Fashion retail giant Glassons has given Otago Polytechnic fashion design students a valuable nudge to the next level.
The partnership objective, where students submit their designs to gain commercial feedback from industry experts, is a gateway for emerging Kiwi designers to get their voice heard on the local fashion stage.
General manager of Glassons, Sebastian Cole, says it is an honour to be able to work with such passionate and creative people. “The level of design and commitment at Otago Polytechnic is extremely refreshing. It gives me great hope for the future of New Zealand fashion.”
Participating students presented their designs to be critiqued by Cole and Glassons design manager Kiriana Pettersen. The duo was so impressed by the level of work that they awarded two money-can’t-buy opportunities to standout submissions.
Kenya Quin’s fashionable yet commercially transferable aesthetic earned her a one-month internship with Glassons.
Cole says fellow student Sophie Ball’s impressive theme and infectious personality lead to a Glassons Snapchat takeover - meaning Ball’s creativity reached over 10,000 of Glassons style-savvy followers.
Alongside these acknowledgements one piece from each student’s submission will be styled by Pettersen in an online lookbook to be published on Glassons.com and a top fashion title’s online channels.
Cole says as New Zealand’s largest womenswear retailer, it is vital to give back to the industry and support the community wherever possible. “We are proud to offer a career boost to young designers through this ongoing initiative through mentoring, internships, social media and even retail space,” he says.
Principal lecturer at Otago Fashion Polytechnic, Margo Barton, says the collaboration provides vital experience for the students.
“Working with Glassons is an important part of fashion education at Otago Polytechnic. It’s not just about the winners, it’s the opportunities to collaborate with industry, learn from and understand each other,” Barton says
The Otago Polytechnic’s fashion student’s bag designs - which formed many of the overall student submissions – will be on sale at Glassons’ New Zealand Fashion Week Pop-up store in Auckland this September.
The interim awards received by Ball and Quin were part of a 12 month project which will finish in November, with the overall winner to receive a one year design internship at Glassons.
Cole says this project forms just one part of Glassons commitment to supporting emerging and established talent within New Zealand as part of the ‘Made of Here’ brand platform.