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Fashion Media & Marketing students recognised at size? x New Balance Awards

BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing students at Arts University Plymouth have won at this year’s industry size? x New Balance syllabus awards. Poppy Stroud, Megan Lim, Amelia Clifton, Georgia Albano and Sophie Gollop were all nominated for awards.

22-year-old Poppy Stroud was nominated and took home the Sustainability Award for her campaign proposal aimed at expanding New Balance’s Made in UK designs to include smaller sizes for women. The initiative, focused on inclusivity and representation, featured a hero video celebrating the women working in the New Balance factory in Flimby with the campaign tagline, ‘Made in UK, Made by Women’. Originally from Saltash, Poppy also studied at Arts University Plymouth’s Pre-Degree and Sixth Form campus, completing an Extended Diploma in Art and Design in 2020 with a Distinction.

She said:

“When I found out I had won, I was surprised, excited and a bit in shock! Winning the award has been a great thing to add to my CV and has helped me with having more confidence in my ideas and work. I found working on a live brief really exciting and it gave me lots of insights into how the industry works and how I could position myself after graduation.”

“Studying at Arts University Plymouth has allowed me to get involved with live briefs like this that prepare me for industry and the quality of my teaching and one to one tutorials have really supported me in refining my ideas and skills for opportunities like the size? syllabus project. The smaller class size allowed me to have lots of conversations with the lecturers throughout the project which helped me to develop and improve my project. I had much more confidence when presenting my ideas to Dan from size?. During the project, we also had visiting lecturer Percy Dean do a talk, who is involved in creating campaign films for New Balance. I found the talk really interesting and he gave us lots of insights into the industry and to New Balance in particular which was super useful given this was the brand we were creating campaigns for!”

23-year-old Megan Lim, who was also shortlisted for Student of the Year Award, took home the Breaking the Mould Award for her innovative approach. Megan won with her submission aimed at enhancing store functionality for individuals with disabilities.

Megan said:

“My project was a collaboration with Hart Club, a community interest company championing neurodiversity in the arts, to organise a launch party that would celebrate neurodiversity. The concept was to work alongside an organisation that already engages with the neurodiverse community, facilitating live art demonstrations and workshops during Neurodiversity Week. The design of the shoes was tailored to be inclusive of the neurodiverse, featuring a design collaboration with Hart Club as a means to involve the community directly and break down barriers of communication.”

“Winning the award has really bolstered my confidence, particularly in the marketing aspect of fashion marketing and management. While I’ve been more focused on media and content creation, this recognition has encouraged me not to shy away from marketing challenges. The announcement of a live brief, especially one involving such reputable brands, was so exciting. Being honoured by these companies for this live brief submission was a remarkable experience. It has not only enhanced my CV but also enriched my portfolio, providing a substantial boost as I prepare to enter the professional world.”

Megan, who is studying BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing as part of Arts University Plymouth’s Distance Learning degrees originates from Singapore.

Megan said:

“I love it here at Arts University Plymouth, I love my tutors, they’ve made all the difference to my education experience here. The studio and facilities are great and I’ll definitely miss the accessibility to all the equipment and technicians who’ve imparted their knowledge. The encouragement to explore beyond our immediate course subjects, without imposing limitations, is something I’ll really miss when I graduate.”

“The initial transition from Distance Learning to in-person classes was quite a challenge, especially familiarising myself with all the equipment. But Kirsty made such an effort to integrate me in the first year projects and ensure my access to all the necessary resources. That made the transition much smoother.”

Amelia Clifton was nominated for the Community and Culture Award, Georgia Albano for the Visionary Award and Sophie Gollop was also shortlisted for the Sustainability Award alongside Poppy Stroud.

23-year-old Amelia Clifton, from Redruth, created a curated campaign combining both the brand platforms to help raise awareness for more localised mental health charities in areas such as Flimby and Cornwall. Achieved through a blend of social media activations, Man Down UK, a Cornwall-based men’s mental health group, was the main focal point of Amelia’s submission.

Amelia said:

“The Global Challenges module was a project that hit close to home with the core topic being men’s mental health, so being shortlisted was rewarding with a mix of disbelief. I couldn’t help but feel proud of the recognition, knowing how much effort I had put into it. Being shortlisted has made me more confident in creating work with a personal touch, making my outcomes a lot stronger when there’s a personal narrative at play.”

