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UCA student secures public vote to win GFW People’s Choice Award

After wowing on the Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) catwalk, BA (Hons) Fashion Design student Yingi Goma has been named the winner of the event’s People’s Choice Award for her street hawker-inspired menswear collection.

The announcement comes after this year’s top 25 GFW collections were put to the public vote online having featured in the Best of GFW Gala Awards Show.  

The UCA Rochester student, who is 24 and from Nigeria, says: “It feels absolutely amazing to have won and I am so grateful. It is incredible to see your hard work gain recognition. I know that this is just the beginning of my journey as a young fashion designer and I am looking forward to a groundbreaking fashion and art career.

“My collection is centred around a street hawker in Nigeria – a young man who carries all kinds of goods on his body. He spends his entire day on the black and white motorways of Nigeria, convincing car riders to buy from him because he is the best. The collection captures his environment and daily lifestyle. There are references towards Nigerian society across the garments, such as This house is not for sale beware of 419 – a common text found mostly on buildings and fences in low-income areas. 419 is a criminal code for fraudulent activities and these numbers are familiar to Nigerians.”

Yingi’s collection contains oversized shirts, trousers and dungarees, with her top two favourite looks including the black and white stripe outerwear and shorts, along with the half shoulder denim outerwear and sky blue print shirt and trousers.

“The oversized look represents the silhouettes of street hawkers who purchase clothing two to three times bigger than their actual size, with the thought that they will grow into them” Yingi adds. “The collection has been a journey. I want to let people in Nigeria and the rest of the world know that there are stories to tell and skills to develop. I personally believe that fashion in Africa is more than just African prints, lace and heavy jewellery. It represents events, lifestyles and things happening in the environment, and these need to be documented and shared in so many ways.”

To view more of Yingi’s Waterside Boy AW18 collection, visit

Work by Yingi Goma

Photo by Paul Asltey.