University of Portsmouth graduate Kirsty Wright was in her final year of studying fashion and textiles with enterprise when she created the design for a Beta fashion competition, which she won. She has now had her winning fashion design printed on to scarves and sold in multinational retailer TopShop. Kirsty’s winning design is named ‘March of the Armadillos’.
The competition invited designers to submit ideas to a specific brief (Noah’s Ark) and the Beta community votes for a winner. The competition gives a platform for young artists and designers anywhere in the world to showcase their designs.
Kirsty said: “I was so shocked and surprised to win but it was an amazing feeling. It was the first time I had ever entered a competition so I felt extremely lucky and couldn’t wait to tell everyone the news.
“When I actually saw my design in the Topshop store on Oxford Street it was such a wonderful and surreal experience, I’ll never forget it. It’s great to say to people that my own scarf is currently being sold in a high-street store.”
She said: “When I’m given a brief I like to take time to find inspiration to give my designs a unique feel. I didn’t want to design something that would be an obvious link to Noah’s Ark so I researched the biblical story for ideas. I discovered the suspected resting place of the ark was Turkey so went for a traditional eastern design and added a quirky touch by combining it with an unusual creature – the armadillo.”
Final year fashion students at the University of Portsmouth enter competitions as part of a unit on their course, which aims to help students gain experience and industry-acclaim prior to graduating.