Double win for Hallam students awarded internships with renowned fashion designer

27th February 2018

Two fashion design students have secured internships with Vivienne Westwood following collaboration between the globally renowned fashion designer and Sheffield Hallam University.

Rosie Coggin-Levy, 19, and Kirsty Owen, 22, both second-year fashion design students will each embark on London later this year to begin a three month-long paid internship with internationally acclaimed fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The prestigious internship opportunity was a collaborative project open to second-year fashion design students as part of a course module. The students travelled to London where they had the chance to meet Vivienne herself, before being briefed on the project at the designer's HQ. The project challenged the students to design a menswear tailoring piece which encouraged them to think beyond aesthetical appearance and underpin their concepts with a narrative which addressed a real world identified global issue. Rosie and Kirsty impressed Westwood bosses so much with their final designs that they were both chosen as joint winners when Harry Mundy, senior menswear designer for Vivienne Westwood, came to the University to view the student's final work. Rosie said: "I am completely made up to be offered the internship at Vivienne Westwood. Its heritage is so influential in British fashion and I am sure I can learn a lot about the industry during my time there. "The fact that it is based in London is really exiting, it's a city at the heart of the fashion industry and I'm looking forward to feeling its pace. I really am quite overwhelmed to have won the placement as the quality of the work from the entire class was so thought- provoking and visually impressive. "My concept began by looking at how we as consumers discard so many items of unwanted clothing and this aspect of fast fashion is really wasteful and damaging to the environment. "The main objective of my suit was to make people aware of the effects fast fashion is having on the planet as it cannot sustain this system. My hope is that the look forces people to look inwards and question if they are part of the problem." Kirsty said: "It feels absolutely amazing to win the internship with Vivienne Westwood! Its super daunting that I'll be moving to London for three months but it's so exciting too. "I came onto this course with sustainability in mind, so my project was heavily based on that. I had the idea of essentially 'cutting and sticking' menswear and womenswear clothing together. The idea of using men's and women's clothing was used to inspire people to think more creatively about all the clothing they have before throwing anything out." While at the University, Harry Mundy said: "This project came about after Vivienne's son, Ben, encouraged me to go to Graduate Fashion Week last year as he was impressed by the work he'd seen coming from Sheffield Hallam students through his connection with the University. The work I saw at graduate fashion week from Hallam students was some of the best, and I knew we could get an excellent intern to join us in London for an internship. "We encouraged the students to pick a particular aspect of sustainability or any humanitarian issue facing us, and put together ten designs with one completely made, showcasing what issue they are trying to tackle. As a company we're trying as much as possible to have a much more sustainable future in the way we do business and the fabrics which we use, I was interested to see what the students would make of that in their designs. "My advice for fashion design students is patience and hard work, wanting to learn as much as you can and being a team player, that's the key to making it in the industry." Another collaborative project with prestigious designer Amanda Wakeley is now also underway as part of Sheffield Hallam's fashion design course.

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