A SELKIRK student has scooped first prize in a national design competition.

Student Anna Cuinu, who studies at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, took top prize as winner of the Fashion category in the Designed for Business competition.

The competition was organised by the Society of British & International Design (SBID) and BE OPEN, a creative think-tank, to showcase emerging talent, promote equal opportunities and nurture relationships between students and the working world.

Anna was awarded £1000 first prize at the awards ceremony, held in the Members’ Dining Room at the House of Commons, London last Thursday. On winning the award Anna said: “It feels amazing to win. The credibility of the awards will really help my CV and has given me so much more confidence as I start to plan my career.”

The ceremony was the culmination of a six-month-long judging process to assess the projects submitted by university students in their final year. The entries were judged by a panel of top names from the creative industries including key representatives from companies including Sebastian Conran Associates, Amazon UK, Christie’s Education, John Lewis, Amara, HG Designworks and VitrA, as well as creative educators from a number of leading universities.

Anna’s entry was a collection of contemporary, trans-seasonal knitwear aimed at the two million-plus people living with sight loss in the UK. All the garments incorporate wooden ‘Feelipa’ buttons as a tactile marker to communicate each garment’s colour.

Hundreds of students from 93 universities submitted their final year’s course work to SBID and BE OPEN to one of five categories: Product Design; Art & Design; Fashion; Interior Design and Interior Decoration.

BE OPEN founder Elena Baturina said: “The Designed for Business Student competition is all about celebrating the talent, aspirations, and tenacity of the young artists and designers, whose creativity will define our future for years to come. I created BE OPEN because I wanted a platform from which to support and encourage the fantastic creative talent that I see all around me, yet, which often struggles to find a connection to the commercial world. BE OPEN, working with SBID intends to change that.”

SBID founder Dr Vanessa Brady added: “The competition was created to engage the world of employment with design students who are eager to get themselves and their work within their chosen industry. It is also a great opportunity for universities to showcase the talent their courses are shaping. We’re delighted with the number of entries overall and especially the turn out tonight.”