A GIFTED artist from St Helens is taking the Big Apple’s fashion world by storm.
Samantha Smith, who picked up the coveted Stuart Sutcliffe Award upon completing her degree, has been commissioned to dress the windows of the world-famous Bergdorf Goodman store as part of New York Fashion Week.
Together with artist Mark Gagnon, the ex-Rainhill High and St Helens College pupil created 11 paper sculpture outfits and silhouettes to represent each decade of fashion since the store first opened its doors in 1901.
Samantha, 45, first visited New York in 1997 after completing a degree in fine art at Liverpool John Moores University.
The Stuart Sutcliffe Award enabled her to travel across the pond to pursue her career as an artist and after being offered a three-month internship at Artists Space - a not-for-profit gallery in Soho - she made her mind up that New York was the place to be.
But, despite enjoying nothing better than a stroll around the Metropolitan Museum with a sketch book in her hand, she admits she still misses Rainhill, walking the dogs with her mum, Judy, cups of tea and “proper” gin and tonics!
Samantha, who has also worked on knitted window displays, hand embroidered illustrations for magazines and hand-sewn puppets for an animation company, said: “When I left Rainhill High in 1983 I had a lack of job direction, but my parents suggested that I go to art college.
“So I completed a two-year Foundation in Art and Design at St Helens College where my love of art was nurtured and allowed to flourish by some inspirational tutors.
“I began my fashion education at the York college of art in 1985 and, after a successful two years in Fashion Design, my final collection was sponsored by Liberty’s of London and exhibited in their showcase windows.
“I then returned to Rainhill to work at the Citadel Arts Centre for a time before going on to university.”