria's Graduate Fashion Week catwalk show will be steamed live here

Keep up-to-date with our final year fashion students by following #NorthumbriaFashion on social media.

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