“The campaign isn't there to change the world or make a massive statement, it’s a basic collection that should be a basic right for women of all sizes and skin tones.”
Bonmarche Fashion for All Winner, Bethany Wainwright graduate of UCLAN, created a collection and campaign surrounding the concept of the colour 'nude'. Using slogans such as 'One Nude? How Rude' to question the established perceptions around skin colour and eradicating the 'standard' to recognise all women, Bethany caught the attention and became an aware winner at GFW18.
Echoing these concepts throughout her campaign, with inclusive prices informing an inclusive business plan, Bethany's attitude and positivity not only created award winning work, but pieces that insight a wider industry change. We caught up with the emerging designer to hear what she recommends doing at GFW18, how she learnt to not compare herself to others and where she's heading next.
Firstly, a huge congratulations on winning at Graduate Fashion Week 2018! What award did you win?
Thank you so much, it still doesn't feel real, I won the Bonmarche Fashion For All Award for my campaign 'Nudist for Wonderbra'.
How did it feel when your name was read out?
I didn't think it was real, I was just so happy to be nominated and to be at the gala with so many influential people, that when they read my name my friend had to tell me to get up because I was so shocked and overwhelmed.
Which university did you attend, and how do you think they prepared you for graduation?
I went to University Of Central Lanchashire (UCLAN) in Preston. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more out of my tutors, they were there for us all 100% of the way. My course leader, Eve would answer emails on Sundays, be available for advice and 1-2-1's whenever we needed them. The support and contact I had from them for the whole 4 years was amazing. It’s a very personal course and the tutors really invest in you and your work.
Describe the inspiration and concept behind your work.
My campaign 'Nudist for Wonderbra' is a basic 'nude' t shirt bra collection in 10 different shades of nude to match a range of skin tones. The range is inclusive to all with the same affordable price of £25 for any colour or size. Sizes range from 30AA-40GG and each colour is named from an inspirational woman such as former Editor in Chief of Vogue Alexandra Shulman and athlete Kelly Holmes.
The collection keeps a fun upbeat tone of voice with quotes 'One Nude? How Rude' and 'I like it better when you're nude' running throughout the campaign. I got the inspiration for the campaign after reading articles of women dying their bras to match their skin and the rise of brands saying they're offering the product but when looking closer sizes and colours are limited and most often go up in prices for bigger sizes. The campaign isn't there to change the world or make a massive statement, it’s a basic collection that should be a basic right for women of all sizes and skin tones.
What one thing would you recommend our readers do whilst at the event?
I would definitely say go speak to all the brands and companies at the event. There are so many of them and they each have such good advice and tips, even just introducing yourself and getting your name out there.
It’s such a good opportunity and the brands are so lovely and helpful. As well as speaking to other students from other Universities, as these are the people your most liking going to work with or meet in the future, there’s something you can learn from everyone.
What do you plan to pursue now, and where do you hope to be in five years time?
I am actively looking for a job in marketing and branding, I love coming up with new ideas and finding new ways to speak to the consumer. I had some amazing offers from a few brands at Graduation Fashion Week and have a few interviews lined up in the next few weeks. In 5 years’ time I would love to see myself in a brands marketing team, leading some global campaigns possibly in the fashion industry.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself in first year, what would it be?
It would be to believe in myself and have confidence in my work, I never used to think my work was good enough and would compare it to other students in my class. I’ve learnt that everyone has their own working style and because yours is different it doesn't mean it’s wrong. And just to enjoy every minute of it, I’ve loved my degree and coming away with such a positive experience.
Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins