Students impress leading fashion figures with handbag designs

A group of talented HND Fashion Textiles students from Glasgow Clyde College have impressed leading figures from the Scottish fashion industry with chic leather handbags they designed. The students, who are based at the college’s Cardonald Campus, were challenged to each design and create a bag for a competition and public showcase event.

The project, which aimed to promote the use of leather in fashion design, gave students the opportunity to show their work to successful magazine stylist Emma Watson and Dr Adrian Peirotti from The Incorporation of Cordiners, who donated £1,000 to help students purchase premium materials from Barrhead Leather. 

Anaeqa Awan, who is from Darnley, designed a fringed metallic bag which was inspired by her love of jewellery. The 21-year-old former Woodfarm High School pupil said: “I’ve always been a huge fan of jewellery and have built up a large collection of necklace and rings so decided to use that as my source of inspiration for my bag. I’d love to set up my own fashion business when I leave college and I think that taking part in this event was great experience for me.”

 Despite having never worked with leather before, Hollie Halliday from Robroyston embraced the challenge to incorporate the material into the design of her bag. The former Lenzie Academy pupil explained: “I was a little bit scared of working with leather at first but I actually loved it once I got started and now I don’t know how I’m going to go back to using other materials. I’m really proud of my finished bag as it’s the most modern and colourful thing I’ve ever designed – I can’t wait to show it to potential employers when I go for job interviews!”

Abbie Lunan has been passionate about pursuing a career in the fashion industry since she was a child and hopes to move to London to work in print design when she finishes her college course. The 19-year-old, who is originally from Newton Mearns, decided to design a large, versatile bucket bag in an attempt to impress the judges. Abbie said: “It’s always been my dream for influential people in the fashion industry to see my work so I am delighted Emma and Adrian came to visit us at the college. I’ve really enjoyed this whole experience and would love to do something like this again.”

Emma Watson, who is a successful fashion stylist and works as the editor of a major Scottish newspaper, was honoured to be invited to sit on the judging panel as she believes that experiences like this are vital when it comes to preparing students for working in the industry. She said: “Opportunities like this can be decision maker on whether students get a position within a company or a place on a University course as they give students the edge over their competitors. They allow students to experience constructive criticism from outsiders, making them more aware of the harsh realities of what is to come.

“The quality of the work showcased at the event was extremely impressive. I’d advise the students to take every opportunity they can get to broaden their horizons within the fashion industry – they shouldn’t be afraid to try new things.” 

Jacqueline Farrell, Head of School of Fashion, Textiles and Jewellery at Glasgow Clyde College, said: “We have loved working on the project and using the beautiful leather supplied by Barrhead Leather. So many of the students’ designs were amazing and I’ve already planned which ones I want for Christmas!”


Scottish Charity No. SC021182

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