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Liberty Art Fabrics internship marks Texprint’s first UK industry placement

28 April 2014 by Editor

Kirstie Carey, managing director, wholesale brands at Liberty, with alumna Ffion Griffith

With the aim of selecting and supporting emerging textile design talent, Texprint, in collaboration with long-standing sponsor Liberty Art Fabrics, has established its first industry internship in the UK, funded partly by Foundation Sponsor, The Drapers’ Company.

The first beneficiary is Texprint 2013 alumna Ffion Griffith, a graduate of Chelsea College of Art & Design.  The weave designer began her year long paid internship at the start of 2014 with the title of new product development assistant.  She is working on innovation for base cloths, undertaking extensive research as part of the Liberty Art Fabrics team.

Kirstie Carey, managing director, wholesale brands at Liberty, says of the internship: "I have always believed that innovation is the lifeblood of a successful business and sustained revenue growth. The investment in our innovation program at Liberty is a top priority. Bringing together the energy and fresh ideas of Ffion and the wisdom and experience of some established industry gurus, allows us to create the Liberty textiles and designs of the future. At the same time, providing an invaluable and supported introduction to the commercial world, for an outstanding young talent at the beginning of her career."

 

Carey continues: “Without doubt Ffion will bring ideas and opportunities to the table. With the enthusiasm and freshness of youth, she shares new ideas that are not influenced by years of experience or commercial practicality, challenging our processes and stimulating our production and technical teams. Hers is the 'can do...’ attitude that we nurture at Liberty. During the course of the graduate intern year I anticipate that Ffion will be involved in the development, commercialisation and global launch of three new products that will generate in excess of £1million in their launch year and significantly more in subsequent years.”

Fellow Texprint sponsor The Drapers’ Company, is a co-financial supporter of the new initiative.  Andrew Mellows, The Drapers’ Company head of charities, explains the impetus to get involved in the new programme:  “The Drapers’ Company is aware of the difficulties involved in finding work for graduating designers today.  We understand that internships are a very good way for emerging designers to get their foot in the door.  This particular Liberty Art Fabrics internship is a fantastic opportunity for one of these young designers to gain valuable experience within the textile industry.”

Heritage reconsidered for a modern audience is very much the theme that links The Drapers’ Company, Liberty Art Fabrics and Texprint.

To mark this connection, in mid-March 2014 designer Ffion Griffith and Tex chairman Barbara Kennington, were given a special tour of the Drapers’ Hall in the heart of the City of London in the company of Penny Fussel, senior achivist at The Drapers’ Company, and Jane Makower, court assistant.

Ffion Griffith (right) with Jane Makower

Founded over 600 years ago to buy and sell woolen cloth in Europe, the Drapers’ Company is incorporated by Royal Charter and is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies.  Around the late 1800s The Drapers’ Company became a charity and manager of investments, primarily in land and property.

The reception and dining rooms of the Drapers’ Hall boast a wealth of decorative pieces, including many fabrics, tapestries, wallpapers, carvings and carpets specially commissioned from renowned manufacturers past and present such as Crace & Sons, Richard Humphries Weavers, Aubusson, and Morris & Co.

The Drapers' Hall, City of London

“The Drapers’ strong belief in heritage and traditions feeds into our activities across all the sectors,” says Jane Makower, “including textiles; our internal textile working party was established to initiate pilots of textile-related schemes, in the main focused on encouraging young people to develop creative and hands-on skills in the workplace.”

Liberty is similarly grounded by its heritage and story. Ffion Griffith’s first project with Liberty Art Fabrics was to research and develop new base cloths for the internationally renowned Liberty print collections. In at the deep end, Ffion already feels she has learnt so much, visiting Premiere Vision and Texworld in February, and exploring the amazing Liberty archive resource.

She is now working with new head of design Tessa Birch on the brief for spring/summer 2016, and also with Emma Mawston who heads up the new Home Textiles division, developing designs for throws, blankets and cushions.

