Northampton graduates kick up a storm at Annual Graduate Fashion Week

The University of Northampton made a triumphant return in-person to London last week, as its students descended on the catwalk for Graduate Fashion Week 2022.

The annual showcase of the UK’s university fashion talent marks the high point of students’ three years of study, and the Northampton cohort’s collections went down a storm with the audience.

The collections from 13 final year undergraduates from the Fashion, Footwear & Accessories and Textiles for Fashion courses were selected for the catwalk show at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross.

One of the students whose designs featured on this year’s catwalk was Maya Burrowes, a West Indian graduate streetwear designer of Bajan and Jamaican heritage who is fiercely passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Titled ‘I AM’, her collection took to the stage to demonstrate representation, pride and empowerment for raising awareness of misogynoir, the term used to describe the unique yet frequent discrimination faced by black women.

As well as boasting bold colours and prints created using quotes from the personal stories of misogynoir from her friends, Maya’s catwalk incorporated protests, photography, artwork, textiles and printmaking – the oversized silhouettes inspired by the streetwear worn by powerful black women at the recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in London.

On creating her collection for this year’s Graduate Fashion Show, Maya said: “I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to open the show with my video and collection. I came to share an important message of black female empowerment, and it was great to depict this to the audience as representation of myself and all black women.

“I was really pleased with how my collection told the story and shared the message I hoped it would – that black woman across the world know that they are important, know that they matter and are valued.

“Graduate fashion week was an amazing and exciting opportunity which I was honoured to be able to take part in. I really enjoyed networking with models and seeing the inspiring work created by other students, and I really feel that the experience was helpful and insightful with preparing me for my future career.”

The full catwalk collection can be viewed on the Graduate Fashion Week website.

Pictures above by Graham Land and Maya Burrowes.

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