Student Design Competition Winner 2013-2014
Mel wearing her winning design
Since 2011, Hawes & Curtis has been running the annual Student Design Competition, where fashion students from Nottingham Trent University and Leeds College of Art are asked to submit their shirt designs demonstrating an in-depth awareness of our brand. Winners are offered the opportunity to complete a work placement at our Head Office in London and their shirts are put into production. Last year’s brief was to design the ‘perfect white shirt’, reflecting our rich heritage whilst also mirroring modern trends. We caught up with last year’s winner, Mel Uskuri, who is currently working as a design assistant for Hawes & Curtis.
What prompted you to participate in the competition?
The competition was introduced to us through university. It was an optional project but one that I felt could help me better understand design, specifically for one garment, and challenge ideas based around the brief 'the perfect white shirt'.
How many shirts did you design and where did you draw your inspiration from?
I began by sketching around 50 designs. I used trends, catwalks, the history of Hawes & Curtis and my initial mood to develop a wide response to the brief - so that I could later narrow down my designs to better suit the brand. My initial inspiration came both from the brand's history and looking into an era of iconic women such as Wallis Simpson, Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe & Bianca Jagger. I began developing samples of detailing to inform some of my ideas, which then led to my final design.
How has your experience been working with Hawes & Curtis and what are your career aspirations for the future?
I have really been enjoying my time working within the Hawes & Curtis team. Learning more about how design works beyond sketching an idea has helped me better understand design development. My career aspirations are to work as a Womenswear Designer. Working with prints and experimenting with fabrics is what I enjoy and I hope to be doing that in the future.