An ASDA checkout worker is hanging up her tabard and stepping into high-heels after winning a cross-country search to become the muse of one of Britain’s top fashion designers.
Penicuik mum Angie Thomson, 38, was left “completely gobsmacked” after she was hand-picked over thousands of would-be fashionistas to become the new inspiration for designer Julien Macdonald’s lauded textile designs – which have draped the glamorous shoulders of Danni Minogue, Naomi Campbell and Beyonce Knowles.
Angie was selected by the fashion OBE as part of a cross-country social media search to find a new muse for five of Debenham’s top designers.
As part of the online contest, fashion house legends Ben de Lisi, Macdonald, Preen and Stephen Jones and Patrick Grant were all given a chance to select the person who’s style they found “most inspiring”, based on thousands of photos submitted via Twitter.
And although Angie had never harboured dreams of catwalk stardom before, she entered her photo into the contest on a whim.
Now, the checkout worker is headed down to London for a photo shoot with Macdonald, left, himself – which will go on to be used as part of a national advertising campaign.
As a muse, Angie’s style will also help to inspire upcoming releases from Julien Macdonald’s exclusive range for Debehnam’s, ‘Star by Julien Macdonald’.
“I would have never expected to win in a million years,” she said.
“For an artist, a muse is a goddess of inspiration – I’m not sure how I’m meant to inspire someone like Julien.”
But according to Macdonald, Midlothian mum Angie was a clear choice to become his next muse.
He said: “Angie stood out from the rest of the competition with her fabulous, fashionable and fun sense of style.”
Widely considered the successor to British icon Alexander McQueen, Macdonald launched his career at the University of Brighton in the 1990s, where he swiftly caught the attention of Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. In the years that followed, Macdonald made a name for himself as the creative director at French fashion powerhouse Givenchy, and went on to earn an OBE in 2006 for his services to the domestic fashion industry.
Along the way, he’s also earned a throng of designer of the year awards from the likes of Glamour, Elle and GQ. Angie, who was born and raised in Penicuik, said she’s been following the designer’s works for a decade.
“I’ve always loved Julien’s style,” she said.
“He creates things that stand out, and that’s what I’ve always looked for in the clothes I buy.
“I guess he must have made that connection when he came across my photo.”
Even as she prepares for her first professional photo shoot and the fame that will accompany it, Angie says she still hasn’t given much thought to pursuing a career in fashion. She focuses most of her time on work and 11-year-old son Dennon.
But she’s definitely not ruling out any prospects.
“I’ve hardly had a chance to catch my breath and gather all of my thoughts after being named Julien’s muse,” she said.
“I have no idea what’s next, but I’m completely over the moon.”