You are here


A final year fashion student from a specialist art and design college in the north east, looking to pursuing a career in the fashion industry after graduation, is now even more determined to succeed after being inspired by a visit from a leading young des

Hannah Johnston, 21 from Acklam in Middlesbrough is studying for a BA (Hons) Fashion at Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD)’s university-level campus in Hartlepool, and was one of a group of students to experience life in the real world of design and retail from former CCAD student and fashion designer, Claire Barrow.

The designer from Yarm, who studied Fashion and Clothing at the college in 2008, is currently making waves in high end ready-to-wear and returned to her former college to inspire the next generation of Vivienne Westwoods and Stella McCartneys, with a candid presentation and discussions. After successful commissions for Vogue, Joseph and iD Magazine, amongst others, Claire now designs her own collections for sale at outlets around the world, and has presented as part of London Fashion Week.

The 26-year-old designer spoke at length to a group of first, second and third year fashion students, including Hannah, about working in the fashion industry, running her own business and her top tips for carving out a career in couture.


As well as benefitting from Claire’s experiences as a young and current designer in a highly competitive industry, Hannah was also able to receive some one-on-one advice from Claire while showing her work from her final major project.


As part of her degree coursework, Hannah has produced a collection for her final major project based on ‘tradition and modernisation working together in harmony’. Influenced from a visit to a traditional and a modernised leather tannery, the garments are made up of natural and manmade fibres, with a chemical against natural colour pallete.


Hannah said: “I really enjoyed listening to Claire’s presentation, in which she took us through her design collections and career, getting to see her creative clothing and understanding her design process. 

“I showed the designs for my final coursework to Claire and as I explained the concept behind my collection, she helped to me think outside the box about how I could use my concept to create innovative garments.”

Hannah will be showing her final major project as part of the 2016 Vision Graduate Show at the specialist art college, which starts on Friday 3rd June from 10am at the campus on Church Square, and also will be part of a team representing the college at this year Graduate Fashion Week in London’s trendy East End Truman Brewery from 5th - 8th June.

  • Date published: 23rd May 2016



  • "' is also a great way to prepare yourself for the working environment.'"

    Roman Winter

  • ""A strong Arguement" but "Europe: Yet another perspective, on the things you probably know" "

    Wils Hunt

  • "Aim. Paint. Write. Act. Do."

    Carlos Paolini


    Fabian de Fabiani