A fashion designer from Ilkeston who is taking the catwalk world by storm has won a special commission from the High Sheriff of Nottingham.
After a recent encounter, Sheriff Judy Naake was so impressed by Michael Wallace and his work that she has taken a personal interest in his designs.
Michael, 26, won a Dragons’ Den-style contest run by the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation in January, where Judy was among the judges who labelled him the next Paul Smith.
He said: “I was telling the judges about the wedding dresses I make and about the time I sewed my grandma’s name into my cousin’s wedding dress—and now the Sheriff wants me to make her a dress.”
Judy, who built the £70million St Tropez fake tan empire, knows a thing or two about eye-catching style, and Michael’s designs caught the her attention as he pitched in front of seven top ‘angel investor’ businesswomen.
Of eight entrepreneurs who pitched to the panel, three were awarded grants.
Michael took four models with him who showcased six different looks from his latest collection.
He said: “I walked out of the presentation thinking it couldn’t have gone any better. I could tell by their reaction to the models and the fashion show that they were blown away.”
This week he was presented with his £3,000 prize at a ceremony in Nottingham’s Lace Market.
He plans to spend the money it on premises, promotion and a look book for his latest couture collection.
The designer already has a studio at Maltby Mill in Ilkeston and is scheduled to hold a fashion show there this year.
His label House of Michael Wallace has already proved a big hit at industry events including LA Fashion Week.
For more detail, see www.houseof-michaelwallace.com.