UK Student Design Competition Winner Profile: Celina Smith

Winner: Celina Smith

UK Student Design Competition Winner Profile: Celina Smith

9th July 2021

Celina Smith, a 24-year old Fashion Design student at USW, is this year’s ‘Accessory’ category winner with her unique leather bag. Originally hailing from the West Midlands, Celina moved to Wales four years ago to pursue her studies.

Tells us about your submission:

My submission was inspired by the future of festivals and how the impact of the pandemic has shifted our mindsets towards sustainability and the environment. The idea came from researching into sustainability and waste. We live in a society today where fashion has become disposable because of many factors: low quality, trends and just the sheer amount of clothing produced every season.

I wanted to create a product that was not based on a trend, would be made from high quality materials that will last. My focus for the bag was to make it functional, stylish, and utilise existing resources we have today, such as leather. I have always hated waste and being in the industry myself I see it a lot. So, with everything I do, I try to think of ways around to reduce my own impact as a designer.

The bag was designed with the future festival goer in mind but certainly not limited to that. I wanted the user to have a modular bag that can change depending on the occasion. The optional features to add and remove items by a snap of a button make it easier for the wearer to take what they need and have it all in one place. For example, the water bottle bag and straps can clip off the bag to allow it to become an accessory of its own. This was a concept I have wanted to explore more with, and I believe designing with circularity in mind can contribute to a not only less waste, but a buy less, buy better approach to fashion.

What are your thoughts on working with leather?

Leather is not perfect but, it is a very versatile material that would be wasted if not used. With leather it never goes out of fashion; for me personally it offers a sense of timelessness and durability which I feel fashion has lost a sense of. Leather is one of those materials you can rely on to last and wear well over a long period of time if looked after, which is the main reason why I chose to use leather throughout my design.

Instagram: @celinajofficial