Are you Swansea’s most stylish shopper?

On Thursday, 29 May, an exciting new fashion event will be heading to Swansea’s Quadrant centre – Swansea’s Most Stylish Shopper, writes Nanette Turkson.

The event, which is the first of its kind in Swansea, will give residents a chance to showcase their flair for fashion in the hope of being dubbed Swansea’s most stylish shopper.

A hamper of prizes, courtesy of the Quadrant centre’s top fashion retailers, will be awarded to the winner.

I will be on the judging panel alongside former Miss Wales Sara Manchipp and further judges to be announced, to help whittle the competing candidates down to the final fashionable select few.

From there the winner will be decided by public vote. The final contestants’ pictures will be uploaded on the Quadrant shopping centre’s Facebook page, and the public will then decide who should be crowned Swansea’s Most Stylish Shopper.

I spoke to Ceidiog PR, the public relations firm behind the event, and you can read below what I had to say about the fashion scene at Swansea University and why I think students in Swansea lead the way in defining the city’s fashion.

The search is on for Swansea’s most stylish shopper – and a stylish student will be helping choose the winner.

It’s a competition being run by the city’s own centre of style and fashion, Swansea’s main shopping centre, the Quadrant and the winner will pick up an impressive package of prizes courtesy of the centre’s top retailers.

Joining the judging panel will be student newspaper The Waterfront’s fashion editor, second year Politics, Philosophy and Law student Nanette Turkson who reckons Wales’s city by the bay has its own distinctive fashion scene.

Nanette, 21, a dedicated enthusiast of fashion from an early age, will be joined on the judging panel by another local young woman with a feeling for style, former Miss Wales Sara Manchipp.

Londoner Nanette is looking forward to seeing Swansea’s most stylish strut their stuff when the day of fashion reckoning comes, Thursday, May 29, in the Quadrant.

She said: “Swansea has a large student population and they certainly play a large part in defining the city’s style. The student body here has an eclectic style with a good mix of fashions.

“The students are very diverse, they come from all over the UK and the world and that mix of different styles and cultures is well represented within the fashion choices of students here in Swansea.

“Swansea is a sporty city, very outdoorsy too and that’s reflected in the students here too, as sport is also very well celebrated and practiced within the university, many of the boys in particular tend to favour more of the high street sport inspired brands such as Superdry.

“Also Wales in general is extremely passionate about rugby, so that influence is also reflected in a lot of the style choices, there’s also quite a clear “surfer style” too seeing as we located right here on the coast.

“With the girls there’s more of a mix, ranging from casual to vintage, there tends to be more variety amongst the girls’ style and they tend to push the boundaries of style further than the boys, but girls in general have more choice of clothing to pick from than boys, so that is to be expected.”

Nanette is expecting a good student turnout on the day when a photographer will be in the Quadrant to get pictures of Swansea’s best dressed and most fashionable.

She said: “It will be good to see what Swansea has to offer and hopefully the students will show that being stylish isn’t always about spending a lot of money on each and every trend that comes your way, but more about developing a personal style.

“I am sure that the prize will definitely help out a student on a budget, and even those not necessarily on a budget, as every student loves a freebie!”

Ian Kirkpatrick, manager of the Quadrant Shopping Centre, said: “Swansea is a very vibrant and youthful city and the student population play a major part in that.

“But there are plenty of stylish people of all ages who shop here in the Quadrant and it is very much a place to be seen and to meet people in Swansea so where better to find the city’s most stylish shoppers.

“We’re really looking forward to the event and the competition and there’s sure to be a fabulous selection of prizes for the winner.”

The judges will be playing an important part in the competition – they’ll be shortlisting the candidates from pictures taken by photographer Adam Davies – but then it will be down to the public.

The pictures will go on display on the Quadrant Facebook page and it will be the public vote that decides the winner and the title of Swansea’s Most Stylish Shopper.

Nanette is hoping to carve out a career in the fashion industry after graduating next year and she has gained some valuable experience in the meantime.

She said: “Fashion has always been a major interest of mine from a fairly young age and it’s always been something I foresee myself going into career wise.

“I plan to work within the fashion industry, I particularly enjoy the more hands on and creative roles within it, this being fashion styling.

“I’ve enjoyed working on fashion shoots and also writing about fashion for The Waterfront and also on various internship placements I’ve had.

“One of my current internship placements has been assisting a freelance fashion stylist, which partly involves assisting her on editorial shoots as well as attending the London Fashion Week shows and  events.

“I have also contributed to her blog which has been great experience, and has definitely reinforced my desire to work in the fashion industry once I graduate!”

• For the latest on Swansea’s Most Stylish Shopper go to www.facebook.com/QuadrantShoppingCentre.

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