By working with Liberty Art Fabrics for 12 months Ffion will be fully immersed in the whole seasonal cycle, tracking the creative process from research and exhibition visits, to sketch and print development, to production and presentations to buyers – an extraordinary insight, and a great advantage when it comes to the next steps in her career development.

“The Texprint programme has been a huge help in guiding me at the very start of my career and developing my commercial understanding,” says Ffion, “ had it not been for Texprint, I would not be in the position I’m in today.”

We look forward to catching up with Ffion following her next 9 months at Liberty Art Fabrics.

One of Ffion's sketchbooks, photo taken at Texprint London event 2013

Article tags: general (61), business (54), champions of texprint (45), texprint 2013 (23)

Texprint starts the year on a high: new prize collaboration with print innovator Miroglio Textile

14 February 2014 by Editor

With the aim of selecting and supporting emerging textile design talent, Texprint has developed a new opportunity with a key industry partner to help the best British-trained graduates reach their potential.

New Miroglio Texprint Award to further print innovation

Digital print specialist Miroglio Textile (MT) joins with Texprint as a Major Sponsor of the charity to found a new internship prize initiated by Elena Miroglio, vice president of the Miroglio Group, and commercial director Chiaretto Calo.

“Sponsoring the Texprint project takes on a great significance for us in terms of supporting the creative arts. Over the years Miroglio Textile has backed creative talent through a series of ventures. We believe in education and we are on a constant quest of finding new creative processes to bring to the company,” explains Elena Miroglio.

The winner of the internship will be chosen from among Texprint’s 2014 selected designers and, as well as a cash prize, will have the opportunity to go to the company’s headquarters in Piedmont, Italy, and develop his or her work in mass production; present his or her designs to MT’s customers and gain experience and exposure to the marketplace. Miroglio continues: “With the Texprint project we want to enhance even further our vision about product creation. We want our products to be original, to tell stories and to be able to reach our customers’ hearts. And to achieve this important goal we give the designers the chance to work with the latest digital technology where MT is a leader.”

Miroglio Textile is a long-time supporter of Texprint. And the company’s senior print designer Louise Somers took part in the programme in 2008. “There is something about the taste and a definite point of difference with UK-trained designers,” says Somers. “Texprint’s meticulous selection process determines the best and most creative emerging designers ready to enter industry. The work speaks for itself; it’s of a really high standard.”

"The new award from Miroglio represents an exciting development for the Texprint programme. After the selection and mentoring of the talented young graduates through Texprint, for them to have the opportunity for direct experience with industry is an invaluable asset that contributes enormously to their career prospects, and could even be seen as completing the vital design education process. It is particularly gratifying that one of our existing and long-term supporters, Miroglio, has the vision to take this step and increase its involvement with Texprint in this positive way."

Article tags: print (31), general (61), champions of texprint (45), indigo paris (13), texprint 2014 (17)

Review of the year - Texprint 2013: Trained in Britain

31 December 2013 by Editor

Texprint 2013 designers with management team at Texprint London

Since early in 2013 when new initiatives were tinged with a certain financial caution, I’m delighted to confirm that Texprint made strong progress throughout the year, with some considerable success on the sponsorship front.

The Texprint mantra of ‘supporting creative futures’ has never been more true than in 2013.  Under the aegis of our Trained in Britain initiative Texprint introduced a new Hero Mentors scheme, and with sponsors The Drapers’ Company has also initiated a pilot for longer-term Trained in Britain internships in industry, the first with Pattern Prize sponsor Liberty Art Fabrics, which will take on its first Texprint Innovation Intern in January 2014.

The support shown by Texprint alumni for the Hero Mentors scheme has been outstanding - 24 new alumni matched with 24 established textile designers, passing on their wealth of personal experience and deep understanding of the textile, fashion and interiors industries to the next generation of textile talent, helping to make the period of experience gathering between graduation and eventual career even more meaningful.

All our Hero Mentors are highly regarded in the textile industry, a significant number run their own international businesses, and many already give their valuable time to join the rigorous Texprint Selection Panels.  We are extremely proud of the strong relationship Texprint has maintained with its alumni over the years and continue to feature many success stories on our website.

