Textile Forum, the luxury fabric exhibition, has announced the finalists of its Cycle Chic design competition, with six students of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) through to the next round.
Held in collaboration with the FRA and sponsors HSBC Bank and shirtings specialis, Ringhart Fabrics, the competition asked students to create a shirt that will encourage city workers to cycle to meetings.
“This innovative competition captures the increasing interest in cycling and also provides a great opportunity for Textile Forum and our sponsors to work with the next generation of fabric buyers and designers,” explained Linda Laderman, co-founder of Textile Forum.
The first stage in the competition required all students on the extended diploma fashion and clothing course to produce research, sketches and designs utilising Ringhart Fabrics cycle print and complementary plain fabrics, plus a sewn garment in a basic white cloth.
Fifteen students were selected to pitch their concepts to a judging panel of industry experts, who were so impressed with the creativity that they upped the number of finalists from five to six.
Emily Ford-Halliday, a course leader and curriculum manager at FRA, was on the judging panel and was looking for designs that “work well ‘out of the saddle’ in the office, but are practical enough to wear when cycling.”
Other judges included Sally Spencer from HSBC, Sally Peters of Sweaty Betty, Ringhart Fabrics’ Mayur Tejura, Simon Huntsman from Rapha, Melanie Plan from Stylus, Steven Bakewell from T M Lewis, and Drapers’ Eric Musgrave.
The six finalists showcased designs including pleats, peplums, oversized pockets, reflective trims and more, and will each now have their designs produced by a specialist UK shirt-maker in Ringhart Fabrics’ cloth.
The finalists’ shirts will be displayed at a networking event at HSBC’s offices in Pall Mall, London, on 24th February, where the judges will select a winner, whose prize will include work experience. The winning design will be displayed at Textile Forum’s show on 4th to 5th March 2015 at One Marylebone, London.