Year 2 Fashion student, Catherine Nevill is celebrating her success after being selected in a university competition to win a trip to Hong Kong to visit the Asia Pacific Leather Fair (APLF).

Four Fashion students were given the challenge of creating an item of clothing with a military feel using exquisite ‘Presidency Kid’ leather that was a ‘Best of…’ winner at last year’s APLF. The competition was judged by two external lecturers for the University’s fashion department – Lee Cooke, who designs textiles for Hermes and Salvatore Ferragamo, and footwear designer, Lee Cousins. Catherine was selected over other Year 2 finalists, Natasha Hammond (runner-up), Amy Thompson and Vicky Miles.

A surprised Catherine was delighted when it was announced her design was the winning entry and said she was really excited about going to Hong Kong: ‘The leather was quite hard to manufacture but the finished product was worth it. I can’t believe I’m going to Hong Kong and I’ve only ever been abroad twice!’

The competition is an example of the successful working relationship existing between the University’s Fashion and Textiles Division and the British School of Leather Technology (BSLT), as fashion and leather students work together on specially tailored projects.

Mark Wilkinson, Head of the BSLT, says the school enjoys a strong relationship with the international leather industry and earlier this year had talks with the managing director of Presidency Kid, Dr Zackria Sait, who shipped the leather directly to the university for the competition. ‘The leather industry is a global business and it is vital that we, as the BSLT, engages with companies within the industry internationally. It is a very exciting time for the leather industry and our school is at the very heart of it.

‘Catherine will have some amazing opportunities in Hong Kong, meeting key figures from the fashion and leather industries, seeing her winning entry on display at the exhibition and on the fashion chow catwalk, attending the APLF ceremony and Fashion Access party and acting as an ambassador for the university. She may even have some time for sightseeing in her busy schedule!”

All of the finalists work will be on display and used in a catwalk fashion show at the APLF, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, which runs from March 28-30, 2007.

Alumni of the British School of Leather Technology will meet for a reunion on March 28 at 18.00 in Room 209-210 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.