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NTU Fashion Graduate Proves He’s Got G21 Talent


Ryan Farrell’s nine designs, including a shirt, dress, skirt and T-shirts, are being sold in nine Asda superstores across the country as well as internationally via the retailer’s fashion website.

Heritage Designs

He was asked to create the women’s collection after talent spotters were wowed by his bold, colourful prints – showcased as part of Nottingham Trent University’s catwalk show at last year’s Graduate Fashion Week, which George sponsors.

He took his inspiration from his own South African heritage.

“I’m from South Africa and lived there for 21 years before moving to England,” said Ryan, 31, who lives in Chesterfield. “I looked at the Ndebele tribe who are from near where we lived and I looked at all their distinctive pattern work. Then I basically moved on to focus on the animals and how I can manipulate them to make them my own and then I looked at street culture in the communities and villages and all the rustic arts on the houses and shop fronts.”

Ryan spent two months at George’s headquarters following his graduation last year, working up his designs for their limited edition G21 Talent label.

“George wanted me to take my graduate collection and then put it in a commercial way to sell it which I found a really interesting process,” said Ryan.

“I learned a lot from working there. I had my own computer and my own desk and if I needed any help then the printing team or my line manager were there. If they had a meeting about new trends or anything like that, I always sat in those meetings.”


Flagship Stores

George bosses have been delighted with the result of Ryan’s work and have agreed to stock his collection from 10 March in ten flagship stores including West Bridgford, Sheffield, Leicester, Wigan and Watford.

Nicola Jones, design manager at George commented: “We instantly fell in love Ryan’s collection at Graduate Fashion Week. His prints were stunning, the animals mixed back with bold stripes and the bright colours really stood out for us.

“His collection was fun, sporty and styled so well with the simple stripy socks and bold trainers. His use of jersey stood out for us as this is a great fabric to work with and one that we know George customers like, so I could really see how his collection could translate into a range for G21 Talent.”

Can’t stop

Ryan said he was looking forward to seeing his collection on the clothes rails of Asda stores.

“That really will be something. It will be like an experiment on my behalf to see if there is a market for my work out there,” he said.

And he has worked to make the most of the opportunity since graduation and spends his morning designing home furnishings which he is already selling through selected shops locally and his afternoons focussing on fashion designing.

“I really can’t keep still at the moment but I like it like that,” Ryan said, adding that his final year at Nottingham Trent University had prepared him for the hard work.

“It was in my third year that I really picked myself up and focussed a lot on my work and that’s why this collection has become successful. I really wanted to make my three years really worth it so that I wouldn’t regret anything.”

His final year tutor at Nottingham Trent University, Gilly Staples, said: “I am really proud that Ryan has secured such an amazing opportunity which will stand him in good stead for his future career aspirations.”

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