The Big Apple

Lockdown low and mental health charity, Mikeysline, leads to inverness designer's big break in the Big Apple

Lockdown isolation and the efforts of a mental health charity have inspired a young Inverness designer’s fashion collection which has won a place at the prestigious New York fashion week later this month.

Chloe Innes from Inverness was one of two international designers whose collections have been chosen to be featured on the catwalk at NYC fashion house Flying Solo’s show on the 13th of September 2020.

In the run up to World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on September the 10th, Fashion Week Online have partnered up with Highland mental health charity Mikeysline and Flying Solo to raise awareness about chronic loneliness, depression, and the importance of getting help. Although the competition was open to designers worldwide there was a focus this season on the Scottish Highlands after the American organisers learned of the area’s high suicide rate, particularly among young people. 

 

Heriot Watt graduate Chloe’s visionary designs are a tribute to the work Mikeysline does around the Highland area for those experiencing mental health issues. She told Fashion Week Online how her sustainable designs mirror the charity’s ethos:

“The clothes we wear are a statement of who we are as individuals. When we are trying to enforce a positive image about ourselves, our look should reflect who we want to be.

 

Organisations such as Mikeysline are integral for the future of the Highlands. We are living in a time where, now more than ever, it is important to have a positive support system around us. Percentages of loneliness are rising alarmingly quickly in Scotland, with 43% of 18-24-year olds reporting feelings of loneliness during lockdown.

My collection takes inspiration from my personal experience in lockdown. From the emotions I felt and how I dealt with them. In April I completed my 4 year-long degree alone in my childhood bedroom. It was not the ending I had always dreamed of; however, it was the ending I had. It left me with many anxious feelings about the future.”

Much-like Mikeysline, Chloe wants to spread a strong message across the Highlands and beyond: “I hope that this collection can bring about a positive change in raising awareness of the services available and bring hope and happiness to people through fashion.”

Mikeysline’s The Hive Crisis Drop-In Centre has recently re-opened at 19 Academy Street in Inverness after the coronavirus lockdown led to its temporary closure. It offers appointment and drop-in services for those experiencing mental health issues in the Highlands.

 

They also offer a text line service at 07779 303 303.