David Nieper Awards National Fashion Academy Competition Prize to Stafford Student

Award-winning Stafford College student proves fashion is safe in young hands – winning £750 and a fashion industry masterclass with David Nieper

Charlotte Fortescue, a 20 year old fashion student studying a Staffordshire University Foundation degree at Stafford College has won the David Nieper Fashion Academy competition – a national fashion design competition to find and award the very best young designers for their talents in designing for women aged 50 and above.

Charlotte Fortescue, winner of the David Nieper Fashion Academy Competition

After showcasing her winning collection down the catwalk during Stafford College’s annual fashion show, Charlotte was presented with her award and a cheque for £750 by Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper.

This is the first time that Stafford College has welcomed a fashion company and leading industry figure to present an award in person as part of its fashion design celebrations. As the overall winner of the competition, Charlotte will also enjoy a masterclass at David Nieper where she will gain valuable commercial experience within a real-life workplace.

David Nieper’s MD, Christopher Nieper, said: “We were particularly impressed with Charlotte’s entry and had no hesitation in announcing her as this year’s winner. Indeed, our own head fashion designer and competition judge, Julie Stone, said that her collection was perfectly designed to flatter the female figure with real elegance and class – all distinctive qualities of the David Nieper customer. We look forward to welcoming Charlotte to Derbyshire to spend a little more time with us.”

Charlotte’s collection titled ‘Giusto’, was selected as the overall winner of the David Nieper award for its flair, sensitivity and mature understanding of the demands of the target market. The collection included five garments aimed at fashionable and professional 50+ women and her entry was accompanied by a marketing strategy and plan to introduce and sell the collection direct to customers.

Jayne Clough, Course Leader from Stafford College concludes: “Charlotte is a very talented and worthy winner and this award will act as a real springboard to her future fashion career. As David Nieper is one of only a handful of fashion houses still designing and manufacturing all its clothing for women here in Britain, the masterclass will be a great eye-opener for Charlotte.”

The David Nieper Fashion Academy was launched in 2010 to provide vocational and business skills training to support and encourage the fashion industry of the future. Offering practical experience in a live commercial environment, the company works closely with education and its local community to help answer the fashion industry’s SOS for skills and to nurture homegrown talent.