Introducing Richard Quinn, H&M's New Design Award Winner

'Ethical fashion shouldn't be a choice'

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Central Saint Martin's graduate, Richard Quinn has been announced as the winner of the H&M Design Award 2017.

Waking up on Thursday morning to hundreds of Instagram notifications, he was €50,000 richer, with a year's mentorship and the opportunity to develop pieces from his winning collection to be sold in selected H&M stores. Not to mention he's already got a high-profile fan in BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, Sarah Mower.

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The 26-year-old impressed the international jury of fashion experts led by H&M's creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson, with a bold, upbeat and fearless collection.

Printing his own fabrics using eco-friendly processes, Richard told us that 'ethical fashion shouldn't be a choice anymore, it should just be what you do. For some people the term seems to carry the stigma that you can only wear hemp clothing (which just screams Glastonbury) but my hope is to change this.'

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Keen to pass on this ideology, Quinn is in the process of setting up his own print studio in Peckham, where designers can create and customise specific fabrics for their garments.

'I feel that it's really important for other young designers to have access to these facilities. Everyone has such a strong point of view and I feel that there is the demand for designers to want to customise fabrics and create something that is unique to them and their voice as a designer.'

The designer's winning MA collection most certainly captured this mentality with his 60's inspired floral prints and embellished canvas accessories. He says his own personal style, is a little more low key.

'My designs are definitely bright and colourful, but this never translates in to my own personal wardrobe. I am a chino's and jumper kind of guy, I don't have any statement pieces. Whenever I would go to sign up for a new term at CSM, the receptionist would always ask me whether I was actually on the graphics course, rather than fashion and textiles.'

Having won this year's H&M Design Award, Quinn admits that his diary has suddenly become much more difficult to manage with the opening of his studio, a new collection to create and an upcoming trip to H&M's headquarters in Stockholm.

'I'm really excited for what the next few months hold for me. I'm possibly thinking about showing during London Fashion Week Men's,' he says.

With major projects coming up and a new platform of recognition, we hope that Richard has the time to stop and smell the hand printed roses.

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