2016/17 Awardees - Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

Image of work by Tier 1 Visa awardee Johnson Wong
Johnson Wong, AFTER WORK

Arturo Soto Flores, Memories of Green

MA Designer Maker (2017), Camberwell College of Arts

Arturo is launching Memories of Green, a business that sees him make objects, tools and art-pieces which raise awareness about the environment whilst creating conversations about up-cycling and recycled materials. Arturo’s wooden products are designed to be beautiful in their modesty but also useful and unobtrusive. In the future, Arturo would like to keep working for social causes and to benefit social commentary and become involved in bigger causes with his designs.

Ashleigh Barice, b. Dewitt Gallery

MRES Art: Theory and Philosophy (2017), Central Saint Martins

Ashleigh is launching b. Dewitt Gallery, a gallery space aiming to showcase artists working across all mediums, whose artwork engages with contemporary socio-political questions. Serving as a liaison between artist, collector, and institution, b. Dewitt Gallery will create a market for historically under-represented artists through the creation and marketing of cultural content and critical dialogues in the private commercial sphere. Their first show will be in London in March 2018.

Catalina Velásquez, Monstereo Studio

MA Communication Design (2017), Central Saint Martins

Catalina is launching Monstereo Studio, a design practice that creates visual and identity branding for emerging musicians. She will deliver branding, cover art and merchandising, working with a network of expert freelancers to develop promotional campaigns and in planning unconventional marketing strategies. 

Cindy Liberman and Faith Leeves, Lara Intimates

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour (2017), London College of Fashion

After graduating Faith Leeves and Cindy Liberman set out to create a new kind of underwear brand. Lara Intimates, is the first and only sustainable underwear brand, where every item is made in London’s Soho from reclaimed, luxury surplus material. Along with a local supply chain, Lara offers revolutionary simple bra sizing for the 27 million British women wearing the incorrect size. 


MA Character Animation (2016), Central Saint Martins

Hui is launching Animatoy, which creates ‘do-it-yourself’ stop motion animation products and smartphone applications, for children and adults to make and enjoy. The brand will also use smartphone applications which will allow users to shoot their images and combine them with animation, as well as providing the opportunity for players to share and communicate their making process or ideas with others. 

Johnson Wong, AFTER:WORK

MA Fashion Futures (2017), London College of Fashion

Johnsonis launching AFTER:WORK, a sustainable fashion brand that specialises in upcycling used, landfill-bound personal protective equipment (PPEs) to produce bags and accessories. AFTER:WORK will produce a range of bags and other products made from up-cycled items with the aim to promote awareness about sustainability issues in fashion. His products will start to sell from his online shop and at various events from the start of 2018.

Miyu Kurihara

MA in Textile Design (2016), Chelsea College of Arts

After graduating Miyu has launched a business selling Japanese-style ceramic ware and providing beautiful but reasonably-priced ceramics for practical use. The brand’s mainly hand-decorated pieces have so far proved popular in the UK with simple yet appealing styles inspired by kimono designs. She is currently selling in several galleries and shops in the UK, at design fairs and from her online shop and growing her business.

Priya Kumar, Say It Right Consulting

MA in Arts & Lifestyle Journalism (2017), London College of Communications.

After graduating Priya set up and launched Say It Right Consulting, a content and copywriting consultancy aimed at the luxury goods sector. Priya advises and supports clients external and internal communications, offering a written product that fits with the client’s brand. Projects she has worked on include campaigns (that span across print, TV, radio and web), copywriting, editorial, marketing collateral and script writing. Her clients to date include: Jack Wills, John Lewis and Morrisons.

Qiying Fang

MA in Fashion Menswear (2017), Central Saint Martins

After graduating Qiying launched Qiying Fang, a high-end modern tailoring menswear brand that aims to apply traditional craftsmanship in a contemporary way. The brandtargets men who love fashion and are interested in creative, high quality clothing. Having been mentioned as a designer to watch in Dazed Magazine, i-D and Hunger TV, his products are currently selling in a London store, with a further collection in development.

Ruhua Liu, Oister Creative

MA Graphic Media Design (2017), London College of Communication

Ruhua Liu launched Oister Creative in 2017; a visual media studio and artist agency that aims to introduce emerging British brands and artists to the Chinese market. The LCC alumni’s customers will include fashion brands, Chinese publishing organisations and companies, arts-related event agencies and exhibition organisations, as well as brands that intend to collaborate with young creative talent.

Sadia Anwar

MA Fashion Entrepreneurship & Innovation (2017), London College of Fashion

Sadia Anwar is a womenswear fashion brand focused on innovating modest fashion whilst using indigenous craftsmanship through a community building programme (The Butterfly Project) training and employing marginalised female artisans in Pakistan. 

Siyuan Bao, Chinesee Live

MA Advertising (2017), London College of Communication

Siyuan is launching Chinesee Live, an advertising agency specialising in promoting UK brands on Chinese live streaming platforms. In a rapidly developing Chinese media environment, the enterprise aims to provide the most effective and reliable advertising service for UK brands by pinpointing the right audience, breaking the boundaries between content and ads, and communicating in an authentic and culturally appropriate way.