Future of Fashion Interview Debbie Wingham
Is a creative academy for young people, it encourages confidence and offers young people the chance to acquire skills that will benefit them in their adult life regardless of if they choose a creative path or not. We talked to Debbie Wingham Founder of this beautiful project.
What inspired you to start Future of fashion academy?
It was something that I always wanted to do because I often in my career have stumbled up on temporary barriers that I felt I could have resolved a lot faster with additional confidence, I had to wait of course until I had the correct fashion pedigree before I established the academy but I started writing the paper on how the academy would look and feel from a very young age, if I remember correctly my early 20’s so I have been sitting on this concept for above a decade.
What was the biggest influence for your love of fashion?
The expression of freedom and particularly working with kids because they have no inhibitions and design things that only a youth could think of or if a designer thought of it they would probably be to afraid to exhibit.
What is your favourite part of being the tutor of future of fashion?
The individuality of each pupil and also the fact that we do a lot of things outside creativity like radio interviews, TV , media driven events and runway shows but. Most of all seeing the most shy and timid pupil display amazing confidence at the end of the workshops.
With young people you can identify a difference in personal and creative growth and the feedback from the pupils parents and kids a like is such a strong source of inspiration for me.
What do you want to reach with future of fashion academy?
The main aim is to give young people a creative outlet to express themselves, often in schools art and textiles is not seen as important and resources are becoming minimal often due to budget and although this is understandable I think it’s important for youngsters to have a creative release. I know a lot of my pupils envisage themselves as designers, stylists, fashion photographers and such and I’m sure this will help them progress within the fashion world but a lot just do the workshops because they enjoy them. The ultimate vision is not to create an academy of designers but to offer pupils confidence building opportunities which will hopefully become benifical when they go to enrol into higher education or the job market.
What do you want to achieve in the future with future of fashion academy?
My plan is to roll out into schools nationally which from September is been implemented and also to branch into the young designers whether self taught or fresh from Fashion College, designers that have a mini collection and a plan for branding but don’t know what to do next. I’m not suggesting I know all the answers but I can relate and I am going to try and offer designers realistic ways to grow and showcase and be seen because I understand how hard it is to find your niche and make your own little mark on the fashion world.
Future of fashion is mostly self-funded by myself, I now go into children’s hospitals, schools and in September I will be the first creative to put under 16’s in London Fashion Week. All my pupils have mini collections and they will be showcasing them on the runway themselves. Both designed and modeled by them, I really cannot wait, I am more excited than the kids I think!!!!
To know more about the organisation please visit: Future of Fashion
Photography Rebecca Ward
Models Emma Thomas and Rebecca Bate
Hair by Brendan O’ Sullivan team
Makeup by Lizzy Babb