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Salford Fashion Students big win for global fashion brand

Wednesday 24 April 2019

A FASHION student from the University of Salford has won an all-expenses paid summer internship at the HQ of global brand S Oliver after beating competitors in a prestigious competition, where FIVE out of eight finalists were from the University of Salford.

Brendan Arekhi won the S Oliver 50th anniversary challenge, where he had the task of designing a male, female or genderless casualwear collection for the brand based around his muse and 24 hours in their life. 

After submitting a portfolio online consisting of five sketches of his muse, actress Abigail Cowen, Brendan won the internship, where over half of finalists were from the University of Salford. On choosing his muse he said:

“I chose Abigail Cowen as I feel she has a strong identity and she stands out from the crowd with her exceptional beauty! This project was very much about identity and based on the research I did I felt she would fit the brief really well." 

The second year Fashion student will spend two months in Germany, where S Oliver are based. Here, he’ll be working alongside talented fashion gurus bringing his ideas to the S Oliver brand- gaining fantastic experience just before his final year of studying.  

Bashir Aswat, Programme Leader for Fashion at the University of Salford said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Brendan and I am sure he will flourish at S Oliver. It’s brilliant to see so many of our students as finalists for such a huge competition at a global brand, especially as they put so much hard work into their studies.” 

This isn’t the first big fashion win for Salford’s fashion students either, with talented students C’era Wolffe and Val Kristopher Galbo winning competitions for fashion giants Levi’s Strauss in both 2017 and 2018. 

Originally from Switzerland, Brendan has said that it’s “amazing” to have won such a prestigious competition. He said: 

“Being told that my work was inspiring to them was the biggest reward of all. I’m so excited to go to Germany to gain lots of needed experience before my final year which is just around the corner.

Since I started studying at Salford the support has been never ending. I think the main reason so many students from The University of Salford were shortlisted is down to the great encouragement from our lecturers who always push us to do our best.” 

He hopes that his experience at S Oliver will contribute to his final collection before he graduates, and in the future would like to dive straight into the industry as a designer. 

Salford fashion department is rated 4th in the UK out of 49 universities and colleges by The Guardian Education.

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Amber-Lilly Goulden

0161 295 4779