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Textile Design students set design challenge by Next, UK’s biggest fashion and lifestyle retailer

Second year students responded to an industry-level menswear apparel and accessories brief

The winning team with our visitors from Next
The winning team with our visitors from Next

Students in their second year of our BA (Hons) Textile Design course have been working on a creative brief for Next, one of the biggest fashion and lifestyle retailers in the UK. The students were challenged to create innovative concepts for printed, knitted and woven products for an Autumn/Winter 2019 menswear collection of apparel and accessories.

The students embarked on an initial research period, in which they explored Next’s wider market position as a leading fashion retailer, reflecting on the competitive nature of the market alongside current trends and aspirational brands. Throughout their research and concept development, students were tasked with considering Next’s core customer base, to ensure that designs resonate with a variety of customer profiles.

Students from Knit, Print, Embroidery and Weave specialisms within our Textile Design course responded to the live brief, leading to an impressive and diverse array of work. This included CAD illustrations, fabric samples, mood boards and final design visualisations.

The placement-winning students
The placement-winning students

Dulcie Dryden, Graphic Designer at Next, visited NTU to judge the live project submissions this month, along with other colleagues from Next. They named a winning team after lots of deliberation, which was made up of Siobhan Armitage, Madeleine Home, Ruth Foster, Katriona Hall and Jessica Hand. All the students in the winning team will get the chance to take up a work placement at Next’s head offices.

The standard of work was so high across the board that Dulcie and the team also awarded six individual students with placements: Ellie Gushlow, Georgia Hill, Lucy Lanni, Lily Pearson and Chelli Peonio.

Georgia Hill told us: “I feel very overwhelmed being awarded this opportunity, it’s such an uplifting feeling knowing my work and others’ work is good enough to be picked by high street designers. It shows that we can work at such a high level. I’m so proud of everyone who won the award, all the hard work, stress and days of working really paid off!”

Some of the students' live project work
Some of the students' live project work

She continued: “I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s behind the scenes and meeting the creators designing high street designs. Also hearing about their experience working with Next and what experience they have in the past will be really useful. But most of all I’m excited to gain skills which will help me to gain even more confidence in my design work.”

Madeleine Home also commented: “I was elated that our efforts working as a team paid off and I'm so excited to be able to have the experience of working in industry for such a well-known brand.”

Jess Hand told us: “I am proud to have been part of such a creative and diverse team of designers – this project has given us all the opportunity to work with Next and to see how this opens up possibilities for the future.”

Lucy Lanni added: "'I feel very fortunate to have been awarded a placement with Next and am incredibly excited to experience working in industry, in order to develop my knowledge in a professional environment."

Published on 1 February 2019
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Current students; School of Art & Design