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Marks & Spencer presents ASBCI Student Design Innovation Award

Jun '09
Grace Sherriff with Paschal Little of Marks & Spencer
The clothing and textile forum, ASBCI, is delighted to announce that Grace Sherriff, a recent graduate from the University of Huddersfield, has won the coveted ASBCI Student Design Innovation Award 2009 sponsored by Marks & Spencer plc. She triumphed over 120 entries from final year degree students studying at 11 fashion and textile colleges around the UK.

The second prize went to Clare Markham from Kirklees College, Batley School of Art and Design with two joint third prizes awarded to fellow Kirklees student Emma Jones and Katie Webb from Huddersfield University.

The first prize of £500, second prize of £300 and two £200 third prizes were presented by M&S's Paschal Little, head of technology for lingerie, women's and girls' wear at a dazzling award ceremony held at the recent ASBCI Annual Dinner at the Dunchurch Park Hotel in Rugby.

Six highly commended runners'-up were also awarded M&S vouchers and commendation certificates; Rachel Perkins of Nottingham Trent University, Ravinder Matharu and Clare Edmundson from Leeds College of Art & Design and Charlotte Kenwright, Eleanor Kilbey and Christine Hall all from the University of Leeds.

The brief was to design a truly innovative childrenswear garment that combined a unique design concept with commercial viability. From the original 120 entries, 20 story-boards were selected for judging by the M&S childrenswear buying team from which four were short-listed and made-up, with the help of M&S design and technical teams, for final judging.

The award ceremony was attended by over 100 industry figures, students and guests that included Nick Robertson chief executive of asos.com, Lauretta Roberts editor of Drapers, John Gibbon managing editor of Director- e, Lisa Berwin senior reporter at Retail Week and senior executives from Sainsbury's, Tesco Stores and Lenzing Fibres.

Commenting on the standard of entries Paschal Little, head of technology for lingerie, women's and girls' wear, Marks & Spencer said: “We never cease to be amazed at the ideas generated by the UK's young student talent and this year was no exception especially in the light of the technical complexities of many of the short-listed designs."

"It was an honour to be involved in the judging and selection process and we will be looking closely at some of the ideas with a view to incorporating them into future M&S design innovations.”

Grace Sherriff's winning design called 'The whatever the weather school coat' offered the ultimate in schoolwear flexibility with a waterproof cape and hood encased in the coat's collar, ruck-sack grips on the shoulders, a detachable inner-quilted jacket and fluorescent trims and tabs for night-time visibility. Paschal Little explained: “Grace's winning design showed a thorough technical appreciation of how different materials can be made to work together to produce a versatile and appealing garment.”

Clare Markham's second placed 'Butterfly Lumalive Coat' was praised for its ingenious use of LED-based fabric technology. As Paschal Little said: “This garment gives exceptional visibility with an LED butterfly design integrated into the fabric to create visual displays without compromising the natural properties of the cloth.”

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