More about Charlotte
What do you enjoy most about studying MA Fashion Knitwear Design?
“The freedom to explore your chosen specialism and developing a project that is personal to you. There are so many people from different backgrounds, with a diverse range of interests and specialism; NTU fully embraces this individuality. I find the lectures and seminars from visiting industry professionals incredibly informative and inspiring.
As someone who has returned to education after five years in industry, I was apprehensive about being a student again, but here you are treated as a professional.”
What made you choose to study at NTU?
“I completed BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles at NTU in 2011 so I was well aware of the industry standard facilities, academic staff and industry connections offered in the School of Art & Design. As a creative student, the buildings within the School of Art & Design, such as the Bonington building, provide an inspiring environment to work in. The knitwear department has arguably the best facilities for this specialism in the country.”
How do you find the course staff?
“The staff at NTU are knowledgeable, passionate and highly supportive. They embrace students as individuals in their creative endeavours and actively encourage you to pursue ways of working and goals that are right for you as both a student and a professional. The technical staff are invaluable in the support that they provide and again, are highly knowledgeable in their specialism.”
How do you find the facilities?
“The knitwear facilities at NTU are unrivalled by any UK university in my opinion. Whilst investing in cutting-edge industry standard technologies, such as the Shima and Stoll power knit machinery, traditional machinery such as the dubied handflat machines are preserved, as they are in industry.
“The MA studio is a fantastic space; we have our own personal workspace giving us space to explore our projects. It’s great to be surrounded by creative people from different backgrounds as it encourages collaboration and varied inspiration; no day ever seems to be the same in the MA studio!”
Why would you recommend your course to someone thinking of studying it?
“Fashion Knitwear Design has a highly supportive course structure that embraces individuality. The course has unrivalled facilities, knowledgeable and passionate staff and fantastic industry connections.”
What motivated you to return to University after spending five years in industry?
“During my BA at NTU, I was very fortunate to have gained invaluable experience in knitwear design and development through internships during my placement year. My first full time role after graduating was at Karen Millen, in their Product Development department for knitwear and jersey where I spent just under three years.
“Following this, I held roles in design and development at Calvin Klein, Eskandar and TOAST. I gained a lot of experience learning about the realism of designing and developing garments, right from the design sketch and taking this through to delivering product to retail.
“As a person who has always been passionate about beautifully-made textiles and garments I became increasingly frustrated with the detachment that designers in industry have with the people and processes behind the product that they are designing, and also the speed at which garments are churned out.
“It has always been my desire to set up my own line and after five years in industry, having gained some invaluable, inspiring and varied experience, I decided it was time to make steps to do that. I wanted to start this journey in an environment where I had the time, space and facilities to fully explore who I was as a designer and how I wanted to go about creating my first collection. For these reasons, I decided to return to NTU, where I knew the knitwear facilities, staff and community of people would nurture the route that I had decided to take.”
Can you tell us a little bit about being a Paul Smith scholarship recipient?
“The Paul Smith Scholarship scheme was a key reason for me returning to NTU to do my Masters. Firstly, going to Japan has been my dream from a young age. I have always been fascinated with and inspired by Japanese culture, design and geography.
“As a creative person who is inspired by the experience of physically immersing myself in other cultures, I knew that I would gain great inspiration and motivation by having the opportunity to spend six weeks in Japan and learning in different ways at Bunka Fashion College.
“It was great to have the opportunity to meet Paul Smith himself in Tokyo during his collection shows. As a highly successful British designer who has had great success in the Japanese market I learnt a lot from him about this side of his business.”