myrto-samouMyrto Stamoum, a south west Greek native residing in Kent, has just won the River Island Gold Award of £20, 000 for her women’s wear design at Graduate Fashion Week. The 24 year-old is graduating from the UCA, Rochester having studied for BA in Fashion Design and is now the darling of the fashion world. Here she tells us about her amazing win.

What made you want to study and work in the fashion industry?
I’ve been dreaming about working in fashion since I was a child, I don’t remember a particular inspiration, my mum wasn’t a machinist, and she didn’t work in a clothes shop or anything like that, it is just something I’ve always wanted to do. I really love it.

Tell us about your brand.
It is elegant and wearable using bold designs imprinted and emblazoned in a subtle yet distinctive way. I would like my clothes to make women feel relaxed, feel elegant and feel attractive.

myrto-samou-1Did everything go to plan at the GFW show for you?
Everything went to plan; everyone backstage was very professional and organised. I was very nervous so I got to the gala show very early.

How did you feel when your name was called out as the winner of the River Island Gold Award?
It was the most beautiful moment of my life. It was a great honour for me to win such a prestigious award. I was also so happy that my parents could be there from Greece as well.

Where do you get your design inspiration from?
I usually draw inspiration from art. Paintings, sculptures, photographs…. and some times even from my imagination!

Richard Bradbury CBE, CEO, River Island said: “The quality, the attention to detail and the clarity of the focus of the collection made it hard to believe this was the work of a graduating student.”

fashion-290What do you think about this statement?
It is moving for me to hear such flattering comments from important people in the fashion industry like Richard Bradbury. I have worked very hard and with a lot of passion on this collection and it is incredible to see all this being recognised.

I also want to thank everyone at the University and in particular the technicians who helped me. The support has been amazing.

What and who are your design influences?
I love Marc Jacobs for his unassuming urban style, Hussein Chalayan for his design ingenuity and Sophia Kokosalaki for her beautiful draping and fabric manipulations.

What trends do you see being big for 2010?
The nude colour palette seems to still be a big trend for 2010, together with simple flattering lines and minimal aesthetics.

charlotte-simpson-4Describe your philosophy about the art of fashion.
I think that fashion is not only about clothes. It’s about style, attitude, personality. It’s about the experience of life. It’s the desire to make it attractive through the creativity and playfulness of fashion.

What are your favourite fabrics to work with?
I usually love working with fabrics that are easy to drape like jersey and chiffon, I love fabrics that give to the garments that air of movement!

How do you think it has changed over the years since you began designing?
I used to like more theatrical and eccentric designs that were usually not very wearable and practical. Now my style has become more minimal and elegant.

Who are your favourite designers and why?
I love Marc Jacobs for his unassuming urban style, Hussein Chalayan for his design ingenuity and Sophia Kokosalaki for her beautiful draping and fabric manipulations.

What would you like to happen next for you?
I would love to work for one of the designer brands that I admire.

What do you think of the whole fashion designer/blog concept? Are there any advantages or disadvantages?
More people can have their designs seen more easily. This is a good thing for industry. You can also share ideas this way.

What events are you planning on participating in over the next six months?
I am going to make sure I have some time to relax with my family back in Greece over the summer, and then I will come back to the UK and hopefully begin work and move to London.

Words by Annika Allen