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Fashion Design students see success working with Paul Smith Japan

Students worked on a live brief with the company to design a menswear concept, with the winners receiving work experience with Paul Smith

Kyle Kyuyong Jeong winning design for Paul Smith Japan
Kyle Kyuyong Jeong's winning designs were based on a London Transport concept

Final year BA (Hons) Fashion Design students had the opportunity to work with an iconic global brand renowned for its classic cutting and quirky detailing. The Paul Smith Japan Collection menswear label, encompasses classic tailoring with eccentric prints, and enabled students the opportunity to work internationally and design for the Japanese market.

The students designed for the Autumn/Winter 21/22 season, firstly researching and producing a market report into the Paul Smith Japan Collection menswear range. They then used this research to develop their own concept and designs. Students produced 30 illustrated designs including close-up detailing, fabric swatches and samples as well as a final line up of 6 outfits.

Kyle Kyuyong Jeong and Kirsty Lenihan were announced as the joint winners of the project, with Jessie Craddock as runner up. The winners will receive a placement working at Paul Smith Ltd in Nottingham and fabric from their warehouse for the final collection, which is a fantastic opportunity to help them launch their careers.

Kyle Kyuyong Jeong told us how it felt to win: “I still can't believe I’m the winner! I created a London transport concept for the Paul Smith Japan Competition, and really enjoyed the design development. It was especially interesting to see the process of combining different cultures and markets into one and doing market research on the classic British brand, Paul Smith and the Japanese market.

I'm still surprised to be first place. Thanks to this project, I feel like I’ve really enjoyed working from home during this lockdown period. I’m so proud to be a fashion design student at NTU.”

Jessie Craddock's Paul Smith Designs
Runner up Jessie Craddock's designs

Kirsty Lenihan also commented on what she enjoyed about the project: “I really enjoyed working on this live brief as it gave me the freedom to interpretate my own style and flare into their brand and offer them something new and exciting. It was great to work alongside the company, and to receive industry feedback; this has given me a true insight into the fashion industry and what it is like to produce a seasonal collection. I am so happy to have come joint first place, and this has given me the push and confidence for my final major project. This project has made me explore different skills and techniques such as digital prints and detailing, to enhance traditional menswear design.”

Jessie Craddock: “The Paul Smith Competition was a very exciting brief for me as I am greatly interested in the Japanese market so researching and learning about the different design aspects that are important to the Japanese customer was a valuable learning point for me. Paul Smith produces a range of garments with a focus on soft tailoring and have an emphasis on design detail, it was different to my previous projects and therefore I enjoyed the challenge of being more considerate of the smaller features. Overall, I am over the moon to be a runner up and the two winners were well-deserved.”