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Texprint talks: Gilles Lasbordes, MD of Première Vision
17 June 2013 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Gilles Lasbordes is the managing director of Première Vision S.A., the leading international textile and fabric show, otherwise known as PV. Première Vision was established in 1973 as a group presentation by 15 Lyonnais silk weavers. Today the Paris-based exhibition is the corner stone of Première Vision Pluriel, the group of six shows – Première Vision, Expofil, Indigo, Modamont, Le Cuir à Paris and Zoom by Fatex - that service the fashion industry from fibre to leather, accessories, textile designs and fabrics. With over 1,900 international exhibitors, the show group brings together 58,000 fashion industry professionals in Paris twice a year.
Each September, through the generous sponsorship of Première Vision SA, the 24 selected Texprint designers are given the opportunity to have their own exhibition stands at Indigo, the show of original textile and surface design. And the event also hosts the Texprint prize giving ceremony. Gilles is passionate about supporting and nurturing young design talent as he tells Texprint:
Congratulations on your recent promotion. Can you tell us about your new role?
I started working for Première Vision in 2004 and I recently became the managing director of the Première Vision group. My role involves strategic and operational management, I am closely involved with our ongoing worldwide events – in total we have 24 shows per year. I am more directly involved with the Indigo (Paris, New York, Brussels), Modamont and Expofil shows and many back office activities that make our events a reality.
Left: Gilles Lasbordes
Paris looks like a beautiful place to live – good food, gorgeous architecture and a rich culture - what is a typical day like for you?
There’s no such thing as a typical day for me. When I am not travelling, I often have meetings to discuss and prepare the upcoming exhibitions whether they are one month or up to a year in the future. But I do have a motorbike which I ride everyday – I love travelling around Paris, seeing the beautiful architecture and monuments.
Première Vision has exhibitions in New York, Sao Paulo, Brussels, Moscow and Shanghai as well as Paris, and you hold exhibitor meetings around the world, how often do you travel on business, what do you enjoy about it and what are your favourite places to visit?
I travel a lot because we are an international company and Paris is an international show not only from the exhibitors’ point of view but also from the visitors’ point of view. I really don’t have a favourite place to visit. Every country I visit is different, each city is very diverse and what I love is seeing the diversity of the fashion industry. Also now with globalisation brands have become global, but I enjoy seeing local brands as they make the market more interesting and diverse.
The exhibitions Première Vision, Modamont and Indigo have direct links with and support three organisations that nurture new design talent. Can you tell us why you have made this an integral part of your activities?
Première Vision, Expofil and Modamont all focus on the creative part of the fashion industry - we are not a trade show for commodities. When you are a trade show organiser and your event represents an industry on such a large scale, you have to support the industry you work for. Whether they will work for textile or fashion companies, we believe that graduate designers are the future of our industry. We support the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography, International Talent Support and Texprint because we want to help a new generation of creators to emerge. We want to help that generation to maintain a highly creative fashion industry in the future. Texprint is very textile-oriented so we share the same roots, textiles is what Première Vision is made of.
Nearly half of Indigo’s exhibitors are based in / trained in Britain. What is it about the UK’s art school system that produces so many creative talents?
Well from my point of view, UK art and design schools have a good balance between being creative and being market-oriented. This understanding of the industry, the mix of high creativity and business, is what companies are expecting from their new employees.
What does the addition of the Texprint group in September add to the mix of studios at Indigo?
At Indigo studios present their own culture, DNA and artistic direction. The Texprint designers give us boundless creativity and innovation, it is our R&D. They often present something new and innovative, for example, in the way they mix various innovative textile techniques such as print and embroidery, print and knitted garments or 3D textiles with unusual raw materials.
Being able to show their designs at Indigo is a really exciting opportunity for the 24 graduate designers; do you have any advice for this year’s Texprint’s group?
