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Westminster University fashion students scoop UKFT awards
Apr '13
The winners of UKFT’s Live Project, a collaboration between the University of Westminster and the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), have been announced, with successful students awarded industry placements at leading UK fashion brands.

Three students from the University of Westminster MA Fashion Business Management course scooped accolades for their savvy global marketing strategies created for leading UK fashion brands, Tatty Devine, Okun and Peaks of London.

Hui Kristensen, Marie-Alice Lavergne and Vali Liu are the three UKFT Live Project winners and have each secured a work placement with the brand they successfully pitched to. They were presented with their prestigious awards by MP Damian Collins at an award ceremony yesterday at UKFT’s London head office.

The project, which is part UKFT’s commitment to working with young talent in the fashion industry and lobbying government for better skills and training, challenged students to create a global marketing campaign enabling the fashion labels to successfully break into new global markets.

UKFT has been advising and aiding thousands of British fashion and textile businesses on how to take their products to an international audience for over 30 years.

With each of the brands having a distinct and unique proposition to take abroad, students relished the chance to work with diverse businesses spanning the breadth of the fashion industry; Tatty Devine, the successful makers of quirky jewellery and accessories, Okun, designers of vibrant African-inspired luxury beachwear and Peaks of London, the niche label producing beautiful tops and dresses for style-conscious women who are breast-feeding.

With international expansion so high on the agenda for many UK brands, the project called on students to truly understand the opportunities and challenges presented by specific global markets. Learning from the successes and failures of other brands with global ambitions, students had to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the fashion business including manufacturing, distribution and logistical infrastructure in their chosen market.

Drawing on their many skills, students were asked to present their strategy to the designers and UKFT marketing and export teams, who had the difficult task of whittling down the prospective shortlist to just three.

The Winners

The three winning students impressed the brands with their in-depth knowledge, vision and creativity:

Brand: Tatty Devine
Winner: Vali Liu, University of Westminster
Market: Australia

Vali impressed with a great personality and impressive creativity in her ideas. She had a firm grasp on social media and ecommerce and also aligned the brand well with competitors in her chosen market, Australia.

Brand: Okun
Winner: Marie-Alice Lavergne, University of Westminster
Market: South of France

Marie really understood the brand and did a great presentation to take the company to the South of France. Her understanding of the brand and fantastic presenting skills made her stand out from the other entries.

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