Meet Solomon Sadiq, Charlie Bennett, Prentice Boyce, Silva Ibukunoluwa, Paola Gagliardi and Kemi Onitolo, students on BA Fashion, and Jasmine Hodgkins, BA Fashion Communication.
The students joined the Central Saint Martins Fashion Programme in 22/23 and are supported with scholarships from The Capri Holdings Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in Fashion, that cover all tuition, maintenance costs and placement-related expenses.
We are very grateful for the support of the Capri Holdings Foundation for the opportunity provided to students from backgrounds and communities that are under-represented at Central Saint Martins.
We spoke to Solomon, Prentice, Silva, Paola, Charlie, Kemi and Jasmine about their thoughts and experiences one year into their personal and creative journeys at CSM.
As my first year at CSM draws to a close, I feel like I have grown into my place here. I no longer feel like an imposter in unfamiliar territory. I feel the most confident I have ever felt about my voice as a designer. The university has stretched my boundaries and at times been testing but I feel as though every time I fall down I get up stronger. I am so grateful to have met so many inspiring creative people. I am never short of motivation surrounded by their skill and drive. I feel safe and heard in a community where people nurture each others’ talents.
Without Capri Holdings, I could not be doing the things I am doing. Capri have lifted a heavy weight of worries off my shoulders as well as my parents’. I am now cable of reaching my full potential without seeds of doubt. Capri has shone a light on students with big ambitions who may not have been able to take the next step alone. I am looking forward to more collaborations with other students and being able to carry on and grow in my practice.
This year has been educational and emotional. As a first year CSM student I came into the university with imposter syndrome and a lot of anxiety. I was worried about the other students who have had years to perfect their craft in comparison to me. My natural reaction to run away from tasks that I find difficult and tiresome took a hold of me in the first term. And it wasn’t until I fought my instinct to run away from the new techniques and from all the anxiety that I truly thrived and improved. Knowing that it is okay to struggle and being comfortable in my anxiety and fear allowed me to push my work a lot further than I had ever imagined.
The Capri Holdings Foundation has been the reason I am able to progress further. With the support of the Foundation, I have not only been able to get a renewed self-worth and made CSM my own space. But I also have been able to get advice and support from professionals in the industry. Helping me understand the world outside of education and allowing me to bridge the gap between my education and the working world. I now know where I aspire to go in the industry, and I am able to envision a better future for myself and for fashion.
Joining Central Saint Martins has been nothing short of a surreal experience, being introduced to new mediums of creative expression and being surrounded by so many young talented individuals with such a unique approach to fashion has helped push me into being more confident in my creative decision making and being less afraid to tackle what seems like impossible ideas. Whilst studying here, it has been amazing to know the teachers are there to understand your viewpoint and encourage you every step of the way, pushing you to your creative limit to achieve something new with each project, no matter how confident you feel in your abilities.
The support of the Capri Holdings Foundation has not only accessed opportunities for me and gave me confidence knowing that there are industry experts that believe in my designs, but the support has also provided me with more time, and at Central Saint Martins time is everything, it is the space you use to create, learn and explore all of the possibilities for your work.
The pace of work and life at CSM is quick like no other, which is probably the reason why my first year studying here has flown by. Fashion History and Theory (FHT) is a course that, unlike what I initially thought, isn't all about writing essays, but more of a diagnostic communications course, which I love.
From presenting art at The National Gallery, collaborating with Fashion Journalism and Fashion Communication and Promotion on group projects and of course researching for academic essays, it has helped me improve on practices I already enjoyed while also giving me the space to experiment in other areas.
Before joining CSM I knew I wanted to write, whether it was journalistic or academic, though whilst working with people from other courses I’ve developed a great interest in photography and creative direction. Exploring other paths of fashion communication have been something encouraged through lectures from our course leader Isabella Corçora and guest lecturers like Beatrice Behlen and Ben Evans; some who are previous FHT students, showing the many different career paths the course allows you to go into. The great thing about being at this university is that it’s constructed to encourage you to be social, allowing you to meet new people and further develop your craft.
The support from the Capri Holdings Foundation has allowed me to completely focus on my studies, visiting museums and having the privilege to devote a lot of time to my work. As my accommodation is quite far from Kings Cross it has also heavily funded things like travel expenses, allowing me to make the most of the library and its facilities. It has also allowed me to save money which I’m going to put towards getting a camera to help with future group and personal projects. Expressing my interest in fashion history through different media like photography is something I am excited to do in the future, developing and perfecting a new practice that will contribute to my future in fashion communications.
My first year at CSM has been incredibly difficult, but completely worth it. I haven’t had a typical first year experience, deciding not to display my garment in the White Show- which is seen as a key moment for a student during their time here. However despite this I have proved to myself that fashion is my one obsession that keeps me focused to continue creating and moving forward. I think this is the same for many students at CSM who wouldn’t be able to complete their degree without an obsession and love for their work.
The financial support I have received from the Capri Holdings Foundation has allowed me to engage in projects such as the Insights programme and the A-Team in my spare time. I look forward to the next few years of my studies and building a wider network of familiar people.
Being at CSM has always been a dream and being here has been an adventure that’s challenged me to consider the broader meaning of my work and what I want to say within my creations. It has enabled me to push myself as a designer as I continue to build my identity in my work. Having a space to experiment, question and bounce ideas around with like-minded peers and tutors has been invaluable for me not just as a designer but as a person.
The support of Capri Holdings foundation has enabled me to make the most of my time at Central Saint Martins, allowing me to immerse myself within my course and my practice without the financial pressures that would have been there otherwise. Giving me the resources to realise my ideas as well as build connections within the industry and give me invaluable knowledge on the how the industry is run.
Beginning my journey at Central Saint Martins, it was a thrilling adventure, hastily throwing me into grandiose obstacles, although with each challenge I’ve immensely developed and improved my skill base. Studying here, I’ve immersed myself with like-minded creatives and new environments, gaining endless inspiration and life-long friendships. These friends and fellow students dramatically motivate and enthuse me to continue achieving my best, breaking boundaries, and endeavouring new ideas. Having Capri Holdings Foundation support my Fashion Design education has unlocked connections and opportunities otherwise impossible. With their guidance, I have the capability to materialise my ambitions, and focus on creating authentic and soulful work.
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