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Tuesday 1 June 2021

Local fashion designer honours late younger brother through latest collection

Sundas aims to raise awareness of rare genetic illness through fashion designs inspired by little brother Ahmed

A Bolton fashion designer has honoured her late little brother through her latest collection.

Sundas Javed, from Great Lever, has produced a six-piece menswear collection for her final year University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) project. It is inspired by her younger brother Ahmed who passed away as a child eight years ago from a rare genetic illness called Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD).

The 23-year-old BA(Hons) Fashion Design student said: “MLD is a rare genetic illness that causes the body to deteriorate. I was very close to my little brother Ahmed, who was 7 when he passed away in 2013, so I wanted to honour him and raise awareness of MLD at the same time through my work.”

Sundas has done this in her Lacerated Denim collection by using materials that deteriorate and distress over time such as denim, linen and wool. She has also produced her own fashion photography by styling a professional model and photographing and editing the images herself.

"The distressed materials represent the deterioration and loss of abilities Ahmed suffered. I want to share Ahmed’s story through the art of fashion."

UCLan fashion design student Sundas Javed

“The distressed materials represent the deterioration and loss of abilities Ahmed suffered. I want to share Ahmed’s story through the art of fashion.” Sundas said.

Now the talented designer has caught the eyes of industry experts who have featured her work on the Graduate Fashion Foundation Talent website, the go-to site for industry experts looking for the next generation of designers.

“I am over the moon to be recognised in this way” Sundas commented. “This is the first time I’ve designed menswear; I really worked hard and pushed myself out of my comfort zone so to know it’s good enough to be on the Graduate Fashion Talent website is a real confidence boost.”

The former Smithills High School and Bolton Sixth Form pupil has come a long way during her four-year degree course, having also spent a placement year working for modest fashion company Cover Me Collection, based in Bolton.

"I really worked hard and pushed myself out of my comfort zone so to know it’s good enough to be on the Graduate Fashion Foundation Talent website is a real confidence boost."

UCLan fashion design student Sundas Javed

She said: “When I first came to UCLan I compared myself to other students and felt I wasn’t good enough. Learning how to cut patterns, use CAD design and research trends were all completely new to me but I’ve worked hard to follow my dream and now I’m not afraid to believe in myself.”

Sundas, who will graduate later this year, has followed in her father Javed Iqbal’s footsteps who worked as a tailor for many years in his native Pakistan and then in Bolton.

"My family is proud of my achievements and the way I’ve honoured Ahmed in my work. My little brother was the heart and soul of the family and he’s always in our thoughts."

UCLan fashion design student Sundas Javed

She added: “My dad is a good sounding board for my designs and is a perfectionist, so he encourages me to do my best. My family is proud of my achievements and the way I’ve honoured Ahmed in my work. My little brother was the heart and soul of the family and he’s always in our thoughts.”

More information on Sundas’ work can be found on the Graduate Fashion Talent website, which includes her portfolio. Her collection will also be on display at UCLan’s virtual Degree Show exhibition, which opens on the 17 June.

Lacerated Denim by Sundas Javed01 / 05