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UCA student sees t-shirt design launch across FatFace stores after winning at GFW

A student from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Rochester has been named the winner of the Graduate Fashion Week FatFace design competition, and has seen her t-shirt creation launch across FatFace stores and online this week.

Kirsty Walmsley, who will graduate with from BA (Hons) Fashion Design this month, was one of four winners chosen by the judging panel, consisting of designersHenry Holland, Christopher Raeburn and Holly Fulton, in addition to journalist Hilary Alexander OBE and FatFace's Director of Design Emma Shaw.

Kirsty says: "I was over the moon when I found out that my design was chosen to go into production with FatFace. It's a surreal feeling to have my work in stores and to think people can actually go and buy something that I have created. 

"Since it launched in shops, I have already seen people wearing my t-shirt design, which is really amazing, and it has been so nice working with the FatFace team. Usually, my designs are bold and bright, so it's been a great opportunity for me to work with an established brand which is completely different to my own collection, and to be recognised for my use of subtle colours and different design techniques."

Kirsty’s winning design was inspired by wildlife, mountains and the idea of travelling, which she noted was quite different from her own collection, made up of colourful, contrasting fabrics, with flowers and headdresses. The UCA Rochester student added that designing for FatFace made her really think about the brand, and her winning design is actually made up of twelve images, which she originally sketched and then blended together on Photoshop to create one design.

Emma Shaw, FatFace's Director of Design, said on the competition: “Home grown talent has been integral to the growth of FatFace over the past 30 years, which has taken us from a small company selling t-shirts out of a campervan to a global multi-channel brand.

 "We look forward to supporting the four winning designers in the first steps of their exciting careers."

Kirsty’s winning design will be seen at the Best of Graduate Fashion Week catwalk show today (Wednesday 6 June) at London's Old Truman Brewery. This is the second time this week that Kirsty’s work has featured on the GFW runway, after her graduate collection was shown last night alongside the work of other UCA Rochester students