Organised by award-winning London charity FAD, whose aim is support access & diversity in the Fashion Industry, the 2018 Fashion Futures Final was hosted by Fashion Scout at the Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden on Monday 17th September and sponsored by Natwest, Asos and George at Asda . The twenty finalists, aged 16-22, are the very youngest designers present on the London Fashion Week schedule.
Three South London teens scooped prestigious awards including SFX alumni Monica Hoilett, 19, who was named joint winner alongside Emmanuella Yiadom-Boakye, while Caoimhe Lempriere was presented with the Award for Research and Development.
Monica’s design on the FAD Fashion Futures Catwalk during London Fashion Week
Monica studied the UAL Level 3 Art & Design course at SFX last year. Speaking about her experience with FAD, she explained: “FAD Fashion Futures is really encouraging because it shows that you can come from nothing and end up somewhere. A lot of us hadn’t even touched a sewing machine before and they’ve made something so amazing you’d never be able to tell. During the programme it’s been great meeting a lot of people from different sectors of the fashion industry, ‘There were pattern-cutters, designers and they all give a different perspective.
“My piece is made up of over 30 separate pattern pieces to convey an idea of androgynous self-empowerment, due to its armour-like fit and anatomy. It will be worn by those with a strong and daring presence, such as the likes of A$AP Rocky and FKA Twigs.”
Monica on the catwalk
The winners were hand selected by judges including high-street veteran Jane Shepherdson CBE, founder of Antibad Store Agatha Lintott, mental health advocate and influencer Jada Sezer, as well as directors at ASOS & Natwest.
Vanessa Spence, Design Director at sponsors ASOS said: “28 designers from ASOS have volunteered in the FAD Fashion Futures programme, and they are all amazed with the level of quality and creativity.
“FAD is all about inclusivity and encouragement. It is great to see how people who would not usually have had the opportunity get involved in the fashion industry; it is projects like this one that give you the foundation to get going in a fashion career. Fashion is changing, the world is changing and becoming more diverse; the young generation has a lot to say. “
Over the past 20 years FAD has worked with over 2,000 volunteers to give 9,600 young people, from diverse ethnic, social and economic backgrounds, the skills, support and opportunities they need to overcome obstacles and get ahead. This in turn boosts UK employment and helps to close divide.
Photographs by Tony Wellington / Abridged text by FAD press release