Two Fashion students from the University of Northampton have received thousands of pounds in scholarship money to spend on their final year collections.
Grace Owusu and Rebeka Mrazik have been awarded £2,500 and £1,000, respectively, by the Worshipful Company of Curriers.
The Curriers Scholarship is a dedicated award to support third year Fashion, Textiles, Footwear & Accessories students who propose to specialise in the use of leather as a raw material for their final major project.
Grace’s leather work from her time at the University was a huge hit with the judging panel, which awarded her first prize, while Rebeka was named as runner up.
Grace, who studies Fashion, said: “I feel very privileged to be the winner of Curriers Scholarship – it’s amazing and unbelievable. All the money will be used for my final major project collection, and will help me to fully realise my concept designs.”
Grace’s final year project follows the theme ‘gothic architecture influencing modern architecture’ and will comprise of women’s wear designed for the luxury brand market and targeted towards young professionals aged 25 to 25 years old.
Rebeka, who studies Fashion Design (Printed Textiles for Fashion), said: “It is a huge financial help for me, as leather can be very expensive, especially high quality leather, which I intend to use in my collection.
“This academic year I have developed some laser cut and 3D printed samples, and initial silhouette ideas in the form of toiles, which I intend to use in my final collection.
“I will be also working with leather and plastic in my collection, and I am planning on using the technique of 3D printing and print onto leather and fabrics.
“I named my concept ‘Organic Modernity’, where I would look at the structure of the organic world and translate shapes and patterns into a collection with the use of technology.
“It really is my passion to work with leather, to manipulate it, and create intricate, time consuming, handcrafted conceptual pieces.”
Worshipful Company of Curriers Master, Jeremy Kean, said: “The panel members from the Curriers were very impressed with the high standard of the candidates and their enthusiasm for the fashion and leather industry. We are very pleased to be able to assist two students on their chosen career paths.”
Caroline Southernwood, Senior Lecturer in Footwear, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to The Worshipful Company of Curriers, this generous scholarship gives our winning student the opportunity to use leather as a raw material in their final major project, a resource which may not be affordable on a student budget.
“Many congratulations to Grace and Rebeka, we are all looking forward to seeing the final outcomes.”
The judging panel was comprised of a trio of Worshipful Company of Curriers representatives: Master Jeremy Kean, clerk Adrian Rafferty and liveryman Ian Michel.
Grace and Rebeka were joined in the competition by Footwear & Accessories undergraduates Josephine Allen and Monica Bateman, plus Fashion student Mary King.
From left: Grace Owusu, Jo Allen, Rebeka Mrazik, Mary King, Jeremy Kean, Monica Bateman and Ian Michel.