We caught up with young designer Rachel Hill from Edinburgh College of Art on her winning design, her inspiration and her plans for the future.
I’ve always loved to draw; it’s the best way I can get my ideas across.
Had you heard of Jeans for Genes before the competition?
We always held Jeans for Genes Day every year at school and we had assemblies telling us about the charity. My mum is a geneticist so she was always very enthusiastic about supporting Genes for Jeans Day and telling me about the incredible work Genetic Disorders UK does.
Why did you want to enter the t-shirt design competition?
The Jeans for Genes team presented the competition at a lecture and I thought entering the t-shirt design competition would be a brilliant way to use my talents to help such a worthy cause.
What was your inspiration for your design?
I wanted the t-shirt to be a celebration of the work Jeans for Genes Day does, which is why I featured a double helix between birds to illustrate positivity and freedom. It was a long process of writing and sketching as well as researching this season’s colour-ways to get to this final version of the design. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, and I really wanted to win so I actually put in two entries!
What are the benefits of winning the competition?
It’s brilliant to use what I am passionate about for a good purpose. To think my design is raising money to change children’s lives is incredible. Designing the T-shirt has opened a lot of doors for me, and obviously it’s brilliant to see my design on stars like Coleen Rooney – I was so excited when I opened the magazine saw her wearing my T-shirt!!
Kate Middleton because then everyone would see it!!
Was this your first piece of clothing design, what did you learn?
Yes, I mostly do editorial design that is simple, stylized and to the point. It was really fun to explore bolder designs and research this season’s colour-ways to best suit the design. It is hard to get your head around drawing to compliment a body rather than a page but the girls on my course illustrate for garments so they were extremely supportive.
What are your plans for the future?
I am now designing promotional material for Queens Hall Theatre for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I’ll be working back at university as a Graduate Studio Assistant in September helping undergraduates find work and supporting them in their designs.
What advice would you give to students entering the competition next year?
Send in as many entries as you want and look back at the previous designs – be imaginative and bold – good luck!
You can buy your own double helix inspired t-shirt for just £20, available in sizes 6-22.