Catherine Watts, 28, who studies fashion, won “The Mothercare Childrenswear Award” at Graduate Fashion Week last week. As well as winning the £1000 prize, she will now have the chance for her graduate collection to be sampled by Mothercare, with the potential for it to be sold in stores.
The Birkenhead mum said: "I design clothes that I hope will encourage children to celebrate their individuality as well as being careful not to contribute to social or environmental exploitation within the fashion industry. As a result of thoroughly researching this topic for my final year dissertation, I chose to use only organic, biodegradable or recycled/recyclable materials in my collection and much of it is suitable for boys or girls. The collection features deep pockets and easy to manage fastenings to give children independence and strength.”
Salford has been life-changing
“The dedication and passion of the staff in Fashion Design at Salford is unprecedented. They have pushed me beyond what I believed was my potential and have unlocked skills within me that I didn’t know possible. My time at Salford has undoubtedly been life-changing, and I leave Salford prepared and excited for the next stage in my life."
Catherine studies BA (Hons) Fashion a highly reputable course within the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford.
She also won the award for The Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainability and Ethics Award Sponsored by Lenzing at Graduate Fashion Week. The prize for this award winner is £750 for Catherine, and £250 for the Fashion Department at Salford. Catherine is currently working with Lenzing in Grimsby to recreate her collection, with Lenzing materials, which is due to be showcased in the Houses of Parliament in September.
Catherine’s coursemate, final year student Sarah-Louise Francis, was nominated for The Christopher Bailey Gold Award at Graduate fashion Week, which was held in London. Sarah has since been put forward for the ‘People’s Choice Award’, the winner of which is determined by a public vote.
Optimistic about future within the fashion industry
Bashir Aswat, Programme Leader & Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) Fashion at the University of Salford, said:
“We couldn’t be more proud of our graduating students this year as they have worked extremely hard developing their skills extensively within design and we’re both confident and optimistic about their futures within the fashion industry.
In particular, we’re very pleased with both Catherine Watts and Sarah-Louise Francis having reached the finals at Graduate Fashion Week as both demonstrated exceptional work, so we were very excited when they were shortlisted and subsequently