Fashion students shape their future with design placement at Morgan & Fenwick

25 February 2022

Following a recent visit from fashion alumni Samantha Fenwick of Yorkshire-based designers Morgan & Fenwick, successful second year BA (Hons) Fashion Design students have been offered a placement at the company.

Samantha’s visit encouraged and inspired the students to push themselves and set clear goals, even when the going gets tough. This advice comes from someone who took the plunge and set up her own business in tailoring at the height of a global pandemic, so she’s fairly qualified to set the scene and motivate others to follow their dreams.

As well as providing an insight into the industry to our students, part of the visit included a competition launch for the students to design their own menswear piece and write a story behind its creation.

The prize was to offer one talented student a placement at the brand to gain valuable skills and experience and incentivise the group to keep going.

Image: The competition finalists with Samantha Fenwick (centre). 

Congratulations to Macy Austin, Kamaal Barwany, Imogen–Jade Argyle-Ross and Haiydar Ali who all reached the final stage.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design Senior Lecturer, Andrew Bannister-Bailey, said:

"It’s great to see our alumni not only doing so well in terms of their own career aspirations, but to see them offer up tangible industry experience to our current students, push them out of their comfort zone and on to their own unique career path.’

At a final assessment in February, the students were asked to bring in their menswear design pieces for a final judging and winner’s announcement. The standard of entry was so high that both Samantha and business partner Aras Barami couldn’t decide on just one winner and so they have decided to offer a second placement."

The overall winner of a two week placement at Morgan & Fenwick and featured article in Samantha’s popular online magazine, is Kamaal Barwany. He said that architecture heavily influenced his creation and the juxtaposition of buildings and pavement were demonstrated in the curve of his fabric.

Image: Kamaal Barwany, winning entry.

A second placement was also offered to Imogen-Jade Argyle-Ross for her horse riding inspired coat. The piece involved "three weeks straight of sewing" and was all about having functional layers and being a good performance coat.

Image: Entry by Imogen-Jade Argyle-Ross.

Runner up Macy Austin said her jacket was inspired by the 80’s new romantics and goth scene fashion.

Image: Entry by Macy Austin.

Runner up Haiydar Ali, told us that his creation was heavily influenced by his home city of Bradford, combined with his love of all things Punk and Lady Gaga. The Burberry check and the eyelets and studs reflect this style hybrid.

Image: Entry by Haiydar Ali.

Samantha has also given a special mention to BA (Hons) Fashion Design student Georgia Fulop saying:

"I thought she had the best article and I really related to the story behind her work and loved the overall concept."

Samantha added:

"The talent on display was really high and it was an incredibly difficult decision for Aras and I to choose just one. We had to choose Kamaal as the overall competition winner as his entry was superb and we loved it right away. However, we would love Imogen to come back also and do a placement with us at a later date as she really understood the brief and her piece was a real standout."