Coventry graduate launches new fashion range with backing from The Prince’s Trust
Tuesday 09 April 2013
The Princes Trust is backing a new business set up by a fashion graduate from Coventry School of Art and Design.
Claire Maley, 24,who graduated from Coventry University with a first class degree in fashion back in November 2011, launched her urban sports clothing brand CM in August last year and has now been accepted onto The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme.
As a student, Claire developed an interest in the use of digital print technology. Focusing on this for her second year project, she gained a commendation from the Royal Society of Arts and it was this success that spurred her on to produce her own range of clothing range specialising in digital print.
Keen to set up her very own label, Claire attended a four day self-employment course with The Princes Trust, after which she was assigned a mentor to help her develop a business plan.
In February this year, Claire was invited to formally present her plan to members of the Princes Trust’s Enterprise Programme. Usually, applicants have to wait 48 hours to hear if they have been successful but the panel which interviewed Claire was so impressed by her proposals that they decided there and then to accept her onto the programme.
Straddling the worlds of sports and fashion, CM offers clothing that can be worn from the gym to the street with style. Not for the feint hearted, every piece is digitally printed in the UK on high quality sports fabric and designed and hand crafted by Claire herself.
Claire has already found a dedicated stockist in Olney based independents POP the fashion store and she is now working with her mentor from The Princes Trust who will offer her essential business advice as well as publicity and marketing support over the next two years.
Claire Maley of CM Digital Sports Fashion said:
I was really excited about launching my own clothing range but starting a business is something of a journey into the unknown so I’m really grateful for the support I’m now receiving from The Prince’s Trust.
I’m also thankful to everyone at Coventry University for their help and support. I wouldn’t change my experience there for the world. The fashion course covers such a broad subject area and the technology at hand was invaluable and helped me think to the future and contend with industry designs.
The tutor support throughout my time there also really helped me develop my skills but also my design personality; their guidance aided me in pushing my skills to their best.
Ann Muirhead, head of fashion at Coventry University, said:
It’s always pleasing to see our graduates succeed and Claire has done fantastically well both to set up on her own and to secure backing for her business from The Prince’s Trust. I know their enterprise programme is very competitive so she’s done brilliantly to secure a place on it.
She’s a very talented and determined girl but her success also reflects well on the quality of her training here at Coventry University. We like to think we’ve played a part in helping her to get to where she is today.
Claire is one of our first graduates to have set up a business but many others have gone on to work for major players in the world of fashion. We’ve also had students from our fashion degree attending major shows and taking part in and winning high-profile competitions.
Their achievements are helping to establish Coventry as a conveyor belt of creative talent in the fashion industry.