Fashion students target £1,000 scholarship prize

David Nieper provides fashion students with Made in Britain fashion experience

Fashion and textiles students at the University of Derby are ready to battle it out for a £1,000 prize thanks to a new partnership with luxury fashion designer and manufacturer David Nieper.

The Alfreton-based fashion house, which specialises in collections of women’s clothing, nightwear and knitwear, has teamed up with the University to offer students a challenge as part of a scholarship.

Designer Sarah Allen in the David Nieper studio

The aim of the fashion design scholarship is to provide students with real-life industry experience to help them secure employment once they graduate, and showcase the benefits of designing and manufacturing in the UK.

Students have to design a four-outfit collection for the company that could be sold as a limited edition collection aimed at the working woman, aged 40 and over, for a business trip abroad.

The collection must satisfy the needs of a professional woman who needs new outfits to take with her for various meetings and evening events and who has a taste for classic British styling and elegance.

Professor Chris White, Head of School of Art & Design, said: “Students studying fashion and textile design will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas, fashion designs and material choices. The winner will be awarded £1,000, which will be presented at next year’s University of Derby Fashion Show.

“We have established this partnership to drive forward a response to the growing need for local talent and to realise global ambitions.

signatures-label2“These include supporting our students to be the entrepreneurs of the fashion and textiles industry and to promote ‘Made in England’ as a brand for our skilled designers and garment technologists, for English and UK fashion and textiles manufacturing industries.”

David Nieper is one of only a handful of fashion companies in the country that makes all its clothes in England.

Managing Director of David Nieper, Christopher Nieper, said: “There’s so much potential right on our doorstep here in Derbyshire, so the aim of the scholarship to provide valuable behind the scenes experience to the next generation and support one winning student with their university costs and future career.

“Making in Britain is all about quality, so we’ve challenged the students to explore the processes involved in designing and creating high quality clothes in the UK – something which is very rare nowadays, for a discerning customer base.”