Today (Friday, 20 February) marks the launch of DMU graduate Christiana Hadjipapa’s collection in the Warehouse store in Oxford Street, London - the latest in a long line of achievements in her thriving career.
Christiana, from Cyprus, graduated in Fashion Design from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), and won Warehouse's competition while at university. It was run in association with the British Fashion Council and open to fashion design students from around the country.
Since graduating she has been been involved in designing clothes for catwalks at fashion weeks in London and New York as well as winning previous design competitions.
To win the Warehouse contest, she had to have her collection assessed by a team of high-profile judges and undergo a nerve-wracking interview to be shortlisted as one of just 11 finalists.
Christiana was then invited to present her collection at Somerset House, London, to a panel of seven judges including representatives from Elle magazine and Warehouse’s own Creative Director.
Her prize for winning the Warehouse competition was a once in a lifetime opportunity to undertake a six month paid internship with Warehouse where she got to grips with the realities of high street fashion.
Christiana said: “The presentation at Somerset House was really stressful at the beginning but all of the judges were really helpful and guiding us through it but it certainly helped with my confidence and overall it was a really good experience.
“Then of course I had the internship which helped me to build contacts in the industry and understand how it goes from the design stages to getting products made and then into stores, there was a lot to consider that I hadn’t really thought of before, especially on the customer side of things.”
Following the conclusion of her internship at Warehouse in December, Christiana quickly secured herself a full time job at high-end fashion company KTZ in London.
She said: “At KTZ I’ve been developing some accessories for the catwalks which recently took place during the fashion weeks in New York and London.
“It’s really interesting because it’s a lot different at KTZ to how the high street works. This is much more focused on the show aspect of fashion and it’s generally more creative.”
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Della Swain, who taught Christiana during her time at DMU on the Fashion Design course, said: “This is a fantastic accolade for the fashion course here at DMU and an amazing start to Christiana’s career to have such a key high street brand such as Warehouse support the re-launch of her graduate collection through their stores.
“Christiana has always been a high achiever; in her first year of study she won the UK finals of the Chevrolet design competition in 2012 as well as securing an internship programme at Karen Millen as a print designer.
“This is the second time a DMU fashion student has won this competition in conjunction with British Fashion council as in 2011 Shivani Chavda had her collection produced and sold across the Warehouse stores as well, and she has recently decided to return to education to study an MA in printed textiles at Royal College of Art.”
Posted on Friday 20th February 2015