• Home
  • V1
  • Fashion
  • David Nieper's scholarship highlights fashion for women 50 plus

David Nieper's scholarship highlights fashion for women 50 plus

22 May 2014


British fashion designer David Nieper has launched a new 5,000 pound scholarship to encourage students at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) to design fashion for women over the age of fifty, following the success of his scholarship last year. The David Nieper scholarship, which is now in its

second year, has been extended to include over 200 second year fashion students at NTU to help promote the expanding over fifty fashion divisions, a group that David Nieper feels is often overlooked in the fashion industry.

Scholarship focuses on fashion for women over fifty

According to recent research from Kantar Worldpanel, woman over the age of 50 spent 6.7 billion pounds on clothing and accessories in 2013, which is an increase of 4.5 percent on the previous year. However, research from Mintel Market research found that nearly three quarters of women in this age bracket often feel ignored or left out by UK high street fashion retailers and that clothing available is aimed at younger customers.

In order to address this overlooked sector of the fashion industry, the renewed scholarship aims to encourage emerging fashion students to focus on the design needs of women over the age of fifty. “Women, especially our customers, not only want stylish clothes that look great, but garments that fitwell and make them feel great too,” commented Elizabeth Edwards, senior designer at David Nieper.

“Whilst fashion is more about attitude than age, it is important to think about details such as longer sleeves, flattering necklines, colour and fabric choice.” Part of the scholarship includes inviting NTU students across three courses, including fashion design, knitwear design and fashion communication and promotion to compete in a week-long intensive fashion challenge which will focus on promoting classic British style.

Scholarship fi

nalists will be given a budget of 500 pounds to host a fashion show at NTU in November, when the competition winners will be unveiled. Then the scholarship finalists will then be invited to spend a day at David Nieper's headquarters and present their designs to a panel of judges which will consist of David Nieper’s own customers and staff.

“The top scholarship entries will need to pay real attention to detail in terms of cut and fit, so that their designs are not just elegant and comfortable to wear, but also bring confidence to the customer,” added Edwards. One student will then be selected as the winner from each course and will be awarded 1,000 pounds, with an overall winner to receive an additional prize of 2,000 pounds.

Marjolijn Brussaard, Dean of the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University, commented: “At Nottingham Trent University, we aim to broaden our students’ awareness of designing for a variety of markets and demographics which is why the David Nieper scholarship is so relevant. We are proud to be working with this respected fashion house once again.”

The winning students will also be invited to intern at David Nieper to earn workplace experience. Last year scholarship winner Mel Uskuri is due to complete her work experience placement at David Nieper this June.

Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper, commented: "Because a lot of fashion manufacturing went overseas, there's not as much production happening in the UK today. As a result, it can be hard for fashion students to get hands-on experience of the whole design and manufacturing process or work to a brief with a real customer in mind. We want to give the students this real-life experience. "As we design and manufacture everything here in Derbyshire, we set up the scholarship to inspire fashion students to think about the possibilities of fashion manufacturing in the UK, and also to consider the individual needs of women of all ages. "The scholarship is now in its second year and we've been very impressed with how the students have grasped the opportunity to pick up new skills and experience, we're keen to extend the scholarship and support more up-and-coming students in the future."

Photos: In the design room at David Nieper, M&S over 50s model.

David Nieper