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DMU Fashion Design grad Mariah featured in Government's international ad campaign

A fashion graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is starring in a major international marketing campaign by the Government which celebrates the enormous wealth of talent nurtured by UK higher education.

The GREAT Britain Campaign advert features DMU Fashion Design graduate Mariah Esa, of Leicester, along with 11 other top designers, models, stylists and hair and make-up artists.

The video (below), designed to encourage brands to look to the UK for their next generation of creatives, will be promoted across the Government’s international network in more than 140 countries as well as be shown throughout 2020 at major fashion events and trade conferences.

It showcases Mariah’s designs which won her the Graduate Fashion Week People’s Choice Award X Shein after being shown on the catwalk in London in June.

Mariah repurposed labels thrown away in the fast fashion industry to create her garments. Sourcing labels which were either over produced or classed as rejects, she recreated them into a base fabric before turning them into stunning designs.

Shot in the iconic Locarno Suite in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the video also features the legendary designer Dame Zandra Rhodes, Lifetime Patron of the Graduate Fashion Foundation (GFF) and Hilary Alexander OBE, fashion critic and GFF President.

Mariah said: “I am excited to be a part of the Great Britain Dream Big campaign.

“Being selected by the GFF as one of the top graduates to showcase work in the campaign is an amazing opportunity for me.”


Be inspired. Come to the next DMU Open Day

Mariah to see her designs put into production

Vivienne Westwood designers sing Mariah’s praise

Liz Truss, Secretary of State for the Department for International Trade, said: “The UK is a global leader in the fashion industry and our talented students are the future of this sector.

“The industry is booming, creating 890,000 jobs and contributing £32 billion to the UK economy.

“There is no better place in the world for businesses to unearth the next generation of stars."


Hilary Alexander OBE said: “Graduate Fashion Foundation is extremely proud to be working with the GREAT Britain Campaign on such a creative opportunity, showcasing 16 exceptional young talents.

“Each year Graduate Fashion Week sees more than 3,500 exciting and innovative fashion creatives take over the Truman Brewery and the GFF, as the charity behind the event, continually looks to highlight their talent throughout the year.

“This video campaign is a great opportunity for six of our final-year hair and make-up students and ten select fashion and styling graduates to work with industry and showcase their talent to the world.


“These young creatives are at the forefront of a generation who will revolutionise the way we design, manufacture and wear our garments. Whether it is addressing the world’s plastic crisis or exploring new scientific techniques, our universities and students are setting the standard for a sustainable future.”

Graduate Fashion Week, now in its 27th year, is the recognised showcase for upcoming stars in design, creative direction, marketing, communication, photography, illustration and all aspects of the modern business of fashion, from close to 90 UK and international universities.

Each year the Fashion Design course at DMU asks its final year students to produce a catwalk collection for their graduation project. They are then put through a rigorous judging process with only the best designs being chosen to represent the university on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week in London's trendy East End.


As part of Mariah’s People’s Choice Award, she will now see her winning designs turned into fashion brand Shein's womenswear capsule collection – a collection of essentials rather than a full range of outfits – which will be sold in Spring/Summer 2020.

Not only that, but Mariah has also won a trip to China to see the collection go into production while Shein have said they will put the garments on display at next year's London Fashion Week in front of the of the world’s biggest fashion icons, models and designers.

It is not the first time Mariah’s fashion designs have received major recognition.

She is shortlisted for the PCA Vision 2019 Awards after impressing industry leaders from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, and she was shortlisted for the coveted Golden Shears Awards - known as the Oscars of the tailoring world.