Textile student will have design sold worldwide

Nilufar with her design

A textiles student from Heriot-Watt University has won the chance to represent the UK in a prestigious international competition that will see her design sold worldwide.

Bemz Challenge

Nilufar Islam from Edinburgh (23), a final year student at Heriot-Watt's School of Textiles and Design, beat off stiff competition from three other UK textile design students to win the public vote in a challenge run by Bemz, a Swedish company known for its extensive range of slipcovers for IKEA furniture.

Almost 6,000 people voted for her A Bird's Tail design, inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, helping her to secure the top slot in the UK.

Nilufar said: "I'm excited to have my design developed, put into production and sold worldwide by Bemz. I'm extremely passionate about my work and spend most days in the studio working on my hand-drawn designs.

"It's a huge honour to think my work will sit alongside long-established and illustrious designers like Marimekko and Designers Guild.

"I'd like to thank those who took the time to vote for my design; I'm flattered they like my work and hope they continue to support me to become the ultimate Bemz competition winner."

The international final

Nilufar now goes forward to the international final in Sweden in April, when the overall winner will be chosen from four design student finalists, one each representing the UK, Germany, France and Sweden. The ultimate winner will have three designs sold worldwide in the Bemz Design Collection, rather than just one.

Nilufar is a rising star in the fashion and interior design business and deserves this level of recognition.
Mark Parker, School of Textiles and Design

Mark Parker, Director of Studies for Textiles within The School of Textiles & Design, said how pleased they were that one of their students has won the UK Bemz Award. He said "Nilufar is known for her beautifully intricate designs.

"It was this combination of creativity and skill that helped her gain a week's internship with renowned fashion designer Julien MacDonald, in the run up to London Fashion Week last month.

"She's a rising star in the fashion and interior design business and deserves this level of recognition."