Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Bursary Award 2021
NCAD fashion design student Stephanie Finney has been named as this year’s winner of the prestigious Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Bursary Award 2021.
NCAD Student Stephanie Finney Wins the Prestigious Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Bursary Award 2021
Thursday 3 June 2021 – NCAD fashion design student Stephanie Finney has been named as this year’s winner of the prestigious Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Bursary Award 2021.
Stephanie is a final year fashion design student in the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and the award was made by the judges based on the strength of her collection Easing Restrictions, which was inspired by the change in society’s attire due to the recent pandemic.
As the winner of the prestigious award, she will receive a bursary worth €4,000, as well as a valuable opportunity to be mentored by the Brown Thomas executive team. Stephanie’s collection will also be displayed at Brown Thomas’ CREATE this July. CREATE is Brown Thomas’ showcase of the best and brightest Irish designers now in its 11th year.
The other two finalists this year were Karan Burness for her collection A Hunt for Memories and Louise Cleary with her collection X4.
Stephanie Finney, winner of the Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Award 2021 commented, “This pandemic has changed our lives drastically and the aim of the collection is to adapt fashion to cater to our new needs. My research began with a poll asking my peers directly how they adapted the way they dress due to Covid-19. I used these responses and my own experience to drive the collection.”
“Working from home, mid-day runs, swimming, golf, tennis and hikes are a few of the things that have been permitted throughout lockdown. I have found that people have become more passionate and selective about their fashion as they have been limited to their public activities. The focus of Easing Restrictions was to create clothing that is flexible for all situations during the pandemic, both casual and formal.”
Angela O’Kelly, Head of Design for Body and Environment at NCAD, commented: “This collaboration between NCAD and Brown Thomas has been a consistent inspiration to our students over the last decade. We’re particularly pleased to be collaborating again this year given the renewed conversation about fashion, sustainable fashion and fast-fashion, set against the background of COVID-19. Fashion as a creative expression, as an art form, as a deep talent and skill can get a bit lost in this conversation.”
“The Brown Thomas award helps to elevate and recognise fashion, and the deep meaning it has for the creators and wearers. At NCAD, we really appreciate the value and opportunities that the Brown Thomas bursary presents to our students. We hope that it can continue to be a champion as we navigate new and unchartered waters.”
Shelly Corkery, Brown Thomas Arnotts Fashion Buying Director, said: “Brown Thomas is immensely proud of the role we play supporting the most promising young Irish fashion designers through this award with NCAD. Identifying and supporting the next generation of design talent is a core part of our business and this is what the award consistently does. Discovering new up-and-coming designers who are creating modern collections is always exciting and keeps us evolving and moving forward.”
Further information about NCAD’s BA (Hons) Degree in Fashion Design is available at: http://www.ncad.ie/undergraduate/school-of-design/fashion-design/.
Contact: Cian Connaughton / Gillian Chapman, Murray Consultants, Tel: 087 6480809 / 086 3118955
Notes to Editors:
- Photographer Leon Farrell has been commissioned to cover the announcement of the winner of the ‘Designer to Watch’ and will issue images – for reproduction by media outlets, free of charge – to all relevant media outlets at 12.30pm today.
- Angela O’Kelly, Head of Design for Body and Environment at NCAD and the students mentioned in the release are available for media interviews on request.