Hannah Sykes

Meet 18-year-old Hannah Sykes, the winner of the 2011 I Luv My Can competition.

The competition encouraged people across the country to get creative with their empty soft drinks’ cans, resulting in some truly unique designs. Hannah entered her highly creative Coutier-Can Bustier piece and impressed the judges so much with her innovative design that she was selected as the winner.

Hannah is currently a student in Blackpool, where she is undergoing a Foundation Degree in Art and Design. Here, she tells us a bit more about her career ambitions, what it was like to win the competition and her hopes for the future.

What inspired you to want to become a fashion designer?

As art has been a main passion of mine throughout my life, I wanted to carry this through to further studies and as my future career. Universities prefer for a student to have an extra requirement of this foundation course hence me doing this course this year, it provides a lot of work for your portfolio and broadens your skills which you never knew you had: like for me, drawing… I never knew I could draw properly! However, I know that I want to study in fashion of some sort.

I figured this out during my last year at sixth form, where I made two collections of Fashionable Garments and Accessories with materials that you would not associate with fashion. One collection was made from nails, metals and scrap oddments to make burlesque inspired garments; my other collection was made from materials that you would find around the house, rubber gloves, mops toilet seats… Both of these collections achieved me full marks in the course that year.

I love to push the boundaries to create fashionable structures, with materials that people wouldn’t even take a second glance at. I love creating weird things, they are extravagant edgy and some what couture fashion pieces. At the moment I am struggling to find a perfect degree course to study at university: I want a course that will let me broaden my creativity and make unusual pieces however some fashion course are just commercial clothing which is mass produced. I want to make pieces that are unique and one off: things that you see on the catwalk… that’s my ambition. Hopefully someone will see my talent and guide me and give me the chance!

What is your favourite piece you have designed so far?

That’s hard to choose – I have three! The first is my Cilit Bang outfit which I made a bikini made from Marigold rubber gloves with a hat and bag made from cilit bang labels. I love this piece as it is quirky and just fun. My second favourite is my toilet seat dress: it reminds me of a ballerina; it is plain and simple white with a papier mache corset and a toilet seat around the waist. My last is this nail corset and frilly knickers made from nails. It just so different and even though it is made from rusty nails, I just think it is beautiful.

Tell us a bit about the I Luv My Can competition…

When I saw the I Luv My Can competition I thought it was a great opportunity to show my talent of creating unique garments.
I luv my can is a brand new competition challenging lovers of canned drinks to get creative with your beverage can. The top prize is not only a cool £1,000, but also a year’s supply of your favourite canned drink. Each category will have its own winner, with the best creations being auctioned off to raise money for the Art Fund, the UK’s leading charity that helps secure great art for museums and galleries for everyone to enjoy.

I won the category of Most Fashionable Can, and from this went along to become the overall winner of the competition, and my piece raised £112 for the charity. Other people’s pieces reached a whopping £800 for the charity.

I am still amazed that I have won the competition, and that people have recognised my work and think I am a “future designer”.

How do you see your career progressing over the next few years?

From this foundation degree that I am doing at this moment in time, I want to pursue a fashion degree at university. I am still looking around universities to find the best one for me, ranging from Manchester, Nottingham Trent, Sheffield, and my aim is London College of Fashion!

I’ve always wanted to have a career in the fashion industry, it takes a lot of determination and hard work and creativity but hopefully in five years time this dream will have started to evolve for me. I want a creative and imaginative job, which I can show my talents and passion for the fashion industry and be able to create unique one off designs.

My dream would be to make innovative, edgy, couture garments which would walk the catwalks. I want to create one off show stopping pieces. This maybe a long shot but this would be my ultimate goal. I don’t want a 9-5 job in an office; I know that this wouldn’t be right for me.

What advice would you give to other aspiring designers?

I don’t really have much advice for other people that want to become a fashion designer as I am looking for the advise myself, but the only advice I have is never give up on your dream and ambition, if you really want it, keep trying and trying and someday it will come. This is what I am doing at this moment in time. Show your creativity, and show your unique designs and make your dream happen!

View Hannah’s blog here. See more entries at www.iluvmycan.co.uk.


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