Newham College student named best young tailor in UK

A former Newham College student beat off hundreds of competitors to be named BBC3’s Young Tailor of the Year.

Emma Martin, 24, studied tailoring at the East Ham college for two years before becoming an apprentice at Dege and Skinner in prestigious Saville Row.

Emma, from Tottenham, has to carry out a multiple choice exam and do a filmed interview with industry professionals before she was selected as one of the final 20 candidates.

In the final, she was asked to complete a series of tailoring and design tasks by renowned tailors Richard Anderson and Mark Powell.

Commenting on the final, Emma said: “We had to pad a collar, finish a waistcoat so edge stitching, button holes and felling, pattern cut a pair of ‘Oxford Bags’ from measurements alone, choose the cloth – navy herringbone my choice - and then make the trousers to complete the look of members of a jazz band who appeared in front of us.

“I didn’t really know what to expect when I entered. As soon as the first task was set it became pretty obvious it was going to be gruelling, brutal even at times.

“It’ll be so satisfying when I complete my apprenticeship, hopefully this year after two tough years of learning and working. And there’s going to be a window display in Savile Row to celebrate my success so it’ll be enjoyable to see that on my way into work each day.”

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Emmma was named the UK’s best young tailor in a programme broadcast on BBC3 on February 5.

Chris Hall, tailoring manager at Newham College, said: “We are very proud of Emma – this was a challenging test of her skills, and it’s brilliant to see her do so well.

“Newham College is committed to training young people for tailoring and it’s great to see how well our ex-students are doing in their careers.

“For the past five years we’ve developed a very successful partnership with Savile Row companies, providing students with the skills needed for employment, and making a real difference to the industry.”