Fashion graduate announced as Vanguard Education Fund winner

29 September 2022

Photo of Fashion Design graduate Finlay Vincent facing away from the camera wearing black hoody with the hood up.
Finlay Vincent
Type: Text
Category: Our graduates

Fashion Design BA(Hons) graduate Finlay Vincent has been selected for a prestigious opportunity as part of designer fashion brand NET-A-PORTER's Vanguard Education Fund.

Supported by the British Fashion Council, the Vanguard Education Fund aims to identify and nurture the next generation of innovators from selected BFC-affiliated courses.  

Shortlisted candidates were invited to take part in a judging day earlier this year, with Falmouth’s Finlay Vincent one of four lucky winners selected to receive a £12,500 bursary fund and become paired with two of the fund’s influential mentors. The mentors include Cate Holstein (founder of Khaite), Conner Ives and Christopher John Rogers; renowned stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois; editorial and tech expert Eva Chen; business mogul, musician and actor Jessica Jung; and NET-A-PORTER’s content director Alice Casely-Hayford and market director Libby Page. 

In a bid to improve waste generated in the industry during the sample phase of the fashion cycle, selected young designers will also receive cutting-edge 3D garment-design training as part of the programme.

Finlay told us he is “honoured” to have been selected as one of the recipients of the award. His funding will now go towards design, fabrics and manufacturing for his luxury menswear label SYSTEMS as well as an MA in Fashion Menswear. 

Create with an open mind. Ask as many questions as you can. Be vulnerable. Look up more.

Finlay’s concept SYSTEMS explores modularity, digitally pattern cut on CLO3D and turning up-cycled dead-stock fabric into pieces that can be assembled, dissembled and reassembled as the wearer chooses.  

Describing the works, Finlay said: "[They] aren’t fashion objects, rather modular objects, made in construction sets.

"The wearer is the designer, deciding its function thus creating its aesthetic. Well-designed objects serve innate human desires. Objects that serve speak to the sacred and outlive human life.” 

As a student at Falmouth's Fashion & Textiles Institute, Finlay was able to combine his “obsession” for clothing with sustainability – and the University's sustainable focus helped to pave the way for the creation of his SYSTEMS concept.

Speaking of his time studying at Falmouth, he said: “It is fundamental that sustainable and well-designed products are at the forefront of contemporary fashion. The BA at Falmouth allowed me to devise a system of modularity for the clothes.

"I'm a simple guy and as someone who would spend all day in the studio, Falmouth gave me that space. Most of the time it was a very quiet space, that internal reflection is fundamental in design.”  

Finlay hopes this success as a Vanguard fund recipient will inspire others to develop their creative voices. So, what advice does he have for aspiring fashion designers? 

“My advice to new students would be to create with an open mind. Ask as many questions as you can. Be vulnerable. Look up more. Choose your tools. Spend all day with them. Start building the foundation. Grow slowly. Reflect on advice. Don’t take all of it. And when it’s over don't celebrate yet...”  

You might also like