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Textile Design students see success with designer fabric and interiors brand ROMO

Second year students took part in a live project, with two winning students securing work experience placements

India Hesketh ROMO design
Work by India Hesketh

BA (Hons) Textile Design students have created luxury designs in a live project with the fabric and interiors brand ROMO. Based in Nottinghamshire, UK, the company is an international leader in the design and marketing of exclusive furnishing and upholstery fabrics, wallcoverings and trimmings. Romo Group products are sold in more than 70 countries worldwide.

A group of students were announced the winners, with two students Lucy Waldron and Lily Wadham securing placements at Romo, a fantastic opportunity to kick start their careers in textile design. The members of the winning team were Lucy Waldron, India Hesketh, Isabelle Traynor, Emma Ballantine and Olivia Powell.

The students received a brief to create an exciting and innovative collection based around the theme “Perspective”. Inspired by the events of 2020, the brand were looking for students to be optimistic, and reflect this through uplifting environments and designs commercially suitable for printed, woven and embroidered fabrics. The students also had to consider how their designs would align with Romo’s brand ‘Black Edition’.

Students were also invited to consider a variety of potential applications within the home using appropriate design scale and colouration, which students then displayed using a variety of visualisations.

Representatives from Romo commented on the strength of submissions received from NTU students: “We were really impressed by how the students responded to our live brief. The teams demonstrated strong concept development and understanding of the brand. Initial sketches and paintings were translated into a diverse range of commercial design ideas. The students delivered professional presentations and showed excellent team work throughout. It has been a great opportunity for Romo to discover emerging talent and we look forward to seeing how the students develop their skills over the next year when we see their graduate shows in 2022!”

Lucy Waldron told us how it feels to have secured a placement at Romo: "I was surprised and delighted to receive the Romo Placement and I could not have wished for a better team to work alongside with. We did as a team have our struggles but with our joint hard work we managed to overcome these and create something we are all really proud of."

ROMO Olivia Powell Silk
Work by Olivia Powell

The students worked collaboratively from their homes, working on their designs and presentation digitally. Member of the winning team Emma Ballantine commented: “Especially in lockdown it has been really great working collaboratively and I think our group really worked well with each other to overcome obstacles in the design process whilst creating digital simulations of fabrics.”

Olivia Powell added: “I'd say the best way to describe our experience of winning the Romo project is utterly surprising. At our interim presentation, we received some constructive criticism about our how our concept and design work wasn't in line with the Black Edition brand and then we simply set our hearts on receiving positive feedback in the final presentation. To then go on to be the winning group is testament to the hard work and effort put in by every member of our team to create our collection.”

India Hesketh told us: “I really enjoyed working on the Romo project and pushing my CAD skills. I was put with an amazing team that even though we had a bumpy start with the interim tutorial, we were able to push ourselves and learn from our feedback. It came quite a surprise to know we had won, it felt like an amazing achievement, knowing all our hard work of pushing ourselves had paid off.”

Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear lecturer Georgie Worker explained more about the live projects that form an integral part of our undergraduate courses: “The live projects on textile design are always a highly rewarding part of the course experience. Given the additional challenges the students are currently facing we were inspired by the resilience, determination and creativity shown throughout the project. A team-based project in lockdown, has given our students valuable experience of co ordinating and communicating targeted, creative responses to design briefs, and the value of effective teamwork. We are honoured to work with some of the best in the industry, and their generosity with their experience, time, and presenting opportunities, is appreciated and valued greatly.”

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