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Haverstock students triumph in UK fashion competition

PUBLISHED: 11:01 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 07 September 2010

Pupils at Haverstock School

Pupils at Haverstock School

STUDENTS from Haverstock School in Chalk Farm have beaten hundreds of competitors from across Britain to win a coveted fashion prize. A group of girls, aged between 14 and 15, designed a thought-provoking handbag and fought of stiff competition from 160 o

STUDENTS from Haverstock School in Chalk Farm have beaten hundreds of competitors from across Britain to win a coveted fashion prize.

A group of girls, aged between 14 and 15, designed a thought-provoking handbag and fought of stiff competition from 160 other teams.

In the Pocket The Problem competition, teams had to customise a trademark Clippykit bag - a favourite must-have of celebrities including Helena Bonham Carter and Thandie Newton - which holds and displays photographs and mementos.

Pupils had to use articles which reflected their concerns, either in the community, the country or globally.

Entrants tackled controversial issues such as care for the elderly, their feelings about forced marriage and social stereotyping.

The winning entry by the Year 10 Haverstock girls Ayisha Ullah, Tohmina Begum, Zamira Abdi, Maryam Ahmed, Shanaz Begum and Arjeta Bytyci was a thought-provoking examination of gun and knife crime in Camden.

The bag featured police tape on the side of the handle, an image of a gun, hard-hitting images of crime, pictures of knife warning signs, forensic gloves and victims' stories.

The team also secured funding from the Metropolitan Police to use the bag as a resource for other schools.

Headteacher John Dowd said: "It is fantastic and I am really proud of the girls.

"I think what is really important about this is that it is something very contemporary and useful but at the same time it is very marketable and has a desirable aspect about it.

"To come first in a national competition is absolutely fantastic. They are serious, intelligent young women who undertook this project, which is something they have never done before, and they have really excelled themselves ,which is great.

"Young people look at this problem straight between the eyes and that is why it is so different and personal to them."

Head of citizenship Chrischar Maasdorp added: "The idea was for the students to decorate the bag with a theme they feel strongly about.

"I am very pleased for them because they have really used their skills to win this competition and designed a fantastic bag. And they really enjoyed doing it which is obviously important."

More than 650 girls entered the competition.

Haverstock's winning bag will now be on display as part of a special three-week exhibition at City Hall.

Forty bags from the competition, organised by Clippykit and the national enterprise campaign Make Your Mark, are on display at the exhibition. It was launched yesterday to coincide with Women's Enterprise Day and runs until December 9.

Clippykit founder Calypso Rose said: "So often teenage girls are portrayed in the media as having superficial concerns. However, these competition entries prove that they also care deeply about issues affecting the world around them.

"Fashion provides a fun and creative way for young people to speak out, while improving their entrepreneurial skills and making their ideas happen."

For more information, log on to www.makeyourmark.org.uk.


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