A University of Leeds graduate is one of five finalists in the ‘Music Meets Fashion’ competition, a collaboration between MTV and Future Fashion Factory’s core partner the British Fashion Council (BFC) along with Iceberg and River Island.
Rebecca Cox had entered the competition in February, before the pandemic meant that she had to complete her degree at home in East Anglia. When she finally heard she had been shortlisted in May, she had plenty of time over the summer to focus on her portfolio of designs.
‘Music Meets Fashion’ asks budding fashion designers from select universities in the UK, USA, Mexico and Australia to develop unique collections inspired by popular culture, especially the music industry, with a focus on gender-neutrality, size inclusivity and sustainability. The winner will work with River Island to launch their own commercial clothing line, which will be unveiled at London Fashion Week in February.
“I’ve loved meeting all of the other designers who entered,” says Rebecca, “and it’s been such a great opportunity to develop my experience of commercial fashion design working with huge industry brands and expert mentors.”
The brief meant Rebecca produced 18 designs in total – half for the runway, half for commercial production – including mood boards, fabric selections, computer-aided design (CAD) files, customer profiles and more.
When she became one of the five finalists this summer, she was tasked with producing three of her pieces for display at London Fashion Week in September.
Rebecca describes her style as “surf and beachwear-inspired”, informed by the year she spent working in the Netherlands for O’Neill Europe as part of her degree. This lent itself to her commercial designs, but she also enjoyed branching out into new territory for her runway-ready styles.
As part of her approach to sustainable fashion, Rebecca identified where dead stock could be used as a material for new designs, contributing to a circular economy and reducing waste in fashion manufacturing.
The winner will be unveiled at London Fashion Week in February, having spent time working with River Island to commercialise their designs. All the finalists will be involved in workshops during the event, which Rebecca describes as an exciting opportunity.
In the meantime, she will be focusing on taking the experience she has gained throughout the competition into her new career. Rebecca will be taking up a new role as a Design Administration Assistant at Seasalt later this month and says that the competition has been invaluable in giving her the skills for a uniquely challenging job landscape.
“Having regular video calls and presenting my ideas has given me lots of confidence, which I’ve taken with me into online interviews,” she adds. “I think it’s definitely helped me to get my new job.”