Fashion Design students create innovative uniform designs for national housing developer Avant Homes

Four students were awarded cash prizes and could see elements of their designs incorporated into new uniforms for the UK-wide Avant Homes sales team

Nadia Hodges, Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, Victoria Zhao and Mark Mitchell
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Nadia Hodges, Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, Victoria Zhao and Mark Mitchell

Four students on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at Nottingham Trent University have recently been awarded prizes by Avant Homes for working on designs for new staff uniforms.

As one of the UK’s leading privately-owned housebuilders, Avant Homes is pioneering change in the industry. From the way it designs homes to the way its sales team looks and feels, the Avant Homes ethos is built on “leading rather than following, and on providing lifestyle experiences unlike any other”.

With this in mind, Avant Homes approached NTU as a leading provider of Fashion Design education in the UK, with a live brief proposition for Year One students. The objective of the competition was to design a comprehensive uniform range for the sales and customer teams, reflecting the Avant attitude, mind-set and the innovative, market-leading style of their product.

Fifteen students entered the competition, developing lines of menswear and womenswear, and taking on board challenging considerations, such as a wide variety of sizing requirements, durability of fabrics and abilities to withstand diverse working environments. The students responded through creating comprehensive portfolios including mood boards, colour palettes, print ideas and fabric proposals.

Following a  judging process, four students were chosen as winners of the competition. Victoria Zhao was named overall winner, and received £2000. In second place was Nadia Hodges, who was awarded £1000. Due to the high standards, the judges decided on a joint third and fourth place, adding more prize money to the competition; Isabelle Pennington-Edmead and Gemma Thompson both received £500.

Victoria Zhao in the fashion design studios
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Victoria Zhao in the fashion design studios

Victoria was surprised and delighted to be named winner. “I am very appreciative that Avant Homes liked my designs”, she said. “I enjoyed  working on this project because I am interested in both hand drawing design processes, and digital design processes.”

On the skills she developed as a result of being involved in the live project, she said: “I improved my computer illustration skills the most, and learned how to consider specific customer requests, as part of a full brief, while still keeping my design style.”

Avant Homes’ group operating officer, Mark Mitchell, came to NTU earlier this month to present the prizes to the students in front of the whole year group.

Mark said: “When it came to thinking about redesigning the uniforms for our sales team we knew we wanted a look that would set our staff apart from others and be as unique as our homes are. As a business we are constantly challenging convention and daring to be different so collaborating with the NTU fashion department seemed like the perfect fit.

“A lot of time and thought went into the project and I’d like to congratulate everyone who participated. We were thrilled with the winning ideas and these will now be handed over to our supplier who will work to incorporate the designs into our new uniforms.”

Fashion Design students create innovative uniform designs for national housing developer Avant Homes

Published on 29 November 2017
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Culture; School of Art & Design

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