A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate is going to see her designs put into commercial production after winning the people’s vote at Europe’s biggest student fashion event.
Mariah Esa came top in The People’s Choice Award X Shein after her creations were shown on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week.
Mariah 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.
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 in the fast fashion industry, she recreated them into a base fabric by attaching them together.
Mariah, who graduated from DMU earlier this month with a First in Fashion Design, said: “I was really in shock when I was told I had won but I am also proud of what is a massive achievement.
“It has given a huge boost to my confidence. How many people get to see their designs put into production in their lifetime? It’s incredible.
“My family were over the moon when they heard I had won. They were so happy for me. I am the only member of my family to have gone to university.”
A total of 28 collections from students representing universities across the UK were selected for the people’s choice award, based on the creations they put on show at Graduate Fashion Week.
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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.
Mariah said: “The course has been a rollercoaster ride. There have definitely been lots of ups and downs. But I have achieved everything I wanted to while at university.
“Without the support of the tutors, who pushed us all harder and harder, I would never have achieved what I have. They were always there for me and always helpful, whether it was something to do with studying or even something personal to me.”
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.
Posted on Tuesday 30th July 2019