An autistic teenager, from Hurstpierpoint, who wants to tackle bullying in schools is the youngest designer to take part in next week’s Brighton Fashion Week.
With his new collection ‘Revolution of Bravery’, Isaac Raymond, 17, aims to raise awareness about young people’s mental health which is often neglected by society.
The talented teenager will display his work on Friday (October 16), which will be filmed and featured in a BBC documentary next month, after eight months of exclusively filming Isaac’s work.
He said: “It’s a great way to get the word out to talk about these issues and empower people with mental illness, telling them not to hide, to talk about it and not feel to be judged.”
Isaac wants to show a personal point of view on bullying, particularly when talking about autism.
He added: “I think there is a stigma around autism, some people that aren’t so well educated about it and see it’s a restriction.”
BFW Mananging PR Jantina Konchale said: “His work is influenced by being bullied at school and his completely turned it around from something negative to something positive.”
Miss Konchale, 28, explained how the event is a platform for emerging new designers to display their talent and passion and kickstart their career in the world of fashion.
She said: “It’s incredible how far he’s come so quickly, he’s really made a name for himself.”
Despite being diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of seven, Isaac nurtured his talent with textiles and quickly learned to sew from his mum, Melanie O’Riordan, who also has autism.
It’s a great way to get the word out to talk about these issues and empower people with mental illness
Ms O’Riordan, 54, said: “Because of my Asperger’s I didn’t have the courage to go to college, but I’m so glad Isaac is getting his opportunity and that I can help him doing what he loves.”
Isaac, who dreams of setting up his own commercial label in London, said: “I started when I was 12 and was wrapping fabrics on mannequins and I remember getting quite frustrated, because I couldn’t create the image I had in my mind.”
His talent was soon spotted by Caroline Gration, founder of the Fashion School in Brighton, who became his mentor.
As an avid campaigner, Isaac’s have raised thousands of pounds for charities including BBC’s Children In Need.
‘Revolution of Bravery’ will be also displayed in London on Saturday June 4 2016 at his solo exclusive Catwalk Show in aid of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation- the pop queen’s charity that empowers youth globally.
Isaac said: “As a designer I can help and give money to charities in a way to show support and bring wider population and the fashion industry to work together.”
“That way that we can put a stop to bullying and segregation of mental illness.”
‘Revolution of Bravery’ will be displayed at the Zeitgeist Catwalk show on Friday October 16 at All Saints Church, Hove.
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