Salford University’s fashion students App-en upon an innovative idea

By Iram Ramzan & Robin Scott

Innovative fashion students from the University of Salford unveiled a groundbreaking new app and digital runway showcasing their award-winning designs at Umbro’s Design Studios last night.

Just weeks earlier, the university scooped up the British Fashion Council College Portfolio Award for the second year running, with their creative virtual fashion show and ‘27’ App.

The iPhone and iPad App offers a stylish and interactive look at the student’s work, even changing camera angles in order to better inspect detail on the outfits, and presenting contact details and profiles of each student.

One of the winners, Charlotte Waters, said: “It was more of a 21st century way of getting our work up, so it could last for a long time and because we have connections in other parts of the world that couldn’t come to the show.”

Co-winner Kerry McGill said the students were excited about the App, as it was a new and contemporary idea.

Course Leader Bashir Aswat, the brains behind the app, said: “I think it’s very exciting for the students. It’s a different way of getting the work out there from the usual websites and blogs.”

He added that the innovation was a great achievement for students on the course and that on just the first day the App had been downloaded 370 times.

Charlotte said she could not believe that the App was so successful.

She said: “It’s so exciting to know all those people were looking at our work. It’s mind blowing.”

STRIKING: The modern look of some of the designs has now been matched with the modern ‘virtual’ hosting of the show

The show was funded by Umbro Industries, a quarterly scheme run by the Dale Street-based sportswear brand which supports local innovation.

The fashion department at the university submitted their idea for the show and secured £7,000 after impressing the judging team with their ideas. Their work will be showcased at the Manchester Harvey Nichols.

Charlotte said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the award, it was so unexpected and it still hasn’t sunk in. I can’t wait to see my clothes alongside the big designer names inside the store. It’s surreal and I’m so excited!”

Kerry added: “It came as a massive and exciting surprise. Charlotte and I are both extremely lucky and thrilled to have the chance to show case our work in Harvey Nichols, something I am greatly looking forward to.”

Umbro’s Digital Content Manager said: “The judging team were particularly impressed with the new spin on the traditional fashion show that was behind the team’s idea, and felt that it was something that could help the university stand out from the crowd not just this year but in the future as well.”

He added: “It was fantastic to see all the teams efforts come off last night with their celebrations and the release of the App at our Dale Street design studio.”

According to a new report published by GetJar, the world’s largest open App store, the mobile App industry will be worth over £10bn in the next two years.

The firm says that mobile phone users will download 50bn mobile applications in 2012, a 92% year-over-year growth rate from the 7 billion that were downloaded in 2009.

The study found that revenue opportunities in Europe will increase from around £1bn in 2009 to over £5bn in 2012.

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