Coventry fashion designer aims to inspire next generation with COVID-19 art packs

Her designs have dazzled on Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice and Ru Paul’s Drag Race and now a Coventry fashion designer is trying to help more young people to follow in her footsteps.

Coventry University graduate Chloe Hollingsworth launched her own fashion brand, Bottle Blonde Studio, five years ago and during the summer she linked up with her former fashion tutors and the university’s Widening Participation and Outreach teams for a scheme to inspire young people to get creative.

More than 3,000 ‘scrap packs’ were sent across the country – giving young people surplus cuts of her festival focused brand’s fabric and all the artistic materials needed to design an outfit.

The pack was part of the Widening Participation and Outreach teams’ paper-focused activities, a creative digital alternative, with the aim of reaching young people in digital poverty and they helped share the packs with schools and community groups across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Chloe, who’s designs have been seen on celebrities Holly Willoughby and Gemma Collins, said: “I was always creative, but I initially pursued a career in fine art sculpture before I found out about the fashion course at Coventry University.

“As soon as I started, I knew it was what I was meant to do. I interned and worked for other designers but five years ago I decided to set-up my own business. I love teaching, helping and giving students intern opportunities.

“It is a tough business and during the pandemic I learned a lot of lessons

“I kept seeing on social media that people were trying to juggle their jobs and look after their kids when everyone had to work and study at home. I wanted to help and give young people who might not have materials at home the opportunity to be creative and hopefully some of the 3,000 who took part will be inspired to pursue a creative career.”

Participants were encouraged to enter a competition, with the winners selected by Chloe.

The winning designers were given a tour of Chole’s Foleshill Road studio and the nearby Coventry University fashion department and also received a fashion starter pack with materials to help them develop their skills.

Assistant Professor Angela Armstrong, Course Director for Fashion, said: “Chloe is fabulous, she gives regular talks to our students about how to build a successful e-commerce business. She also gives our students intern opportunities and like us, is committed to supporting young designers.

“We are aware that art and design subjects have been squeezed at school level and a lot of young people did not have access to art materials during the pandemic.

“That is why we worked with our Widening Participation and Outreach teams to help with this pack to spread creativity and reach young people that might not have access to creative outlets.”

Discover how Coventry University can help you pursue a career in fashion here.


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