Liverpool ready and rare-ing to go as fashion school gets set to launch

The team behind a new fashion school opening in Liverpool has finally been revealed, with some serious designer names on board.

The Rare School of Fashion is co-founded by Liverpool-born Shaun Kearney, the Vice-President of Design for Fabletics, an L.A. label set up by actress Kate Hudson. The brand is favoured by Pop-superstar Taylor Swift.


Clare Wilson, the head of popular local accessory brand Nook and Willow, will lead the course. The school has recently welcomed Matt Moore to the team, a London-based designer and one of the founders of ADYN. Rihanna, Jamie Fox, Tinie Tempah and other A-list celebrities have recently been seen flaunting ADYN gear.

Rare Studios is a growing Not-for-Profit Organisation that delivers high-level industry training to young people, particularly those with exceptional talent who struggle to access conventional further education. The opening of The Rare School of Fashion marks a bold new direction for the Studio.

The course grants all successful students between the ages of 16-18 a BTEC level three qualification, which is fully funded in collaboration with Broadgreen International School. For those over eighteen, a private course is available. Fees are means-tested and based around what they can honestly afford. The school is also in a position to offer a fully funded scholarship to one talented student above the age of eighteen.

Clare Wilson, head of Nook and Willow, said:

‘I’m excited to see what the young talent of the city have to offer, and to guide them through the process of turning their ideas into something that looks great and people can wear. Liverpool has a reputation of being very style-conscious, and I think it’s a great climate for young designers. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

Local designer Kirsty Doyle will be joining the Rare School of Fashion faculty, as will Benna Harry, a well-respected jeweller. Benna runs her own online jewellery business, selling exclusive accessories and jewellery worldwide.

Joanne Watkinson, a stylist who assisted in the setup of Very Exclusive, will also be teaching classes at the Studio’s base on Wood Street. Joanne is a member of the British Fashion Council Committee, and helps arrange the schedule for London Fashion Week.

The course syllabus covers all aspects of the industry, including hands-on design, theory and business. Students will have the opportunity to showcase their work on an in-house catwalk, with a large public show scheduled for the end of the year.

Michelle Faulkner, director and principal of Rare School of Fashion and Rare Studio Liverpool said:

“It’s an honour to team up with some of the world’s most respected designers, and we’re all looking forward to cementing Liverpool’s place on the fashion map. We’ve also got some guest speakers and lecturers involved that we’re really excited about.

“In everything we’ve done so far with the performing arts school, we’ve focused on nurturing the talent of young people who’ve had difficulty accessing high-level training. Me and my business partner Lindsay Inglesby are going to continue to exercise these values in the Rare School of Fashion, giving exceptionally talented young people a shot in the industry of their dreams.

“We’re currently on the lookout for fresh young talent, and urge young people to come forward and apply. It’s the first step towards a thriving career, and we’re delighted to be able to offer it.”

Rare School of Fashion IS currently hosting interviews for their first ever set of students. The start date for the course is 21st September. Places are limited, and one lucky applicant will receive a full scholarship. 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

Follow @RareFashionSch on Twitter.

Interviews and additional images are available, upon request.

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