Forest Gate teens get chance to showcase designs at London Fashion Week
14:14 06 August 2014
Two sixth formers will be showcasing their designs on the London Fashion Week catwalk this September, thanks to an initiative by Hackney based charity FAD.
Hayat Chehab, 18 and Shalom Siqueira, 17, both students at St Angela’s & St. Bonaventure’s Sixth Form in Forest Gate, were selected from over 130 young people from inner city boroughs of London and Manchester to take part in Fashion Futures workshops this year. Over ten weeks they were given an insight into the working world of fashion – from collating research and drafting technical drawings, to pattern cutting and constructing a garment from scratch.
At the end of the workshops they presented their designs to a panel of industry experts and 23 finalists were selected for the next stage of the project. Last month they took part in FAD workshops at the University of East London, creating their show stopping garments for the 2014 Fashion Futures final to be held at London Fashion Week this September.
Shalom said: “FAD have so many professionals coming in, helping us and giving their knowledge. It has taught me to be more ambitious – in order to achieve your goals you have to think big and be prepared to work hard.”
Maria Alvarez, FAD’s CEO, said: “The young people we work with are often at the cutting edge of fashion, leading and living the trends that are the inspiration behind the latest looks on the high street - but it’s a sad fact they are often unable to gain employment or access the opportunities within that industry.”
FAD aims to make jobs within the fashion and creative industries accessible to all talented young people, regardless of their personal circumstances, financial situation or ethnic background. Now in its tenth year the project, sponsored by George at Asda, provides hands-on training, industry experience and opportunities to 16-19-year-olds, targeting young people from low income backgrounds with free places and mentoring support.
The charity works closely with key names in the fashion industry to bridge a gap in confidence, knowledge about career pathways and employment opportunities. As well as sponsoring Fashion Futures, the George at Asda team are active in FAD projects – from talking at career days and volunteering in workshops, to supporting individual students to progress to higher education and employment through the FAD mentoring scheme.