We’ve caught up with Caroline Booth, Fashion Product Design graduate from NTU and winner of our GFW Fashion Marketing award this year! Caroline’s minimalistic designs and unquestionable branding lead her to scoop up the prize at Graduate Fashion Week, she has given us all the information on her incredible final year project and her experience of University.
After graduating with a degree in Fashion Product Design from Nottingham Trent University Caroline has been busy preparing and eagerly awaiting to start a masters in Branding and Design Strategy, revealing that she’s excited to further expand her knowledge of applying design skills to creating brands strategies for other companies.
When asked where she first found her love for fashion and decided to study fashion design, Caroline explained it seemed such a long time ago since she made her choice, stating ‘‘I’ve always been really interested in design in general!’’
‘‘ON MY COURSE, MY FOCUS AND LOVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN DESIGNING FOR FUNCTIONALITY AND SEEING CLOTHES AS MORE OF A LONG TIME INVESTMENT. I BELIEVE IN BUYING LESS ANS BUYING BETTER BECAUSE THE FAST FASHION INDUSTRY MEANS THAT PEOPLE TEND TO BUY CHEAP CLOTHES THAT MAY NOT BE BEST FOR THEM AND THE INDUSTRY.’’
Caroline’s concept entitled MML 2050, takes on the issue of sustainability in the fashion industry. Whilst at Nottingham Trent she attended an insightful lecture from the founder of Fashion Revolution, Orsola de Castro, sparking the inspiration for Caroline’s brand.
‘‘ORSOLA SPOKE ABOUT ‘DUMB FASHION’ AND IT REALLY MADE ME REALISE THAT SOME ASPECTS OF FASHION REALLY DO NOT MAKE MUCH SENSE. IT ALSO MADE ME GAIN A NEW LEVEL OF APPRECIATION FOR THESE INCREDIBLE TALENTED AND SKILLED PEOPLE WHO HAVE BROKEN THESE MODELS. SO I WAS REALLY INSPIRED BY THESE PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE REALLY HIGH LEVEL SKILLED WORK, SHE WAS SO INSPIRING TO LISTEN TO!’’
When on the topic of the creative process Caroline exclaimed ‘I love to see that I have created the whole package, from producing the promotional material, to the clothing labels. I love knowing that I have finished the whole package myself!’
Her true passion seems to really focus on sustainability, believing ‘Buying so many different things is becoming such as big problem regarding waste, that could really be fixed if people just buy less!’ This is becoming a huge trend and development in the fashion industry which is set to only grow in the future. Being passionate about your topic at University is critical, no matter where the idea generation comes from.
‘‘WHEN I FIRST STARTED I WAS NAIVE ABOUT SUSTAINABLE FASHION, I ASSUMED IT WOULD BE REALLY UGLY, NATURAL AND RELATIVELY LIMITED! BEING A STUDENT I TENDED TO SHOP ON THE HIGH STREET, BUT AFTER RESEARCHING MORE AND MORE, I REALISED THAT INVESTING IN MORE EXPENSIVE FASHION REMOVED THE RISK OF EVERYTHING FALLING APART ABD BEING MADE QUICKLY AND AT A LOW QUALITY. I THINK MY INTEREST IN IT COMES FROM GROWING UP AROUND MY PARENTS WHO ARE THE TYPE THAT WOULD SAVE UP FOR YEARS TO BUY SOMETHING THATS REALLY GOOD QUALITY, RATHER THAN BUYING SOMETHING CHEAP AND FAST.’’
University allows to you explore and develop your interests and passions, in Caroline’s time at University she describes she had chosen the wrong degree. However, putting a hugely positive spin on her circumstance, tailoring her project and making the the most out of her degree, with the exciting ending of winning the GFW Fashion Marketing award for all of her hard efforts.
‘‘IN HINDSIGHT, THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN OTHER DEGREES OUT THERE THAT WERE TAILORED SLIGHTLY MORE TO WHAT I WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE, HOWEVER I AM GLAD THAT I DID WHAT I DID BECAUSE IT WAS UNDOUBTABLY WORTHWHILE IN THE END.’’
It is clear that Caroline loved her studies and revealed she already misses University and the people that surrounded her there. Graduation was a top highlight and after all of the extreme amount of dedication and hard work we can see why!
‘‘BEING SURROUNDED BY SUCH TALENTED AND DIFFERENT PEOPLE WAS SO INSPIRING. EVERYONE RESPECTED EACH OTHER AND THE CREATION PROCESS AND IT WAS SUCH A NICE ENVIRONMENT TO BE IN! WE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET THROUGH FINAL YEAR WITHOUT EACH OTHER, AND I WILL ABSOLUTELY MISS THE TUTORS AND THE PEOPLE I SPENT EVERYDAY WITH.’’
After speaking to Caroline it’s clear that she put in every bit of effort and enthusiasm into her work. With her mum’s words of wisdom ringing in her ears ‘Work hard, play hard!’ Caroline added ‘I would call my mum who would tell me one day it will all be worth it.’
‘‘GRADUATE FASHION WEEK WAS A HUGE SUCCESS FOR ME, I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER FELT PROUD OF MYSELF UNTIL THAT, AS WELL AS ACHIEVING A 1ST CLASS DEGREE, ALL THE HARD WORK WAS DEFINITELY WORTH IT!’’
Graduate Fashion Week wishes Caroline lots of luck with her masters this year and in her future adventures – we cannot wait to see where another one of our extraordinary award winners will end up in the future!
Words by: Emma Mitchell
Photography by Rory James