A fashion designer whose outfits now grace some of the world’s leading runways and celebrities was presented with the Entrepreneur honour at Fusion 2018.

The ceremony held in the Concert Hall at King George’s Hall Blackburn was attended by guests from across the North West. The 2018 ceremony was hosted by Noreen Khan.

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He was presented the award by Rizwana Adam, Community Project Director at Community Enterprise and Skills and Amir Shafiq from Enterprise4all Limited.

Since the age of 16 Bilal Patel has been producing high-end fashion but his route to success has not been easy.

He said, “Like anything, growing a business is like parenthood. The early years need a lot of commitment.

“The level of dedication and drive to succeed was the main fuel. Personally for me financial gains are a by-product of success.

“We constantly learnt from the market and till today we are learning. The change in the market is huge.”

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His brand Zefaith began in 2002 when Bilal was still a teenager.

His bespoke designs are inspired by the people he meets everyday. “Social media has been one of the biggest influences in my opinion.

“People don't need to wait for next months Vogue magazine, or Grazia runway edition. They know the trends from the runways and they understand how to use them without the need of guidance. Every woman knows her body and style.

“Markets have always been competitive, however, to own a couture house, is still very rare.

“The level of commitment required is much higher.”

He had this advice for any budding entrepreneurs, “Don't follow anybody else's footstep, create your own.

“You should inspire yourself and not be inspired by anybody else's success. You may fall but you need to learn to rise again stronger and wiser.

“And I would say chase success and not money. Successful businesses are those who have loyal customers and a reputation in the market.”

Speaking of the award he said, “It is a great honour to be part of the Fusion Awards.

“To see a room full of people with immense talent and dedication in whatever they do, to see people of all culture, faiths and professions out to celebrate an evening of achievements. Thank you.”