I’m hoping to see lots of successful sales and so the designers need to be prepared to negotiate! They should have an idea of prices and also network to make useful connections at Indigo. The designers have to be ready to meet with professionals and act in a professional manner. But I know that they are very well trained by the Texprint team and when they come to Paris they will definitely be ready to make the most of this opportunity.
Trend Forum at Première Vision
Texprint talks: Emma Mawston of Liberty Art Fabrics
25 April 2013 by Editor
Emma Mawston, head of design for Liberty Art Fabrics, is not surprisingly passionate about prints and the Liberty heritage. She is also a long-time supporter of Texprint and regularly gives time to participate in the Texprint interview panels that take place each June.
As a creative company focused on design excellence Liberty understands just how important it is to look to their future heritage and drive innovation by supporting the next generation of young designers; Liberty Art Fabrics sponsors the Texprint Pattern Award.
-Emma, how long have you worked at Liberty Art Fabrics and what were you doing before?
I have worked at Liberty for nearly twenty-one years – in fact the same amount of time as Alexandra Shulman has been editor at Vogue!
While at college I had a great work placement with Nina Campbell, I then won an RSA Bursary which led to a placement with Cavendish Textiles – both invaluable experiences. On graduating I went freelance, exhibiting at numerous exhibitions, working freelance in-house at Nigel French (design consultancy), and designing for a variety of markets under my own name.
When I applied for the Liberty role, I found out that they had asked my to interview because they liked my handwriting on the letter accompanying my CV!
-Tell us about the team at Liberty Art Fabrics?
The designers at Liberty Art Fabrics are Sheona, Sally, Polly, Robin, Keighley, Laura-Maria and Carrie. At any one time the team are working across three areas - fashion, furnishing and lifestyle art fabrics - on different briefs, and often for different seasons. We often go on drawing research trips, have drawing days and spend time hand drawing and painting original artwork.
Also in the team are Rupal who works on special projects, and Lauren who backs us all up on everything plus creates the presentation Powerpoints, keeps the fent book*, and makes sure all design and colour files are organised at the end of every season. Holly is our studio co-ordinator who keeps things running smoothly!
(NB: each design is archived in various swatch and fent books*; artwork, fabric bases, colourways, promotional and sales material are all recorded).
Spring/summer 2013 inspired by The Chelsea Flower Show
-What is the process that takes a design idea into production and retail?
At the moment we are about to start creating sketches for spring/summer 2015.
I love coming up with the design briefs, it’s one of the most inspirational aspects of my job. One of my favourite tasks is to thoroughly research an idea and come up with something original each season.
Liberty Art Fabrics is a design-led company, which we pride ourselves on. While we listen to feedback from customers, agents and our sales team our design briefs are created two to three years before a collection is launched at retail so it is really important that the collections are design-led and retain the heritage and originality which makes our prints so successful.
Each season the studio creates around 43 designs in 8 colourways. We then present our work at a number of selection meetings, working very closely with Kirstie (Kirstie Carey MD of Liberty Design) who reviews the new ideas. We whittle these down to 40 designs, all of which will be printed onto Liberty’s iconic Tana Lawn. We also create capsule collections on a number of different base fabrics using the designs most relevant to each base.
While we aim to think as creatively as possible at this stage, there may also be other considerations – it is important that our collections are successful worldwide, so we occasionally work on special projects that cater for specific design and colour requests. We also work on childrenswear design and colour.
-Tell us about your recent travels for inspiration and research?
While researching spring/summer 2013 we went to Tresco (Scilly Isles) – in fact nearly all the best sellers in this collection were inspired by that trip - we also went to Vienna for design research, to the Chelsea Flower Show and on the trail of Guerrilla Gardeners in London!
More recently we’ve been to Glasgow and The Isle of Bute, both wonderful. However my favourite research trip was to Iceland for autumn/winter 2013, a truly inspirational place that will stay with me forever.
