Winning Design Has Specs Appeal
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
AN OPTICIAN'S receptionist from East Kilbride is pursuing her love of fashion design after winning a national competition to design a new uniform for Specsavers staff.
Caroline Faulds was the only Scottish finalist out of 50 entries nationwide to make it through to the grand final of the competition for the high street opticians.
A panel of judges, including stylist Gok Wan, presenter of Channel Four's How To Look Good Naked, were sent drawings, descriptions, mood boards and fabric samples from budding designers. After much deliberation they were unable to decide between Caroline's black suit with mandarin collar and contrasting red blouse and one other entry.
The 20-year-old, who works as a receptionist with Specsavers in East Kilbride, was finally announced co-winner of the UK competition, tying with an entry from a Specsavers store in Leeds.
Caroline's prize is an invitation to the star-studded 2010 Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in November and the chance to see her design influence the uniform of thousands of Specsavers staff in stores across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Creative Caroline, who studied fashion design at Cardonald College, already has her sights fixed on her next fashion challenge.
She says: 'This is the first time I've entered my designs into a competition but it definitely won't be the last. I plan to take my design ideas even further in the future. I've really enjoyed the whole experience and it is so exciting to be Scotland's winner! Knowing Gok Wan likes my designs is a real confidence boost. I can't wait to meet him at the Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards.'
Specsavers retail communications manager Susannah Hart says: 'Specsavers staff have really impressed the competition judges with their enthusiasm and creativity. There is really no limit to their imaginations! The current store uniform has been with us for four years and we're very much looking forward to our new look rolling out in 2011.'
Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers (www.specsavers.co.uk)
Specsavers notes to editors
- Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
- The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
- Specsavers has more than 1,480 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
- Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.4 billion in 2009/10
- Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.
- Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
- Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eighth year running by Reader's Digest in 2009
- Greater than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * - 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009
- Specsavers share by volume of the total optical market (including retailers that are not opticians) is 34%. Our share of the opticians market is 39%.*
- Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
- Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
- Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. During their three year support for Diabetes UK they raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
- Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries. Specsavers stores across Britain have raised more than £300,000 in 2009 to fund a dedicated eyecare clinic and teaching facility in Zambia supported by Vision Aid Overseas. Stores will raise an additional £300,000 to continue the project.
*GfK NOP (Sept 2009)