“Working with brands like size? and New Balance brings real-world experience to us as students, allowing us to connect with industry professionals, and keeps our education relevant while producing network opportunities. Arts University Plymouth’s emphasis on experiential learning and extracurricular activities has allowed me to gain practical skills and experience, all of which have equipped me to seize opportunities like this size? brief.”

Originally from Somerset, 27-year-old Georgia Albano created an event for her submission shortlisted for the Visionary Award. The event hosted a walking football competition that was going to run alongside the women’s first World Cup game. 

Georgia said, “For the submission we had to produce a report researching and unpacking global challenges and relevance to the wider fashion industry. We had to do brand research and find data around size? and New Balance. We then had to create an idea which included recommendations to address global challenges. Due to finding a large generational split between both brands, I decided to create an event with the main focus being community and bringing everyone together.”

“Finding out I had been shortlisted for an award was an incredible feeling. I was completely shocked, but felt very proud of myself and had such a sense of achievement. It’s given me confidence to believe in myself and my work. This was a live brief working with creatives within industry who are established within their careers so to have my work acknowledged in this way means a huge amount. Working on a live brief prepares you for industry and its expectations.”

Sophie Gollop, who also studied with the University at Pre-Degree level, completing an Extended Diploma in Fashion and Textiles with a Distinction in 2020, developed and presented a marketing strategy for the New Balance UK shoe launch in collaboration with size?. Her submission aimed to enhance public consciousness regarding coastal pollution in the UK. Central to the strategy was the orchestration of a beach clean up initiative with collected plastics to be repurposed by UK-based sculptors working with recycled materials. These repurposed plastics would then be fashioned into sculptures representative of the shoe launch, showcased within size? retail outlets nationwide, generating excitement surrounding the product launch, but also to underscore New Balance UK’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement.

Plymouth based 21-year-old Sophie said:

“When we got the Global Challenges module, I knew straight away that I wanted to focus on the issue of ocean plastics. These companies are big brands so to have them recognise the South West and the issue of coastal pollution as important was so encouraging. I’ve only recently started integrating sustainability into my practice, and I want to go into videography and content creation. Brands need to be sustainable and cruelty free, so I’m going to continue adding that ethical aspect to it.”

“I’m so grateful for the acknowledgement of my initiative by these brands through the Sustainability Award. Throughout the development of my strategy, I involved sustainability in every decision-making process, prioritising ethical practices at every opportunity.”

Arts University Plymouth’s BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing programme and size? have been collaborative partners for several years, working together on course modules, live briefs and opportunities to showcase their work at prestigious events such as Graduate Fashion Week. Most recently, graduate Harry Langford won the Styling & Creative Direction Award at the inaugural ?syllabus awards, winning for his “amazing styling and creative direction” for the world-leading skateboarding shoes brand Vans. In previous years, size? Have worked with students across the fashion courses, including a collaborative project to experiment with the classic Converse sneaker, to working on zines, pitches and portfolios inspired by Black Lives Matter and sneaker culture in a series of live briefs.

Course Leader and Senior Lecturer of BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing, Kirsty Smith said:

“This year we saw our students championing inclusivity, sustainability and community engagement in their projects. Devising multiple strategies to shape campaigns and activations, it was wonderful to witness the development of projects paving the way for a more conscious and compassionate industry. This year, we focused on community-centred values, asking students to think about the profound commitment needed to drive positive change in the fashion industries.”

“It was extremely difficult to select outcomes for the size? x New Balance awards, as we felt that all of the projects returned remarkable responses. That was also the response from the brands. We were delighted by the number of students nominated for awards, and we could not be happier for our winners who embraced creative problem solving alongside innovative out of the box thinking. It is wonderful to see the core values of the university and the course being highlighted as examples of excellence.”

BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing students at Arts University Plymouth have also collaborated with Vogue, ID Magazine, It’s Nice That, Dior, GQ, Urban Outfitters, Topshop and Finisterre. With industry links, guest speakers and internships on offer, this creative and hands-on degree is for students who aspire to work in fashion imaging, styling, social media, branding or publishing, producing graduates who are ready for a wide range of roles in the global fashion, lifestyle and beauty industries. Get a feel for the experience at the next Open Day or head to the Arts University Plymouth website to find out how to apply.

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