Spring/summer 2013 inspired by Tresco
Spring/summer 2013 inspired by The Chelsea Flower Show
Spring/summer 2013 inspired by Vienna
-Do you ever refer back to the Liberty archives?
Yes, the Liberty Archive is amazing. It is hidden away in a warehouse in Bermondsey - a treasure trove of archived Liberty prints and sketches. Every design, from tana lawn to silk satin, is documented with as much information as possible and stored safely in a digital database.
But most exciting of course are the collections themselves - oversized books bursting to the brim with swatches, piles of neatly labeled boxes and paintings as bright as the day they were painted.
The Liberty archives
-What are your favourite inspirations right now?
Gosh, almost everything inspires me, but mainly it is my daughters Mauve and Rose Xanthe who make me laugh so much and look at the world from such a variety of different and wonderful perspectives.
-In what ways do you work with students and what would you look for in a graduate designer joining your team?
We work on an annual collaboration with the textile design students at Central Saint Martins, and have also worked with another MA course creating colour for a recent collection. We always have work experience students in the studio, working from one week to three months at a time.
I would look for the same thing in a graduate as any designer – diversity of ideas, great sketchbooks with lots of original hand drawing, and a beautiful and varied sense of colour. Personality is important too - someone who is very lovely and very inspiring – it is so important that they spend time in the studio and for the team to bond with them. They would also need relevant computer skills!
Spring/summer 2013 inspired by Tresco
Coutts Texprint dinner celebrates textile innovation
16 April 2013 by Editor
As a dedicated supporter of the arts, private bank Coutts again demonstrated its interest in the worlds of fashion and textiles by hosting an elegant dinner in support of textile design excellence.
Held on Thursday 21 March 2013, it was the second Texprint dinner to be hosted by the historic bank at its head office on the Strand, London. Following a champagne reception in the boardroom, which is lined with hand-painted Chinese wallpaper c.1793, the guests were guided to its beautifully appointed private dining room for a sumptuous dinner.
Alan Marshall, executive director of Coutts, welcomed the guests, saying: “Coutts is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Texprint 2013 dinner. It reinforces our commitment to the world of contemporary creative industries and our relationship with young entrepreneurs.The UK is a world leader at creating art, fashion and textiles and Coutts' support of Texprint enables emerging talent to access our experience of working with entrepreneurs in addition to providing mentoring schemes and financial advice."
Left: Marie Parsons (Jaguar Land Rover), Professor Clare Johnston (RCA) Centre: Katrina Burroughs (Sunday Times Home), Katie Greenyer (Pentland Brands) Right: Neisha Crosland, Susanna Kempe (Flying Trumpets)
Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington took the opportunity to thank the guests – including leading lights in fashion and textiles, the press and past alumni - for their continuing support for British-trained textile design graduates and without whom the Texprint programme would simply not exist. “Texprint’s programme of mentorship provides a vital bridge between university and the real world. Looking at the autumn/winter 13 fashion collections, particularly in London, what struck me was the increasing importance of textile innovation - an indication of just how important it is to encourage and support the next generation of textile creativity.”
Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Kate O’Connor (Creative Skillset)
John Snowdon (Worshipful Company of Weavers), Peter Ackroyd (Woolmark Company), Andrew Blessley (Clothworkers Foundation), Hugh Beevor (Texprint)
The Texprint programme has been selecting and mentoring graduate textile designers for over 40 years. And through Coutts’ gracious hospitality, the dinner provided the charity with a means of thanking those who make it possible, among them Kirstie Carey, managing director of Liberty Art Fabrics (sponsor of Texprint’s Pattern prize); Paul Graham, sales director of Pantone EMEA (sponsor of the Colour prize); and Texprint trustee Dominic Lowe represented The Sanderson Art in Industry Trust, which is a Foundation sponsor of the charity.
Italian textile producers and luxury fashion brands have long recognized the excellence of British-trained designers and regularly employ interns selected from the Texprint winners. Texprint was pleased to welcome Luigi Turconi of Ratti, part of the giant Marzotto group; Elena Alfani of luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo; and Marco Taiana of Tessitura Taiana represented the Como-based creative initiative ComON with which Texprint has long been associated.
