CHRISTINE Kinson could be Britain’s next top designer.
The 23-year-old fashion student, from Marsden, South Shields, has just returned from a two-month paid internship with Brooks Brothers in New York.
During her time in the Big Apple, she also completed a project for Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf.
She now has her sights set firmly on winning a place at Graduate Fashion Week and is hoping to secure some sponsors.
Christine, who is in her final year at Kingston University in London, said: “All the universities across the country have a slot and the whole industry comes to scout the talent on show.
“It’s like London Fashion Week, but for graduates.”
Christine is competing with 65 other students for one of 28 places in which to showcase her final collection.
She has already seen her work in the window of Brooks Brothers in New York and it will be soon be displayed at the original American fashion emporium’s Regent Street store in London.
Christine was selected for the internship after impressing scouts from the company with a fitted jumpsuit and knitted jacket, inspired by its vintage collection.
She said: “The first year at university is creative and the second year is industry. Companies come over to look for people to do internships.
“A lot of companies come over from America, like Old Navy, Brooks Brothers and Banana Republic, to scout for people.
“It really pushes you to get in touch with people from industry and get your own independence.”
Christine, who is studying womenswear, had to design a garment and once taken on, develop a six-piece capsule collection.
“It was brilliant,” she said. “It was hard work, but it was really good fun as well.”
French fashion houses Chloe and Celine also inspire her work, but Christine is also a fan of British fashion.
She added: “I would love to dress someone who wasn’t afraid of fashion, maybe someone like Lady Gaga, which would be amazing, but maybe pushing it!
“I would love someone who’s fun and doesn’t mind wearing something crazy, but still looks great in it.”
Christine has a soft spot for knitwear, as used in her Brooks Brothers work, saying: “A lot of my friends back home think knitwear’s quite uncool.
“It is becoming a bit more popular now and I want to make people see it in a different light.”
Some students are lucky enough to be taken on by leading fashion houses as a result of their internships.
Christine said: “There is a lot of talent everywhere, which is great, so it is generally about working hard and trying to fight for what you want to do.
“The one thing that keeps me going is if I work hard, I will be doing a job I love for the rest of my life.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring Christine can contact her on 07506 725 555 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
EIGHT years ago, Christine was actually on course to fail her textiles GCSE at Harton Technology College in South Shields.
She said: “I wasn’t predicted to do very well, but a new teacher came in and got me from a grade E to a B in a couple of months.
“That inspired me to go on and do fashion and know that anything’s possible.
“Sometimes you have that one person who makes you open your eyes a bit and for me that was Miss Johansen.
“She’s a very good teacher and I liked her a lot.”
Christine went on to do A-levels and a foundation diploma in art and design at South Tyneside College, where lecturer Doug Veitch spurred her on even further.
But mum Wan was her original inspiration, running up outfits for Christine, her twin sister Catherine and older brother Colin.
Christine said: “I’ve always been interested in clothes because my mam used to make our clothes. When I was young, she was always on the sewing machine.”