With just over a month to go before entries close for this year’s ELLE Rising Star Design Awards so we thought it a good time to catch up with the 2013 winner, Nicholas Coutts.

ELLE: Life after winning ELLE Rising star?

My career sky rocketed from the minute I won ELLE Rising Star! The amazing opportunities and experiences were both gratifying and invaluable. It has given me a chance to represent who I am as a designer, and the confidence to create and be fearless when it comes to aesthetic.

ELLE: Any tips when submitting storyboards….?

Firstly, your work must be of the highest standard. Cohesion is key and it must make sense.

The fabric swatches and your illustrations must correspond and compliment each other. Put a lot of time into the preparation and try not to rush.

ELLE: What was your inspiration…..?

The inspiration for my Elle Rising Star range was ‘strength versus fragility’. I was inspired by modern crafts and it was all about contrast and effortless comfort.

ELLE: Best advice during the competition?

‘You are only as good as your last collection’

ELLE: What did ELLE Rising Star teach you about building your brand?

The ELLE Rising Star Design Awards taught me that not only are you designing clothes, you are designing a lifestyle. It also taught me to be more confident, fearless and to respect what people say about your work – good or bad. And, to accept criticism and make it work to your advantage.

ELLE: Any tips for designers entering this year?

I just want to emphasise that you must take your time, do not rush, sleep on it. At the end of the day, this is a masterpiece!

Have you entered #ELLERisingStar yet? If you haven’t, ENTER HERE now.