Left: Barbara Kennington (Texprint) Andrew Blessley (Clothworkers Foundation) Right: Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Elena Alfani (Salvatore Ferragamo)
Anne Tyrrell MBE, designer and member of Texprint's Council, said: "It’s a really special evening, so impressive, and it’s a huge compliment that so many visitors from Europe attended."
Marco Taiana (Taiana, ComON), Caryn Simonson (Chelsea College of Art & Design), Joanna Bowring (Texprint)
Katie Greenyer, creative director of the Pentland Group, was delighted to announce during the evening that Pentland would be increasing its sponsorship for 2013, which was fantastic news and greatly appreciated.
The Texprint management team also welcomed Catriona Macnab, creative director of Foundation sponsor WGSN; John Francis, director of sponsor Paul Smith; style director of the Telegraph magazine Tamsin Blanchard; and Michael Ayerst, managing director of wall coverings specialist Surface View, which has so generously provided the dramatic wall murals seen at the Texprint London event for the past two years.
And from Texprint’s alumni, guests included Michael Angove, Neil Bamford of Mint Design Studio, David Edmond, and Marie Parsons of Jaguar Land Rover.
Left: Julius Schofield MBE (InDesign), Philippa Brock (Central St Martins) Right: Anne Tyrrell MBE, Leanne Prichard (Coutts)
Left: Alison Murdoch (Haberdashers’ Company), Gill Gledhill (GGHQ), Terry Mansfield CBE Right: Neil Bamford (Mint Design), Michael Ayerst (Surface View)
The world of interiors has been an area of increased focus for many young textile designers. Neisha Crosland, a Texprint judge in 2012, and Mary Carroll, of luxury interior furnishings brand De le Cuona, attended the dinner, as did Katrina Burroughs, a renowned journalist specialising in interior design who is a regular contributor to the Sunday Times Home section.
The words of after dinner speaker Susanna Kempe, founder and CEO of Flying Trumpets, were greeted with much nodding of heads and agreement as she talked of too many businesses being run by accountants; too few by creatives, stating: “To change that, we have to finally, unequivocally, reject the false opposition between creativity and commercialism. We have to combine imaginative genius with disciplined execution; embrace create effectiveness and demonstrate commercial accountability. If we don’t businesses and boards will continue to be led by accountants most comfortable in a world of timid homogeneity. Businesses should be run by people for whom innovation, clients and brands are in their very DNA.”
Her thoughts were applauded by all – and especially by Kate O’Connor deputy managing director of Creative Skillset, and Anne Tyrrell who responded: “She was amazing. I must say I will attack my meetings with new energy as a result, what an impressive woman.”
Barbara wrapped up the evening, saying: “Our sincere thanks to Coutts for hosting such an enjoyable and hugely useful opportunity for people interested in supporting British design training and textile innovation to get together, to talk and to debate. Invaluable!”
Wool House: feeling warm and woolly!
14 March 2013 by Editor
“Wool is a fibre for the life we lead, the people we love, the planet we inhabit.” The Campaign for Wool
The Wool House exhibition at Somerset House, London, opened yesterday and is on until 24 March. This stylish and richly artisanal celebration of wool is not to be missed encompassing as it does the very best of what can be achieved by spinning, weaving, printing and manipulating this most timeless and enduring of fibres.
Hummingbird by Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company
The lofty and elegant rooms in the west wing of Somerset House have been used to stage a series of room sets as well as displays of fashion and accessories, including bespoke tailoring and hand knitting.
Savile Row bespoke
The importance of wool to the fashion industry is demonstrated with designs by, among others, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Raeburn; also Dashing Tweeds (Kirsty McDougall, Texprint 2002) and Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007).
