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Top Shop Takes in Local Designers

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Keds

fashion

Top of the shops

Fashion students from Barking & Dagenham are competing for the chance to have their clothes sold at Topshop.

Fifty students from Barking College and Barking Abbey School have been challenged to design and make T-shirts for the store.They’ll then have be judged be judged by the store’s bosses, and a panel of senior industry professionals.

The winner will have their garment sold in the flagship shop on Oxford Street as part of the Spring/Summer collection next year.

It’s the first competition of its kind in the country, and is part of an initiative called “Fashion Enter”, which aims to teach youngsters about the industry.

Fashion Enter director Jenny Holloway told me it’s about getting them to understand the business side of things, not just the creative:

“There’s a lot of costs that are involved with fashion. It’s a fantastic, exciting, fast moving and glamorous industry.

But what I think a lot of young designers don’t realise is that it is a business- it’s not a hobby. Fabric’s expensive, [so are] the patterns…

If they get it wrong then very often many designers may fail in their first year of business because they just don’t have the cash flow and the resources to go into the next level.

By starting with education and working with these really talented designers … it’s a way of educating them in a positive way”.

18 year old Rachel Maclaine from Barking College says it’s the opportunity of a life-time:

“I feel very excited about this. I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since the age of 7…

[now] I feel like I’m on my way to getting what I really want in life”.


  • Theyre just accepting fashion students as temporary designers. It would be like a company allowing Gwen Stefani to design a purse, but with upstart designers who need portfolio work.