Hartlepool designer makes waves in the world of fashion

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A HARTLEPOOL-born designer is making an impact in the world of fashion after being recognised at an awards show.

Michael Wallace, 24, won the Emerging Designer of the Year at the 2014 Midlands Fashion Awards, impressing judges with his Gothic-influenced haute couture designs.

Michael received his award, which included a professional photo shoot for Style Birmingham Magazine, at a glamorous show at Birmingham’s CBSO Centre.

He said: “I had to send designs for a collection, then go and compete at the show.

“It was a bit like the X-Factor, I had to design a show with music and then showcase my work in front of a judging panel, who decided the winner on the night.”

Michael, who still has family living in Hartlepool, lived in Peterlee and then Washington until the age of six, when his father got a job in Derbyshire.

He now divides his time between Nottingham and London, where he works in the bridal department of Sewing and Craft Superstore, in Tooting.

The shop sells a variety of fashion goods including fabric, lace and silks, while Michael takes orders and advises customers and clients.

Michael’s work will now be showcased at the next Midlands Fashion Awards and he’s setting his sights high.

He said: “My dream is to have my own fashion house, that would be perfect, and I’d love to work in LA.”

Michael’s father Keith said he was “over the moon” with Michael’s award, while family have been a big influence on his passion for design, which started at a young age.

Michael said: “My grandmother, Rita, was a seamstress and she taught me how to sew when I was six, and I kept making things until I realised I could make a career out of it.

“I’m now teaching my six-year-old niece how to sew.”

Michael also sent out his support to his grandfather, William Robson, who worked at Vauxhall in Hartlepool and has been ill recently.