In the lead up to the Gala awards ceremony, where the 2019 Tu Scholarship will be awarded, the winner of the 2018 Tu Scholarship, Jennifer Healy joined Sara Liberati to discuss her experience with the brand and her career aspirations for the future.

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Sara Liberati: What was the inspiration behind your collection?

Jennifer Healy: “My inspirations were mainly focused around the 1960s. I used a-lines, plastic elements, different layerings and then the prints, which were my main focus. I mixed my job as a designer with my passion for Fine Arts. I did a lot of collages to start to get my ideas together. I made plastic raincoats and applied prints underneath it, which created a optical illusion. Once I won the Tu Scholarship I had to transform my collection into a more commercial collection. For the Tu collection I made two raincoats that are now available in the Pop-up shop”.

SL: What was it like to work with Tu?

JH: It was absolutely amazing, I got to travel a lot. I was helped by a lot of amazing mentors and the collection is selling amazingly. With Tu, I worked on new shapes that were a lot different from my original collection as it was being sold in Sainsburys, but the prints have pretty much remained the same. I also worked on two new prints, including a black-based print”.

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SL: How do you combine your passions for Fine Art and Fashion?

JH: As far as art goes, I really like abstract art. Matisse, particularly the paper cut outs, and then Grayson Perry and his tapestry. The main inspiration behind my collection was Archie Solis. As for fashion brands, I really like the sudo-classic brands, Gucci, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana. I am fascinated by how true they remain to their Italian heritage.

SL: Finally, what’s coming up next?

JH: That is such a big question! (laughs) I would definitely like to start my own fashion brand in the far future, but for now I don’t feel ready yet. My career at Tu is not finished, there is still so much to learn. I will continue working for the brand as a woven tops design assistant in ladieswear. Once I know more, I’ll throw myself out there and actually create something of my own!

Written by Sara Liberati

Photography by Deborah Iona