Chamiah Dewey is crowned winner of the LCF Enterprise Challenge 2021
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the LCF Enterprise Challenge, with projects focused on sustainability, inclusivity, adaptability and innovation dominating this year. The annual Enterprise Challenge organised as part of LCF’s Graduate Futures and supported by IMG for the first time, continues to showcase the creative talent and entrepreneurial mindset that predominates across LCF's student body.
The virtual event allowed the finalists the opportunity to pitch their projects to a panel of high-profile industry experts: Linda Roberts - Director of Graduate Futures, Business and Innovation at LCF, Mandy Smulder - Director of renowned management company ‘The Wall Group’, Christine Fortune - Talent Director at IMG Models, Roberto Battistoni - Solutions Lead in Consumer Products, Retail, and Supply at IBM and Jason Beckley - LCF alumnus and specialist in global commerce who has worked for brands like Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren and Puma. The judges and finalists were also joined by guest speakers, Tony Glenville - Fashion Writer and Trends Analyst and MA Menswear alumna and mentee of Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE), Bethany Williams.
“This year marks the fifth anniversary of the LCF Enterprise Challenge. It’s wonderful to see that with our support so many students and graduates succeed in taking their initial ideas to a viable proposition and out into the market place. These businesses grow and become not only the employers of tomorrow but also the change makers our world so really needs right now.” - Ismaril Wells, Associate Director: Graduate Futures.
After hearing the students' presentations, the judges had the task of unanimously selecting the winner of the Enterprise Challenge 2021. We caught up with this years’ winner, Chamiah Dewey, to hear about the innovative vision for her business.
“The Enterprise Challenge is a mastermind idea that offered the entrants true insight into the real-world of pitching an idea or concept. The level of the finalists was extremely high, and the work produced was inspirational, inclusive, educational, and heavily focused on sustainability. All of these components make for a winning potion for the future of both our industry and our planet.” - Christine Fortune, Director IMG Models
Chamiah Dewey: Chamiah Dewey Fashion - Winner
Chamiah is a BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student at LCF, and has just completed her Enterprise Diploma in Professional Studies. She is the founder and director of Chamiah Dewey Fashion, the sustainable, adaptive womenswear brand for women with Dwarfism.
“I'm so overly grateful to the Graduate Futures team and London College of Fashion for this opportunity and to the judges for choosing me and my brand. Chamiah Dewey Fashion is the sustainable, adaptive womenswear brand for women with Dwarfism. Our brand has female empowerment at the forefront, we believe that accessible, adaptive clothing should be both comfortable and stylish. The current adaptive market has forgotten about fashion in favour of functional clothing, which has its place in the market but there are millions of disabled women who are longing for fashionable pieces that they can wear. Little people in particular have little-to-no option at all when it comes to finding clothing that is designed for their bodies; they tend to shop from fast fashion retailers and pay the hefty price for alterations which is both long-winded and frustrating - they just want to feel like they're being heard, seen, and catered to, in a fashionable way.
Our vision is to grow this brand into a trailblazing, global market disruptor: showing that adaptive fashion can be just as desirable as what's currently on offer at all levels, both high-street and designer. We see ourselves growing CDF into a marketplace for both little people and disabled people of all genders and ages to buy clothing they can trust will fit them like a glove and make them feel confident in the skin they're in. Community is so important to us; that's why we have centred our social media pages around style inspirations, empowering quotes, live chats, and education around sustainability and disability etc.
We can't wait to work with IMG and the Centre for Social Responsibility to develop our business so that it is robust enough to market to our community for our AW21 collection and be as successful as we know it can be. We're really confident in our offering, we know it is needed in the industry, but for industry leaders and global players to recognise our efforts and commend us on our work so far has been very refreshing and excited us even more for the future.”
Pamela Mejia: Phinix Textile Recycling - Runner up
Pamela is a graduate of MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation at LCF. She is the founder of Phinix, a textile recycling social enterprise that turns textile wastes into new products.
Daisy Forrester: DAISY FORRESTER LONDON - Finalist
Soon to be an LCF graduate, Daisy Forrester built her brand to create multipurpose, technical, streetwear inspired swimwear - valuing upcycling and reworking.
Beatrice Soncina: RE-GEN - Finalist
Beatrice is an MA Fashion Futures graduate, specialised in circular economy and regenerative design, and currently a consultant for multinational companies. Her business idea, RE-GEN, is a consortium of businesses from all stages of the supply chain – from raw material suppliers, to manufacturers and recyclers – creating collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities, for the production and distribution of circular and regenerative products.
Beatriz Belchior: Aerogel Jackets - Finalist
Beatriz Belchior is a second year BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student at LCF. Her business idea focuses on merging comfort and style in one, while saving the environment in the process.
“Inspirational, creative, and relevant are three adjectives I would use to describe the fantastic contribution by the five finalist of this year’s LCF Enterprise Challenge. As a judge you look to be surprised and feel your thinking is being stretched. Sustainability was the common thread and for this I could not be happier!” Roberto Battistoni, Consumer Products Solutions Lead
“The enterprise challenge isn’t so much a competition, it’s more of a grounding in the reality of what lies ahead of everyone who enters. It was this kind of real world experience I received at LCF that has been so invaluable to my career. The energy and imagination I saw in this years’ entrants is so inspiring, I can’t wait to watch them take the industry by storm!” Jason Beckley LCF Alumnus and a Global Marketing Executive
“It was an honour to join the judging panel and I was so inspired by the achievements of the students who pitched their business ideas. It is great to see sustainability and social impact at the heart of the concepts, backed up by a passion to make a difference. The event itself is the culmination of a whole programme of activity to get to that point, so I also want to recognise the work goes into the Challenge as a whole, and the support & encouragement available for our wider entrepreneurial community.” - Linda Roberts, Director of Graduate Futures, Business & Innovation