Fashion student wins
GFF X ellesse competition

A Fashion student has won second place in the Graduate Fashion Foundation and ellesse Tailors Programme competition with a collection rooted in ellesse’s DNA and expressed through a Londoner’s lens.

16 May 2024

Thomas Bradford, studying BA (Hons) Fashion at UCA Epsom, joins two joint-first winners to show their winning outfits at the upcoming Graduate Fashion Week 2024 Best of Show catwalk.

“This opportunity feels incredible –I’m immensely proud. Seeing my designs brought to life is extremely validating, and the recognition and trust placed in me is very motivating. GFF and ellesse have been authentic in nurturing creative graduates, and I’ve loved having professional insight into how collaborations work and how ellesse brings its visions to life,” Thomas said.

Thomas Bradford

The design challenge asked students to dive into the Ellesse archive and craft a 12-piece capsule collection for SS24 and AW24 collections. Adhering to the brand’s iconic elements – the chevron. The print, the jet stripe, and the Rimini stripe – the students were also tasked with integrating at least one tracksuit, an Ellesse bestseller and wardrobe staple.

Jack Richardson, the Director of ellesse, said: “As we celebrate our 65th year, we’re delighted to partner with Graduate Fashion Foundation and give students future opportunities that commemorate our founding principles of tailoring technical products for the sports-minded consumer.”

Capturing the essence of the Italian sportswear brand, the students were asked to create a collection inspired by the brand’s iconic ‘SATORIA’ range, which epitomises the fusion of heritage and modernity.

Thomas’ collection embraced the brand’s heritage and reimagined classic ski-wear silhouettes, infused with the flavour of London, he added: “The sleek lines of ellesse meet the unapologetic spirit of London.”

Thomas Bradford

He created a collection that transitioned seamlessly from snow to city and included ski motifs, a side bag inspired by a ski slope pass, pattern cutting from vintage ellesse ski suits, and prints of Italian mountain ranges. And with a colour palette that juxtaposed bold pops of classic ellesse red, yellow and blue with 80s ski tones.

He added: “My collection represents a marriage of ellesse’s ski-wear legacy and the contemporary edge of London streetwear. It is a homage to the brand’s past, a celebration of the present, and a glimpse into a future in which ellesse continues to define the intersection of fashion, function, and culture.”

As part of their prize, the three winning students will work closely with the ellesse team and London factory Fashion Enter to bring their designs to life ahead of the Best of Show in June.

To learn more about studying fashion at UCA, visit the course pages.

Follow Thomas on Instagram @thomasjb_