Last summer, we showcased the winner of the Young Fashion Designer of the Year’s design in our window for a week. The beautiful creation gathered a lot of attention, so we thought we would catch up with the talented Hannah Smith to see what she was up to and how things have changed for her since winning the prestigious national award.
Since winning the YFD Award last year you have taken up studies at London College of Fashion, tell us a little bit about it?
Gaining a place at London College of Fashion is undeniably every fashion enthusiast’s dream. In September of last year I dragged myself away from my sewing machine and began a Fashion Journalism degree. Despite being a slightly new concept to me I was excited to fuse my knowledge of the industry with a desire to communicate. The past year has undoubetldy improved my confidence as a fashion writer and opened doors which I wouldn’t possibly have discovered if I didn’t choose LCF.
How did winning the award impact your life?
Winning Young Fashion Designer instantly offered me a range of opportunities. From work experience with couture designer, Allison Rodger, to my winning dress being displayed in the window of bod & ted, the award has given me a platform as a designer. Now my work has been noticed and appreciated on a greater scale!
What has been your biggest achievement since winning the award?
Since winning the award I have experienced different areas the fashion industry has to offer other than design. I have been working with a stylist on numerous shoots for Woman & Home magazine. My biggest achievement being assisting on the Twiggy June 2016 cover shoot for the magazine. Set on location in the seaside town of Whitstable, the day was around 12 hours long and intense but worth it having met and help style one of Britain’s most iconic models.
You were on the judging panel at this years YFD – tell us a little bit about how you found the judging, what stood out to you etc.?
It was interesting experiencing this year’s competition from a different perspective. I was no longer the nervous student, but I had to criticise and make decisions about the work on display. I was extremely impressed with the GCSE talent in fact, I loved the work of the winner Rosie Nicholson- Grime and runner up Beth Peachey, who both experimented with fabric manipulation to create texture, something which I have used heavily in my own designs. I also was impressed with the range of tailoring the finalists displayed, in particular AS winner Elizabeth Simms’ men’s cape, an innovative design which was made with great accuracy. For the A2 section, we saw more fabric manipulation this time in a much more challenging fabric from winner Rachel Rose. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of the finalists!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In five years time I will be 24 and I hope to have started my career as a professional in the world of fashion. I am unsure whether this will be as a designer, a stylist or a journalist but I know I would like to be based in Paris for some time or even Milan. Working and living abroad has always been a dream of mine, especially as I have been learning French since the age of 11. By the time I am 24, I hope to have spent more time travelling and learning other languages as they are becoming a necessity in an increasingly global industry!
Who in the fashion industry inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere in the fashion industry. It is impossible not to admire great designers like Raf Simmons or Demna Gvasalia who are changing the way we view fashion with every collection they present. However, after a year at London College of Fashion, I have been most inspired by Tony Glenville, Creative Director of the college. Having himself worked in multiple areas of the industry from design to journalism, and with a plethora of knowledge on the tip of his tongue, he has taught me a lot about the industry. His wisdom, and traditional approach to teaching has hopefully given me an insight to the secrets of success in such a competitive realm.
We told you to expect big things from Hannah, and looks like we were right! You can see her design in our window here, and take a look at this years winner Rachel Rose’s window display at bod & ted here.
love bod & ted xx