James, who graduated from the RCA in June 2014, has already made waves throughout the Fashion Industry, being featured on i-D, Dazed Digital, Vogue Online and in the Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase at LFW September 2014.
Chosen from over 200 applicants by a selection panel of industry heavyweights including Vogue Italia's Sara Maino, Fashion Scout founder and director Martyn Roberts and Hilary Alexander OBE, James Kelly will be sponsored by Fashion Scout for three seasons with a prize worth over £20,000.
The prize offers an unrivalled opportunity for sponsorship and has become known as a talent launch pad. Previous winners of the Merit Award have included, Eudon Choi, David Koma, Hermione De Paula, Georgia Hardinge and more recently Phoebe English and Xiao Li.
On the winner Hilary Alexander commented; "I was totally blown away by James Kelly's collection at the Royal College of Art gala earlier this year. Marvellous marriage of function, fashion and form; beautiful colours of midnight navy, deep forest green, pewter, with hand-dyed ostrich feathers. The models looked like birds of paradise flying through a storm."
James describes his womenswear as a myriad of elements combined together to created something new. Inspired by the strange, dreamy and ambiguous, James pioneers an exploration into outerwear and sportswear by deconstructing and distorting sports jackets and trench coats. The collection seeps texture, in the form of Stieff Alpaca Mohair and Ostrich feathers, which billow away from the models on the runway.
On winning the award, James celebrated; "I am completely blown away with the fact that I was chosen for the Merit Award. I'm so excited to be working on my new collection to be shown at Fashion Scout this February and am so thankful for the opportunity!"
Fashion Scout will take place during London Fashion Week from Friday 20th till Tuesday 24th February 2015, at the Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden. Alongside presenting the Merit Award Catwalk show and exhibition, Fashion Scout will hold over 30 catwalk shows and presentations in and an emerging designer exhibition.
A prominent fixture among the Paris Showrooms, Fashion Scout Paris will return featuring James Kelly and 21 of the brightest new fashion talents in March 2015. Fashion Scout Paris will be held at 23, Rue Du Roi De Sicile, Paris, 75004, from the 5th - 10th March 2015.
For industry ticket requests email firstname.lastname@example.org.