Graduate Fashion Week International, a showcase of global fashion talent at the Bachelor level, is currently taking place in Mumbai, India from October 13 to October 16. What better time than to share a Q&A with one of the winners at the last edition of Graduate Fashion Week UK in June 2022?
Graduate Fashion Week is an annual event organised by the Graduate Fashion Foundation, a charity that aims to showcase BA fashion talent from fashion programmes in the UK and abroad and this way connect fashion graduates and fashion educators with the industry.
Last June, Kingston School of Art in London stood out at GFW’s award ceremony 2022, with five of its students from the Bachelor in Fashion programme taking home awards: Amelia Dyer, Juliette Wells Gray, Bing Bing Bai, Meerim Mamatova, and Kyra Ellis-Edwards
FashionUnited was able to talk to the five GFW22 winners about the looks they created, their hopes and dreams for the future and what changes they would like to see happen in the fashion industry.
First up, graduate Meerim Mamatova, winner of the FACE Excellence Prize at Graduate Fashion Week 2022.
GFW22 FACE Excellence Prize winner: Meerim Mamatova
The FACE Excellence Prize was created in 2021 in support of the organisation Fashion Academics Creating Equality (FACE), which was founded in 2020 to challenge the fashion industry to be more inclusive, unified and equal.
The award recognises “Black, Brown and minoritised excellence and creativity”, the Graduate Fashion Week website explains.
At GFW22, Kingston School of Art took home the FACE Excellence Prize for the second year in a row after graduate Joy Julius took home the award last year.
Find the conversation with this year’s winner of the award, Meerim Mamatova from Kyrgyzstan, below.
How do you feel after winning a Graduate Fashion Week award?
I felt extremely honoured and grateful for getting selected and being able to present my work in front of the judges with such established names in the industry. This experience alone was extremely rewarding. Going on to receive an award, while being surrounded by other talented designers was validating not just for me and my work, but also my culture and place where I came from, which was the inspiration behind my collection.
Can you describe the BA project that you submitted?
My final major project was made up of six looks with 20 individual garments in total. Coming from Kyrgyzstan, The Land of Nomads, I have been fascinated by the history, lifestyle and habitat of Central Asian citizens, and that laid the foundation for the direction of my graduate collection. My inspiration drew from the idea of nomadic people, people who are in constant movement, travelling from one place to another and despite that it never stopped them from creating a sense of home in every single one of them. Carrying their cloth and yurts, they always found a home wherever they ended up.
What impact would you like it to have on the fashion industry?
Diversity and equality are very important issues that should be addressed and promoted, especially within the fashion industry, which only benefits from such richness and variety. As creatives who always strive for inspiration, it’s important that we help each other to discover new places and share with each other new sources of information and potential inspirations that could bring beautiful outcomes in the future. I hope by sharing my collection, that is inspired by my heritage and country, it will inspire others to draw from different cultures.