Back in July 2013, the Texprint London event, where the selected designers exhibit together for the very first time, was rethought through necessity to create a ‘pop-up gallery’ feel (the gallery space kindly donated by Chelsea College of Art & Design).  Having decided to forego the private view, stand build and alumni display of past years, the impact of this new approach was surprisingly positive with the invited visitors spending much more time than previously reviewing work and talking to each of the designers, who found this an invaluable experience.  The judging of the Texprint Prizes, donated by The Clothworker's Foundation, Liberty Art Fabrics and Pantone, and the second Lululemon Texprint Award, also took place at the event.  

In Paris in September, through the generous sponsorship of Première Vision SA, the Texprint designers once again exhibited at Indigo/PV alongside professional studios; the designers’ stands ranged together down a ‘street’ in Hall 5 giving visiting international buyers and press the ideal opportunity to review the diverse and highly creative work of the 24 Trained in Britain designers. The judging for the third Woolmark Texprint Award also took place at Indigo. See photo reports, here and here.

For the first time a film documenting the Texprint designers’ Indigo experience was made - this kindly funded by Dominic Lowe of the Sanderson Art in Industry Trust, and created by RA Collaborations.  Sponsors, designers and management all contributed, telling the story of the event in a new and vibrant manner.  The resulting short film can be seen on the Texprint website

2013 also saw Coutts generously hosting its second Texprint dinner at their headquarters on the Strand in London; an exciting new collaboration with interiors specialist Surface View; and for the first time, thanks to sponsor Messe Frankfurt (HK), an opportunity to exhibit the prize winners work at what is now the major Asian textile fair, Intertextile Shanghai.

Florence Angelica Colson, Texprint 2013, delightfully, sums up her experience: “Texprint for me has been the best thing I could have wanted to happen to me after graduating; it’s been an amazing opportunity. From the word go, great things have come from being part of Texprint - after the London exhibition I was selected to licence designs to Surface View, I was chosen to go to Italy to intern for 2 months, and although I did not know at the time, I won one of the Lululemon Texprint awards. 

Italy was a weird and wonderful experience and from this I also ended up exhibiting at Mare di Moda, Cannes, which without Texprint I definitely would not have done! Also being handed the means to exhibit and trade at Indigo in Paris under my own design name was amazing and something that none of us would have been able to do by ourselves without the help and support of Texprint. Texprint has been a brilliant support network, both mentally and financially, and the other Texprinters have become like a little family to me after the experiences we have shared! Anyone chosen for Texprint is very lucky and I am so grateful for everything.” 

Texprint sponsors have long understood the vital importance of reinvigorating their industry by encouraging creative young textile designers to form part of their future heritage. 

Our heartfelt thanks to all our sponsors for their support, their vision, and for their steadfast investment in the next generation of Trained in Britain textile designers - and our very best wishes for 2014.

Barbara Kennington

Chairman

Article tags: woolmark (19), como (4), general (61), business (54), champions of texprint (45), texprint london (19), sponsors (30), texprint 2013 (23), indigo (15), judges 2013 (13), indigo paris (13), shanghai (4)

One year on: Israel Parra-Zanabria is making waves in Mexico City

17 December 2013 by Editor

Israel Parra-Zanabria at work in the Timorous Beasties studio in Scotland

One year on, we talk to Texprint 2012 alumnus Israel Parra who was born in Mexico, trained in Scotland, and is now making waves back in his hometown Mexico City.

Israel’s highly distinctive design work is inspired by diverse influences – from manmade objects to nature finds, from brutalist architecture to his recollection of flowers - always altering conventional notions of what will work for fashion or interiors.

Multilingual, passionate and a highly focused textile designer, he says: “My design practice is driven by the combination of traditional silkscreen techniques and digital printing processes to ensure innovation and uniqueness.”

Do you work from home or studio?  What inspires you?

I work from both at home and at a studio that I have started to build up very close to my home in Mexico City. I find inspiration in Mexico’s vibrant lifestyle as I cycle around the city with my camera and sketchbooks always on hand to document and record new inspirations.

