FINAL-year fashion student Ruth Duff is taking her first steps towards what could be a glittering career when she exhibits her stunning new fabric designs at the esteemed Elderkoort Exhibition in Milan.

The 21-year-old, who is studying textiles design at Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels, will jet out to the fashion capital for the event which runs from Tuesday, April 12, to Sunday, April 17.

It is part of Milan's Furniture Fair, taking place at the prestigious Spazio Gianfranco Ferre in Milan and is the mastermind of trend forecaster and design curator, Lidewij Edelkoort.

Edelkoort is showcasing the freshest new design talent from across Europe as part of her ongoing initiative to promote textile design education and Ruth has been selected as one of eighteen young graduates to exhibit their work.

"Being chosen to go to Milan and exhibit my work with one of the most influential people in design is a dream come true," said Ruth. "This is a major opportunity for me and one that I hope leads to a future and a career in this industry. I have had a fantastic time over the past four years at Heriot-Watt in Galashiels and now I¹m ready for the hard work to really begin." The designs on show at the Elderkoort Exhibition include textiles, rugs, curtains, lighting, accessories and upholdstered furniture. The graduate designers are supported by Skillset, British Fashion Council, UK Fashion & Textile Association and Textprint.

Mark Parker, programme director of Design for Textiles, Heriot-Watt University¹s School of Textiles and Design said: "Ruth's designs are extremely creative and innovative. She works hard and has stayed very focused throughout her studying at Heriot-Watt. This is a brilliant opportunity for her to show the skills she has learnt over the past four years in weaving and printing.

"Her designs are very individual yet suited to a commercial market and I envisage her having a successful future in the textiles industry." Ruth will also be exhibiting her work as part of the Heriot-Watt University's Annual Exhibition and Fashion Show (20-25 June) at the Dovecot in Edinburgh.