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Leanne Westbury


United Kingdom
I enjoy the positive atmosphere in the studio and being around like-minded people. Everyone works hard, and seeing your own work as well as others come together when we put on shows is really exciting.

More about Leanne

What made you choose to study at NTU?
“As soon as I came to the open day, I knew I wanted to come to NTU. I had already heard about the excellent reputation and industry links my course has, but coming to Nottingham and seeing the campus and studios confirmed it for me that Nottingham was right for me.”

What do you enjoy most about fashion design?
“I enjoy the positive atmosphere in the studio and being around like-minded people. Everyone works hard, and seeing your own work as well as others come together when we put on shows is really exciting.”

Can you tell us a little bit about the Urban Outfitters competition?
“For the Urban Outfitters competition, we were required to come up with a concept, develop our designs from our research and create a five-outfit line-up appropriate for the Urban Outfitters customer. The challenge lay within the commercial aspect of the designs as it really relied on you having a thorough understanding of customers’ wants and needs, and addressing them through fabric choice, silhouette and detail. It felt amazing to find out I had won the competition as only one menswear design intern had been selected which made me feel really lucky.”

What are you enjoying most about your internship at Urban Outfitters so far?
“I’m absolutely loving it here – the team have been amazing from day one. It’s a small team specialising in men’s design, so it’s been really great to integrate not only into design, but to work so closely with concept, print, product development, and buying on a day-to-day basis.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been mentored by the Design Director for the duration of my internship. I’ve learnt so much, I wouldn’t even know where to begin; from designing and developing products, responding to sales analysis, and sourcing and developing raw materials, to working with buying to respond to the need to balance our own brand with external brands.”

What has life in Philadelphia been like?
“Philadelphia is great – there’s so much to do, and I live right in the heart of the city. The URBN campus is crazy; it’s located in the navy yard and each building has a totally different interior which you can find all over Instagram under the hashtag #urbnspaces.

“We’re about an hour and a half away from New York and I’ve been lucky enough to go there on business trips as well as personal visits. After only a few months of being here, I was sent on a work trip to Los Angeles to attend a music festival called Camp Flog Gnaw, which I still can’t believe I got to do as an intern.”

What was it like exhibiting your work at the 48 Hours of Fashion event in Nottingham?
“It was exciting to see our garments on the catwalk for the first time. It’s so important to show your work as soon as you can and start the ball rolling. Having people from the local industry come to watch the show was invaluable as you never know who could spot your work.”

Has the course included any speakers / lecturers from industry – if so can you talk about one you really enjoyed?
“The course has had lectures from Christopher Raeburn, Caitlin Price and creative pattern cutter, Shinto Sato. The Shinto Sato lecture was followed by a workshop where he taught us new methods of pattern cutting that we could apply to own work; it was really eye opening in terms of considering alternative and creative methods.”

What do you think of the course staff?
“All of the staff are so helpful and approachable. Seeing a tutor once a week is really helpful, it’s great knowing there is someone there who knows your work inside out and can provide you with a fresh perspective if you want it. Having so many specialist technicians also really supports your learning as there is always someone to turn to in any situation.”

What do you think about the facilities available to you at NTU?
“The library is one the reasons I chose to come to NTU, not only for the huge range of books, exhibition catalogues and magazine archives but for the varied study spaces which are available 24/7.

“The studios are well equipped with facilities across disciplines, such as screen printing, embroidery, digital print, laser cut etc. Our studios are spacious and provide a really lively and motivating space to work in."

Why would you recommend studying Fashion Design at NTU?
“When researching universities, I worried that to study fashion design you had to be in London, and I knew I couldn’t afford it. Now that I study at NTU, I know I made the right decision and I've realised that you don’t have to be in London at all, you get out of the course what you put into it, no matter where you are on the map!”

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