I have been always drawn to nature and work both from life as well as from photographs to capture as much information as possible. Hence, my work is fused and digitally hand crafted to obtain best results.

What have been the key challenges?

Working on my own means everything is a challenge! From researching and exploring the creative process to developing a new collection, to then finding contacts, places to exhibit and sales points. Then of course organising and managing my accounts, social networks, making connections with national and international manufacturers etc etc.

However, as I lived in the UK and Europe for nearly 5 years, the most challenging thing has been returning to Mexico City. The entire metropolis has changed so dramatically that at the beginning I found myself immersed in a city I no longer recognized; but gradually I’ve been invited to participate in a broad range of opportunities and design platforms that are now blooming in Mexico City and feel settled here again.

What new projects have you been working on?

I have made contact with Mexican fashion companies such as Pineda Covalin http://www.pinedacovalin.com/_eng/ - whose design signature highlights Mexican culture and folklore, and received very good feedback on my latest project This City after being exhibiting at Cultura Colectiva (I’m now establishing sales points in Mexico City and possibly in San Diego, which is great).

Also I’ve worked with Richard Ward’s furniture design studio Wawa and Anne Tyrrell’s design consultancy, both based in London.

Again in Mexico I have exhibited at Zona MACO, one of Latin America’s most important platforms for Contemporary Art and Design, and have taken part Mexican Design competition Quorum 2013.

How important is your website and social media activity?

Digital media is critical as it helps me present my work to people around the world.  Via my website I have been contacted by studios and clients - I know that if I don’t post or give updates then I won’t receive feedback or contacts from future clients.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently developing new skills, in particular, tailoring, as I want to learn more about using textiles on the human body, and I’m considering returning to the UK to take an MA degree in Fashion. With that in mind, I am starting to research for funding and scholarships as international tuition fees are so expensive!

In what ways was Texprint a help to you?

Texprint helped in so many different ways, helping me to see how I could develop my work, to evaluate myself and my ambitions, and, most importantly, to always challenge myself – and thanks to Texprint I exhibited at Indigo/Première Visionin Paris and made great contacts there which was invaluable.

Israel showing his work to buyers at Indigo, Paris, October 2012

What do you love most about what you're doing, and like least?

I am always amused by how an idea evolves and it is then transformed into a physical object - an idea transformed into a drawing, then into a design, then into fabric for a fashion or interiors collection, to finally be exhibited - to follow this entire process is very rewarding. I am sometimes disappointed with myself if I make mistakes or miss details, however after each project is finished I find those mistakes have been key learning points for self-development, so I always look forward!

Below: cushions from Israel's Audubon Collection developed for a private client in Mexico City. 

 

Article tags: print (31), alumni (45), texprint 2012 (27), fashion (36), business (54), illustration (9), indigo paris (13)

ComON Creativity Week and industry Internships

11 November 2013 by Editor

Texprint’s ongoing relationship with the ComON Creativity Week and the prestigious Italian textile mills based in and around Como develops year-on-year. These companies have long understood the vital importance of re-investing in their cultural heritage by welcoming creative young textile designers to form part of their future.

Texprint designers with Margherita Rosina and Francina Chiara of the Antonio Ratti Foundation / Designers from left: Roozbeh Ghanadi, Kazusa Takamura, Ffion Griffith, Cherica Haye, Florence Colson and Minnan Hui

The Como textile industry is globally renowned for creating the highest quality printed silks, fine cottons and luxury weaves for the international luxury market, and more recently for the high street. Their comprehensive archives provide a rich source of historical reference and future inspiration.

More than ever supporting graduate designers through properly structured internships is invaluable in helping them fast track their experience and commercial understanding, and October 2013 saw 6 Texprint weave and print designers, selected by Marco Taiana of Tessitura Taiana Virgilio SpA and the manager of the ComON event, and invited to work 7-week internships in Como.  The Texprint designers were among 15 textile designers selected from all over Europe, also invited to participate in the invaluable ComON programme of industry visits and creative challenges.

Included in the programme were visits to the Giorgio Armani headquarters in Milan, and to the Canepa and Antonio Ratti archives at their respective company headquarters.

