The Textile Institute bridges the gap
At the recent Design means Business exhibition in London, held at the UK's Government Treasury building in Westminster, new designers from all areas of textiles, clothing and footwear were given the opportunity to raise their own and their universities reputation within industry.
Different in emphasis from many end-of-year graduate shows, the objective of the exhibition is to enable executives, designers and technologists from industry and retail to understand what the colleges can do and are doing to promote design in the business environment, providing a way to bridge the gap between education and industry.
Over 250 industry representatives attended the event that was organised by The Textile Institute Design Special Interest Group under the Chairmanship of Professor Clare Johnston of the Royal College of Art and supported by Lord Haskel a past world president of the Institute.
Speeches were given by Lord Haskel who opened the event, Designer, Anne Tyrell and the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Sassoon. As a design consultant Anne's clients have included Nike, John Lewis, House of Fraser, The Orient Express, JCB, British Rail and London Underground. Three or four graduates from each Corporate Member college are invited to participate.
This year graduates from the University of Northumbria; Kingston University; London College of Fashion; Royal College of Art, School of Fashion and Textiles; DeMontfort University; University of the Creative Arts at Rochester; Central St Martins College of Art and Design; Nottingham Trent University and Manchester Metropolitan University, provided visitors with an exciting insight into the work being undertaken at the universities and revealed the high level and quality of design work coming out of UK Universities and students.
A prize was awarded to the student with the most innovative design, the judging panel included Sue Chorley, Marks and Spencer consultant for trends and lifestyle; John Wilson, chairman of The Textile Institute and Andreas Weber, world president of The Textile Institute.
This year's winning design student was Alice Early from Kingston University. Alice's prize was presented by Andreas and Lord Sassoon.
All students were awarded membership of The Textile Institute and Alice was additionally offered the opportunity to participate in this year's Centenary Conference taking place in Manchester in November.
This year's event was supported by HM Treasury and was sponsored by the Clothworkers Company, an ancient City of London Livery Company that aims to promote textiles and charitable work; Alvanon, providers of integrated fit solutions for the apparel industry; Aurora Fashions, the owner of high end fashion chains, Coast, Karen Millen, Warehouse and Oasis; and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), a UK based organisation that aims to bring together those in business, research, trade associations, the financial market, and academia with others in the materials community.