Fashion student gets Kate Moss boost after contest

Edinburgh College of Art student Elle McKee. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Edinburgh College of Art student Elle McKee. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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AN art student is to kit out the likes of Kate Moss after winning a prestigious design competition.

Elle McKee, who studies illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, drew up a T-shirt for Jeans for Genes Day – a fundraiser for children with genetic disorders.

The 20-year-old, who is in her second year, will now see her ideas modelled by Moss, Spice Girl Emma Bunton and fashion legend Twiggy.

Elle was so determined to win that she entered three separate designs – and hopes to rub shoulders with catwalk icons during a special event on the 20th Jeans for Genes Day on September 18.

She said: “My main focus when designing the T-shirt was to capture the essence of the charity in a way that would raise awareness to its cause.

“I realised that simplicity was the best way of relaying the Jeans for Genes message, so my final design is hand drawn and straight to the point, but also celebrates the playful, fashionable element of the charity.”

Judges – including Coleen Rooney, Lauren Milligan of Vogue.co.uk, Lucy Ewing from Sunday Times Style and designer Holly Fulton – had been looking for a “stylish and appealing” design with a “clear message”.

The T-shirt – featuring a simple white hanger with the words “Jeans for Genes” against a black background – will also be worn by the likes of Lucy Watson, Kate Garraway, Louise Thompson and Nicola Roberts in September.

It is being sold from the Jeans for Genes website for £20, with funds also going to the charity.

Judges considered hundreds of other entries from students at Edinburgh College of Art.

Elle said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be picked and I’m really excited to be part of raising money and awareness for Jeans for Genes, it’s such a wonderful charity.”

Having a global icon such as Moss sporting her designs could quickly propel Elle to fashion stardom, according to experts.

Style writer Lynne McCrossan said: “It could be career changing. To have someone with that kind of fashion pedigree and exposure seen in your pieces means all eyes are on your work.”

Elle, who hails originally from Leeds, plans to visit India later this year to learn about the country’s textile and fashion industry.

She will spend two weeks there on a British Council-backed scheme, visiting textile factories.

On the fundraising day, people across the UK will be encouraged to wear jeans to work or school and make a donation to the charity, which said one in 25 children were born with a genetic disorder.

The T-shirt is available to buy for £20 by logging on to jeansforgenesday.org/shop. Jeans for Genes day is on September 18.