Priya Ahluwalia, who graduated this year from the Menswear MA course at the University of Westminster, has been awarded the prestigious H&M Design Award 2019 with her sustainable collection.

Priya has won a prize total of €50,000 as well as a six-month paid internship at H&M’s Head Office in Stockholm, including accommodation and other benefits. Now in its eighth year, the H&M Design Award represents H&M’s long term commitment to encouraging the future of fashion talent and helping to push fashion forward.

Priya’s winning collection showcases a combination of recycled materials with new sustainable fabrics, demonstrating the possibilities for the future of environmentally responsible fashion. Priya used her Nigerian and Indian heritage to show how second-hand clothing can be used in a meaningful way.

She was chosen as winner by an international jury including editor-in-chief of German Vogue Christiane Arp, last year’s H&M Design Award winner Stefan Cooke, broadcaster and consultant Camille Charrière, Highsnobiety style director Jan-Michael Quammie, writer Charlie Porter and H&M’s creative advisors Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch.

Speaking about her achievement, Priya said: “I feel absolutely ecstatic. I never dreamed this could happen. Winning the H&M Design Award will let me develop this idea into a business that has sustainability truly at its heart.”

Jan-Michael Quammie, style director of Highsnobiety, shared his thoughts on Priya’s winning fashion collection: “Priya was so passionate, with a story that resonates with so many different cultures and backgrounds. She can be a leader, showing the industry that fashion can both be beautiful and environmentally conscious.”

Liliana Sanguino, Course Leader in MA Menswear, said: “The MA Menswear team is delighted to see Priya and her work receive global recognition with such an influential prize and the attention, she richly deserves, that goes with it. Priya’s work ethic and commitment to fashion issues is admirable. The team is also thrilled to see such excellence from one of our very first set of Graduates from MA. We are excited to see Priya’s brand develop in the future.”

Professor Andrew Groves, Professor in Fashion Design, also said: “It's amazing that in its first year of graduates, the MA Menswear course has one student that has won this competition and one has been selected to show at LFW!”

Priya follows in the footsteps of 2017 winner Richard Quinn, who made headlines at his AW18 show at London Fashion Week with Queen Elizabeth watching in the front row. Since the first H&M Global Design Award was introduced in 2012, 4,000 applications have been received and over 100 graduates have participated.

The key message of H&M’s Global Design Award is to shine a global spotlight on new talent and encourage young people around the world to choose fashion as their future career path.

Find out more about the Menswear MA course offered at the University of Westminster.

Find out more about the H&M Global Design Award 2019.

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