Luxury lingerie designer Elissa Grainger has rounded off an incredible 18 months since graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) by being named Rising Star at the prestigious UK Lingerie Awards.
Contour Fashion graduate Elissa was named as the nation's one to watch by fashion experts on behalf of the respected industry magazine Lingerie Insight, which runs the national awards.
Elissa has spent the last 18 months rewriting the lingerie rulebook with her trademark latex lace designs, which combine the two fabrics in a unique aesthetic.
After becoming inundated with orders from her thousands of Instagram fans, she launched Elissa Poppy as a brand.
The Rising Star Award comes just a month after Elissa beat more than 600 brands to win a prestigious ASOS competition with a £50,000 prize.
The judges of the ASOS Fashion Discovery competition - from the leading online fashion and beauty store itself, as well as representatives from the British Fashion Council, i-D and Graduate Fashion Week - were amazed by Elissa's 'innovative' brand.
The 22-year-old said: "I feel great. It has been an incredible year. But it has all gone a bit crazy. I just haven't stopped.
"I am looking forward to launching my collection, improving productivity through the manufacturing process, so I can work more with big industry, and moving into a studio. I am using my kitchen as a studio at the moment!"
Sarah Clarke, editor of Lingerie Insight magazine, said: "The Rising Star of the Year is a new category in the UK Lingerie Awards, so it was really exciting to be able to recognise emerging talent within the industry. As a team, Lingerie Insight was astounded by the level of talent that we saw when judging the finalists, particularly from young graduates from De Montfort University and the London College of Fashion.
"Through their nominations, they demonstrated exceptional drive over the last 12 months, by gaining impressive work placements, receiving awards for their designs and even starting their own businesses. We'd like to thank all five Rising Star finalists who put so much hard work into contributing towards the nominations process - they certainly made judging a tough task!"
Elissa is also supported by The Crucible Project, DMU's initiative helping graduates to get their business ideas off the ground.
Her work also took centre stage during the launch of rock legend Brian May's latest book, a 3-D exploration of the history of the crinoline.
In addition, bespoke Elissa Poppy pieces are stocked by luxury labels across the world - Beautifully Undressed in the UK, Brigade Mondaine in France, and Anya Lust in the US - and her designs have featured in high-profile magazines like Vogue and Off the Rails.
The project offers a £5,500 grant to support living costs, free shared office space in The Innovation Centre, personalised mentoring and training workshops, and much more.
"The support is really beneficial. I work from a home studio at the moment, so being able to look into increasing my productivity and branching out is great," said Elissa.
Among many other successes, Elissa has been recognised with a Young Designer Award in the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show - made famous in 2002 when Prince William reportedly fell for his future wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, after she modelled a see-through dress on the catwalk.
Elissa has previously praised DMU's Contour Fashion course saying: "Contour Fashion has great links with industry and equips you with the skills employers are looking for.
"I got to work with lots of different brands and had the chance to make contact with industry experts.
"The tutors really get behind you, helping you gain publicity and instilling a strong sense of professionalism in you."
Posted on Monday 26th December 2016