Texprint designers at the Antonio Ratti Foundation in Como with archive manager Francina Chiara 

 Left: Ffion Griffith at the Canepa Textile Archive / Right: Designers with Francina Chiara at the Antonio Ratti Foundation Archive

Central to the ComON week was the 2-day seminar lead by the inspirational David Shah, publisher of Textile View magazine, with support from Texprint’s creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre.  David’s keynote speech, presented at the Como Chamber of Commerce, was entitled Morality in the Pursuit of Consumerism and challenged each young designer to think about what Made-In meant to them.  The selected Made-In presentations were then presented at a gala at the Villa d'Este to the Italian industry and Trade commissioners based in Milan from Japan, USA and France.

Peter Ring-Lefevre, invited tutor for the Made In seminar, mentoring the designers

Another highlight of the Villa d'Este gala event was the special invitation extended to Emma J Shipley (Texprint 2011) to tell the story of her highly successful two-year career establishing her eponymous accessories company. In October 2011 Emma worked her internship with Ratti SpA, one of the leading Como-based companies in the international luxury textiles industry. The bulk of her production is now printed in Italy and stems from this early relationship building and experience of the production process. Earlier this November Emma won the prestigious Avery Dennison Emerging Fashion Brand Award at The WGSN Global Fashion Awards.

Left: David Shah with Emma J Shipley / Right: Michele Vigano, head of family-owned business Seterie Argenti SpA, with Florence Colson at the launch of the Instacomon graphic competition at Mitchum store Como

Three Texprint designers – Florence Angelica Colson, Minnan Hui and Roozbeh Ghanadi - were also selected by the Mare di Moda committee to attend the Mare di Moda Resort Fabric Fair in Cannes early November.

Confindustria Como/ComON and Marzotto Group/Ratti SpA are valued sponsors of Texprint. 

Article tags: como (4), general (61), champions of texprint (45), sponsors (30), texprint 2013 (23)

WGSN Global Fashion Awards, Emerging Fashion Brand: Emma J Shipley

07 November 2013 by Editor

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards held 5th November saw Texprint alumna Emma J Shipley winning the prestigious Avery Dennison Emerging Fashion Brand Award.

Speaking from the awards venue, the V&A museum, London, Tim Voegele-Downing, Global Creative Director at Avery Dennison RBIS commented: “While we saw phenomenal entries from all finalists, Emma J Shipley ultimately stood out. She created not just an electrifying collection but also a powerful brand that helps differentiate her products".  The award includes a €12,000 prize from Avery Dennison to help elevate the brand.

Emma Shipley (centre), with Tim Voegele-Downing and Susie Lau / photo: Dave Benett

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2011 Emma has won great respect, not only for her highly skilled and imaginative drawings transposed so beautifully onto silk, wool and cashmere scarves, but for her careful and creative brand development.

From the outset Emma has used social media to connect with fans and buyers - including guest editing the Browns London blog in May 2011 - and just a few months ago she launched her online shop.

Her business has also been built on smart thinking. Collaborations with Anthroplogie, Nicholas Kirkwood, Camira and Osborne & Little have opened new avenues and audiences for her extraordinary work. She has also exhibited at London Fashion Week.  Retailers for her scarves include Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and independent retailer Wolf & Badger.

Emma Shipley with Anne Tyrrell MBE

Confindustria Como annually supports six Texprint designers to participate in a programme of internships with leading Italian mills in Como to see the Italian textile industry in action, and in October 2011 Emma worked her internship with Ratti SpA, one of the leading Como-based companies in the international luxury textiles industry. The bulk of her production is now printed in Italy and stems from this early relationship building and experience of the production process.

In May 2013 Emma was also awarded the RISE Newcomer Award at the UK Fashion & Textile Awards 2013, presented by HRH the Princess Royal at One Mayfair in London.

WGSN, Confindustria Como and Ratti are all valued sponsors of Texprint.

 

Article tags: print (31), alumni (45), general (61), business (54), accessories (15), collaboration (9)

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