A North East student has grand designs for her future after one of her creations caught the eye of a major fashion retailer.
Ashley Wilson was thrilled to see her textile print turned into a collection – including dresses, tops, skirts and a scarf – by London-based fashion house White Stuff.
White Stuff sells its designs through its own global website as well as high-end stores including John Lewis and House of Fraser.
“I sold one of my prints at the Indigo trade show in Paris last year,” said the 22-year-old, who lives in Hamsterley Colliery in County Durham and is a textile and surface design student at Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD).
“I love nature so I created the piece using a repeat pattern of moths with intricate hand and machine embroidery in autumnal colours, with metallic highlights in blue.
“CCAD arrange the visit to Paris every year but unfortunately I couldn’t afford to go so I just sent my work to be displayed on the college stand instead.
“I couldn’t believe it when one of my friends rang me to say my design had been chosen by White Stuff, especially when there was work on offer from professional designers from all over the world.
“I still knew the chances of them using it for one of their collection was very slim.” Checking the White Stuff website every day, Ashley found no trace of her work and, pre-occupied with her final major project, stopped her search.
“I thought that they mustn’t be going to use it or that they may keep it for years before turning it into something, so I gave up looking,” said Ashley.
“It wasn’t until I was browsing the web on my phone and thought I’d take another look that I saw my print on their site.
“It was all a bit of a blur and because it was so small on my phone I rushed to find my laptop just to make sure.
“I really like the way they have interpreted the design and now I want to go into one of their outlet stores just so I can see them for myself.”
As well as using her print in their latest collection, White Stuff has also offered her work experience when she completes her course in the summer.
Ashley has also set up her own web pages for commissioned pet portraits, home interior artwork and tattoo design on twitter (@Ashley Jennifer Wilson) and Facebook (Ashley Jennifer Wilson Design) She also invites potential customers to contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org