Innovative carbon fibre lingerie designs have led a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate to be named New Designer of the Year in the esteemed UK Lingerie Awards.
Selina Bond, who graduated from DMU’s Contour Fashion BA (Hons) course in 2014, was one of five finalists in the running for the accolade, and the first ever winner to not have a collection for sale in the marketplace.
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Her striking creations impressed a panel of judges made-up of experts from renowned brands including John Lewis, Fenwick Bond Street, Figleaves and Rigby and Peller.
The 23-year old is now running her own business, thanks to a grant from DMU’s The Crucible Project which supports 10 pioneering students each year to turn an idea or product concept into a business reality.
She said: “I was so thrilled to have been shortlisted let alone win! I'm still in shock and so happy! It gives me confidence in my designs and has made me push forward in my unique style and branding.”
Selina’s signature style of using moulded carbon fibre and pairing it with her delicate lace lingerie has been winning fans and generating a buzz on social media ever since she was an undergraduate at DMU.
The idea came from her father, a former Formula 1 mechanic.
Selina said: “My dad helps me create the carbon fibre moulds, which I then line with soft velvet. They are then lacquered to create a high shine.”
Selina attributes part of her success to the support she received while at DMU, as well as the ongoing mentoring from The Crucible Project. The pivotal moment was being selected to take part in MODA, The British Lingerie & Swimwear Show at the NEC, Birmingham.
This is where DMU showcases the Future of the Industry, as well as featuring in the show edition of ‘Underlines‘ Magazine - a global intimate journal, which, along with the MODA organisers, supports emerging talent from the course bi-annually.
Selina said: “Along with all the other students, I was encouraged to create something new and ‘out there’ for my project.
“This is where I first designed my carbon fibre body and then the idea has just grown. It took me four months to complete my collection and the longest time was spent making the carbon fibre moulds and my lingerie.
“I love working with this material, because it can be formed so exactly to the feminine contours in a way that produces a very dominant image.”
Sarah Clarke, Editor of Lingerie Insight, the magazine behind the awards, said: “New Designer of the Year was one of the most impressive categories in the 2015 UK Lingerie Awards, with a record number of entries. But Selina Bond scooped the prestigious title after impressing our panel of judges with her striking pieces.
“The panel, which was made up of buyers from John Lewis, Fenwick Bond Street and Figleaves, alongside a chief lingerie stylist at Rigby and Peller and an expert from WGSN (fashion’s leading trend forecaster), was particularly impressed by Selina’s basque design, which was made from carbon fibre, and her lace plunge basque.
“Despite graduating just two years ago, she demonstrated her ability to innovate and excite. With the lingerie industry reaching a point of saturation, Selina’s one-of-kind creations could shake things up and breathe new life into the market.”
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Currently immersed in designing her new collection and website, due to launch in the middle of the year, Selina said: “My new collection will still feature my signature carbon fibre and lingerie pieces, but I will be adding new lingerie pieces such as soft bras, bodices and harnesses, as well as carbon fibre accessories.”
Gillian Proctor, DMU’s Principal Lecturer and Subject Leader for Contour Fashion, said: “We are thrilled for Selina. Having experimented with moulded carbon fibre with her father since she was a small girl, she had a strong conceptual opportunity to trial the process prior to committing to her final collection.
“Despite the evident success of the moulded pieces, the lingerie collection of embroidered and beaded lace is in itself an exquisite solution. Opening the London Catwalk show at Graduate Fashion Week two years ago, Selina’s work ‘blew everything else out of the water;’ according to one of the main judges.
“Selina deserves every accolade and it serves as inspirational to students following in her wake that innovation, creativity and hard work are the route to success.”
Posted on Monday 1st February 2016