East Ham’s Yan is designer of the year

A Newham fashion student has beaten collleagues from across Essex and east London to be named designer of the year 2011.

Zan, 20, from East Ham was among fashion designers who battled it out as their designs graced the catwalk for the title of Liberty Fashion Designer of the Year at the Liberty Shopping Centre in Romford. Michaela Craddock, 17, from Plaistow and Sajna Bibi, 20, from east Ham were finalists in the competition.

The design students responded to the competition brief to design an innovative key garment for Spring/ Summer 2012. 170 schools, colleges and universities were invited to take part.

Yan said: “I was so surprised when I won, I never thought that I would win. When they announced me as the winner and my model walked the catwalk again in my garment I felt excited and proud.”

Yan’s teacher Marie Loney, head of fashion at Havering College said: “I felt really proud. Yan worked really hard to present her design in a professional way and it shows how hard work gains reward. The competition is very positive as it provides an amazing opportunity and a platform to showcase local talent.”

All the finalist’s designs were displayed in the Marks & Spencer window throughout The Liberty fashion show weekend, for auction to raise money for Essex Macmillan Cancer support charity.