LA to Liverpool – Mersey designer returns to his roots

A big-name fashion designer from Liverpool has flown home from L.A. to mentor the next generation of style kings and queens.

Liverpool-born Shaun Kearney paid a visit to Rare School of Fashion, a new fashion design school on Duke Street that he co-founded in September 2015. The school, which is a registered charity, gives young people high-level fashion schooling from industry insiders, and provides students with a way into their dream industry through generous scholarship schemes.

Shaun, who was born in Whiston, was determined to make a name for himself in fashion design despite not being from a style background. He worked tirelessly throughout his time at university studying Fashion and picked up several international awards, including the top prize for the 1995 GIFU World fashion student contest in Japan.

After graduating he moved to New York, where he carved out a name for himself in big-name fashion, designing clothes for brands such as DKNY, Kenneth Cole and Maxmara. Over the years he has produced clothing for A-list stars such as Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway.

In 2011, the Council of Fashion Designers of America recognised his influence in the world of designer fashion and invited him to join their ranks. He is currently the executive vice president of Fabletics, an LA-based label founded by actress Kate Hudson and worn by the likes of Taylor Swift.

Shaun Kearney, co-founder of Rare School of Fashion and Vice President of Fabletics, said:

“I wanted to launch Rare School of Fashion in order to give something back to my hometown, and to establish Liverpool’s place on the international fashion map. The city has so many young fashion devotees, but there seemed to be a lack of opportunity.

“That’s what I want to overcome with Rare School of Fashion. I want this to be a powerhouse of young, fresh industry talent: a place recognised for its originality, authority and quality.

“I really enjoyed coming into the school and critiquing the brilliant work that is being produced and inspiring the students to keep on improving. I’m going to carry on mentoring them, and encourage them to learn the skills, stay creative, and help them find their unique sense of style.

“Together, we’re going to show the world that you don’t need to be born in Manhattan or Milan to make it big in the world of fashion. Under the guidance of the team of designers at Rare School of Fashion, I am confident that they are going to go far. The competition is no doubt fierce, but not as fierce as their drive to succeed.”

Rare School of Fashion was setup by Michelle Faulkner and Lindsay Inglesby, the team behind Rare Studio, a sister institute that teaches performing arts. They started Rare Studio and Rare School of Fashion to provide a gateway into the industry for young people faced with a lack of opportunity. The school is managed by Clare Wilson from Nook and Willow and a full team of local designers experienced in the industry.

Michelle Faulkner, Director of Rare Studio and Rare School of Fashion, said:

“Rare School of Fashion launched in September last year and we’re thrilled at how it’s going so far. Our young people are full of such ambition, and every day they are pushing themselves to design ground-breaking work.

“Inspired by our team of fashion industry insiders, I know that they will continue to produce original fashion designs that will get their names known in the industry. We’re expecting big things from our students, and we’re delighted that we can play a part in shaping their future.”

Rare School of Fashion is based on Duke Street, and is dedicated to raising the next generation of Liverpool fashion talent.

They offer a two year full time Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design – Fashion for 16-18 year olds which is fully funded by Broadgreen International School. They also have a private course for students over 18. Many full or partial means-tested scholarships are available for this course.

When looking for their students, they look only for how well they can produce original ideas, not how well they can pay the fees.

Requirements for admission are: a minimum of 5 GCSEs (grade C or above in Maths and English), a portfolio of design (fashion designs not essential) and an ambition for the fashion industry. Young people wishing to discover more are encouraged to get in touch with the school by sending an email to

There will be an open day coming up soon.

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