Fashion company’s schools competition finds new heroes

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A dream-catching teddy bear was the star of the show as an Alfreton fashion firm held a competition to find the next generation of textile talent.

More than 70 children from across Derbyshire entered David Nieper’s Fashion for Free primary schools’ design competition.

Mundy Junior School pupil Ella Moore with her winning teddy design.

Mundy Junior School pupil Ella Moore with her winning teddy design.

Now in its seventh year, the competition was established to help encourage children to use their imaginations, be resourceful and learn how to create and make things.

Managing director Christopher Nieper said: “We work with young people of all ages to encourage the development of creativity and every year the entries keep getting better.

“It is a great privilege for our company to work with the local primary school children - their enthusiasm and imagination is always a great source of inspiration.”

This year’s competition had a superheroes theme and the children responded in spectacular fashion as they were challenged to create an item of clothing or fashion accessory from reclaimed fabrics.

Ella Moore from the Mundy Junior School in Heanor won first prize in the ‘new superhero’ category for her Dream Catcher teddy bear, whose mission is to capture nightmares.

In the same category a roller-skating bear designed by Jennifer Leung from Mundy School took third prize and Kai Goodjohn from Shirland Primary School in Alfreton took second place with his Jet Monkey backpack.

In the ‘existing superhero’ category Kara Rabbit from Shirland Primary won first prize for her Suicide Squad cape.

Ruby Rose Hinnett from Woodbridge Junior in Alfreton came second with her Batgirl costume and Josh McDonald also from Woodbridge came third with his Batman design.

Copthorne Community Infant School in Alfreton scooped the award for most inventive group for their Captain Punctuation design and Woodbridge Primary won the award for the school submitting the best variety of designs.

The awards were judged by Kathryn Hobbs, headteacher at the David Nieper Academy, who said: “I am so impressed. What fantastic imagination and creativity these children have shown.

“It is clear they have all worked very hard and put a lot of thought into their designs. This has been a fantastic display of young talent, imagination and skill.”

Christopher added: “Well done to all of our winners and everyone who took part - they have all shown fantastic creativity and a great sense of fun.”

As part of the competition, children were given a tour of David Nieper’s fashion house.

They visited the sewing rooms and design studio, where they were able to watch designers and dressmakers at work, and they learned about how clothes are made from start to finish.