Former Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil Georgie Laurenson is one step closer to pursuing her dream of designing clothes and owning her own fashion label.
She has been awarded an outstanding scholarship in technology after creating a buoyancy jacket for teenagers in year 13 design last year.
Pupils bidding for the scholarship had to come up with a fashion design and do an 64-page report about it.
The design needed to be sustainable, eco-friendly and practical.
Only 10 of the scholarships are offered in New Zealand.
The lifejacket was designed to help teenagers stay safe in the water and also remove the stigma of wearing a lifejacket, Ms Laurenson said.
She came up with the idea after she had a friend that could not swim.
“We’d always go to the beach but she never wanted to wear a lifejacket because it’s embarrassing,” she said.
Throughout the year, the jacket went through several design stages.
“[It was] basically trial and error the whole year.”
The jacket is made out of neoprene fabric and lycra material.
Ms Laurenson said she was overcome with emotion and cried tears of joy after finding out about the scholarship.
“It was just so much hard work I had put into it last year, and so much stress, that it was amazing to find out I had one of the 10 scholarships in the country,” she said.
Her parents were also excited about the award.
“My mum and dad were just over the moon because they knew how much hard work I put into it.”
Ever since she could remember, Ms Laurenson had been a big fan of fashion.
“When I was little, my aunty and my mum had a lot of influence on my clothes.
“From about the age of 5 or 6, I’d go shopping up in Auckland down all the big high streets up there.”
Ms Laurenson has started a three-year fashion course at Otago Polytechnic.
Although she won the scholarship with her design, she was not completely satisfied with the lifejacket.
“If I was to do another one, I’d still change a few things.”
Ms Laurenson said she was keen to work on the jacket further, possibly in the third year of her studies.
“It would be cool to carry it on and make it consumer-ready,” she said.