During the last academic year, Valerie Bob-Manuel, Year 13, took part in a fashion futures challenge where she was selected to become a finalist and spent an intensive week at the University of East London expanding on her designing and making skills within Textiles.
As a finalist Valerie got to witness her design being modelled on a London Catwalk. Although Valerie did not win she did amazingly well to get so far in the challenge and we are very pleased that she wishes to follow a career within the fashion industry.
My experience with FAD was one of the most challenging and amazing moments in my life, especially at the end when I got to go to London Fashion Week and present my design. During the first stage I was taught new skills like draping and using an industrial machine, which I haven’t done before. I can use these skills in the future as I wish to continue studying fashion at university.
On judgement day, the judging panel included directors from ASOS and NatWest who sponsor the competition and were tasked with viewing all 80 contestant entries and selecting 20 contestants to progress on to the finals. I was so nervous, I thought my design wasn’t good enough compared to the other contestants but they chose me! I was then entered for the summer school at the University of East London, to bring my design to realisation so it could be modelled on the catwalk for London Fashion Week.
I was so proud of myself when the model came down the catwalk wearing my design, because I’ve never done this before it was like seeing a dream come true. I was so glad to see my family and Ms Greco come to support me and see all the hard work I put into my design over the past few months. At the show’s after party I finally managed to relax and got to opportunity to mingle with the models, including the one who modelled my design.
I want to thank FAD for the amazing opportunity.
Valerie Bob-Manuel, Year 13