Graduate designers from Northumbria University are celebrating after receiving accolades from an international award scheme endorsed by global fashion giant Gucci.
Three students from the University’s BA (Hons) in Fashion Design and Marketing impressed judges at the 2022 Global Design Graduate Show, with one contender winning the overall Menswear Award in the fashion, accessories and textiles category of the event.
The show, now in its third year, is the biggest ever online showcase of graduating artists and designers worldwide and is organised by ARTS THREAD, with 28 awards in total, of which four were put to a public vote.
Archie Hammond, who is originally from Newcastle, was shortlisted alongside fellow members of the class of 2022, Olivia Fletcher and Lily Clark, with Archie winning the judges award in his category.
He said: “It’s quite overwhelming; I can’t quite believe it and the fact it’s a judges award makes it all the more special.
“I actually fell into fashion marketing after my Dad suggested it because I was a bit lost during Sixth Form, especially in my last six months, but I was interested in clothes and enjoyed design.”
Archie joined the course at Northumbria after completing a foundation year at a local college, and ‘fell in love’ with the fashion industry.
He said: “Northumbria stood out to me because of the duration of its industry placements and it’s one of the most respected courses in the field outside London.
“Gucci is such a huge house and I’ve always been intrigued by its design language and the fact it pushes boundaries with a new take on menswear, so this award feels like validation from that sector of industry.”
Archie describes his own style of design as heritage menswear and he’s inspired by the past, with a focus on using local materials in his items. Eventually, he hopes to develop his own fashion brand, but for now is working as an intern for a firm run by a fellow alumnus of Northumbria University.
Olivia, who along with Lily was a finalist in the sustainable fashion category at the showcase, has also started a graduate position as a Marketing Assistant at Vans, having won or been shortlisted in several awards already this year.
She said: “This has been a bit of a shock as it’s global, and since graduating I do feel I’ve achieved quite a lot.
“Moving forwards I’m hoping these accolades will represent who I am as a creative and prove I’m dedicated and put a lot of effort into my work.”
Lily, who is now working in the childrenswear design department at Burberry, added: “When I entered these awards, I was looking for a platform for my work, but I had no idea there would be so many entries or how big it was, so I’m really honoured to have been a finalist. It is really unexpected.”
Judges at the show this year, who whittled down entries from almost 6,000 individuals across 103 countries to just 500 finalists and 24 winners, included Lionel Vermeil, Luxury Prospective Director from Kering, and there were almost 200,000 votes cast to help decide on the four public winners.
Assistant Professor Sarah Walton, who taught the trio, added: “This is the second year one of our students has been a winner at this showcase, and we’re consistently proud of the quality of our students' work and the incredible things they go on to do.
“I know Archie, Lily and Olivia have passion, commitment and talent in their respective fields and it has been a privilege to see them reach such heights so early in their careers. I can’t wait to see what’s next for each of them.”