Throughout secondary school we had a school year that was lathered with consistent praise, oh how special we were, the potential unlimited!
I’m fairly confident that most of you reading this will be able to relate, and it wasn’t until a recent trip to London that I started to realise in actual fact, I was part of a pretty exceptional school year.
From doctors and vets to UN translators, children’s charity founders and cutting-edge fashion designers, my school year is quite simply, the best for its age!
To contextualise it for the youth among us, we would have been the St Ninian’s “Class of ’06” (or ’08 for those that stuck around for a bit of sixth form).
Now this isn’t going to be some reminiscent piece about water fights in the common room or losing the senior football shield final for the 3rd year in a row…No, I wanted to profile some of the incredible successes from my amazing school year.
So where better to start than with someone so relevant you probably haven’t even heard of her before…
Introducing; Bethany William. Bethany is a pioneering British menswear designer, who is committed to exploring social and environmental change within her work, working with marginalised parts of society to bring about positive change and social enterprise.
Smiling her way through Murray’s Road (Scoill yn Jubilee in 2018 speak) and St Ninian’s High School, Bethany was one of the crazies that hung around for sixth form. At that point, Beth’s creative streak became more of an inferno – with a foundation year at the Isle of Man College, a BA in Critical Fine Art Practice at Brighton University, followed up with entry to complete her Masters at the London College of Fashion, which Beth duly completed in 2016.
“So Bethany, that’s quite a long and illustrious education that has required almost 10 years worth of hard work! How important has your education been in your recent success?”
“My education has been incredibly important to me and my work. It all began with Mrs. Rotherow and Mr. Mason, my art teachers at St Ninian’s who were incredible and encouraged me to do the Art Foundation at the Isle of Man College, which completely changed my direction.”
“It’s a brave move to pack up and cruise down to Brighton to further your education, I mean could you have actually gotten any further from the Island?”
“Going down to Brighton was extremely scary! But being next to the sea made me feel like I was at home. I did my BA in Critical Fine Art Practice at Brighton University. The course gave me my interest in critical theory, which is the foundation of my work.”
“Amazing! So you have started hitting some dizzy heights hosting talks at the Victoria & Albert Museum, had multiple front cover features in Vogue, and now a partnership with a host of incredible designers including Vivienne Westwood to raise awareness around climate change, #GreenGang! What does the future look like for Bethany Williams?”
“It has been a crazy year, but I’m very excited for what lays ahead. It’s been amazing to be given the support of all the publications and institutions such as the V&A and the Tate. At the minute, I’m just working on all the production for the orders I have received, which has been very hard work! I’m now working with a charity called the Quaker Mobile Library – a library that supplies books to the homeless.
What many don’t know is that if you are homeless in the UK, you are not allowed to borrow books from the library because you don’t have a fixed address. This bus operates in three shelters and supplies them with books. They are not just giving away free books, they are teaching responsibility in a way, because you have to come and bring those books back at some point. I am trying to find a way to work with them, because for me it is crucial not to interrupt systems by getting involved.”
New feature for @vogueparis thanks so much for the support! Kris from @tihmodels wears recycled electrical tape jacket hand woven by @textile_sanpatrignano an amazing organisation which supports the rehabilitation of thousands of people in Italy #bethanywilliams #lfwm #pfw #handwoven #recycled #handmade
If you want to keep up with Bethany’s incredible rise then flip on over to her Instagram @bethany_williams_london and give her some love.