Teflon-coated felted lace parka by Christopher Raeburn, headphones by Urbanears, tweed jackets by Dashing Tweeds
Knitted dress by Mark Fast, knitted chair cover, knit and fleece cape by Alice Palmer
As part of the national Campaign for Wool supported by The Prince of Wales, the project also involves a series of interactive workshops and a special educational and innovation room, using hi-tech tablets to demonstrate the processes wool undergoes on its journey from sheep to consumer. This is an exhibition designed to engage and educate as much as to enjoy.
“Wool is all about comfort and beauty. It is a fibre grown, not manmade, with an origin and integrity that has yet to be matched. Natural, renewable and sustainable it offers the most timeless and enduring quality to materials for many different lifestyle products for interiors, fashion, build and craft.“ The Campaign for Wool
Wool fabrics are used to great effect in the room installations. From the dramatic entrance hall with its chequered black and white carpet, to the modernist room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn with its brightly coloured sound-absorbing wall coverings, the fresh and charming nursery designed by Donna Wilson, to the typically eclectic and crafted bedroom designed by Kit Kemp MBE. Dream interiors that beautifully illustrate wool's versatility in use, colour and texture.
Modern Room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn
Nursery by Donna Wilson
Bedroom by Kit Kemp MBE
Event director Bridgette Kelly - working with interior designer Arabella McNie as curator, and all the participating designers and highly skilled artisans - has created a truly diverse and creative opportunity to engage with the fibre’s heritage and future potential.
We would encourage textile and fashion design students and tutors to visit and be inspired!
Wool art installation by Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra
Wools of the World
Artisan rug weaver Jason Collingwood in his temporary studio, weaving on a table loom throughout the exhibition
WSA magazine: Build inner strength with the talent of tomorrow
23 January 2013 by Editor
The January issue of WSA magazine features an interview with Sheree Waterson executive vice president and chief product officer of Lululemon Athletica (Texprint foundation sponsors) focused on the thinking behind Lululemon’s support for Texprint and, in Sheree's words, the importance of infusing “the organisation with new talent that sees the world in new ways.”
The inaugural Lululemon Texprint Award was won by Texprint 2012 designers Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves who each received £1,000 and a prestigious 3-month paid internship at Lululemon’s Vancouver headquarters which started this January.
The article offers insight not only into the ethos of this rapidly growing North American business, but also highlights the cultural philosophy and yogic principles that Lululemon encourages in its work force and that feeds into its success.
In the article Sheree says: “In terms of leadership, the interns are going to be immersed in our culture of vision, goal-setting and personal accountability. Additionally they will learn our design principles at Lululemon; combining fashion and function, West Coast lifestyle with European styling and creating their designs through those filters.”
Personal mentoring and well-managed internships are the cornerstones on which graduates can build and fast track their experience gathering. The Texprint programme has long had mentoring at its core and with its sponsor-partners is planning to further develop this aspect of the programme through 2013.
WSA (World Sports Activewear) is a widely recognised, award-winning international publication for material development in the performance wear market. Published six times a year it provides an up-to-date analysis of technical developments, commercial trends and offers valuable business management information. To subscribe to WSA go to www.sportstextiles.com
ComOn: creativity week and internships
08 November 2012 by Editor
More than ever supporting graduate designers through properly structured internships is invaluable in helping them fast track their experience and commercial understanding.
The Italian trade organisation Confindustria Como represents a core of 300 Como-based textile companies and is responsible for organizing ComOn, a unique multi-disciplinary enterprise aimed at supporting promising young talent in the areas of fashion, design and art by offering real work experience in industry in the Lake Como area of Italy.
Their continued sponsorship of Texprint has this year provided an invaluable and unforgettable experience for six talented Texprint 2012 designers selected to participate in the ComOn creativity week, held October 15 to 20. Alice Howard-Graham, Manri Kishimoto, Sophie Manners, Israel Parra-Zanabria, Sophie Reeves and Amber Sambrook travelled to Como for a series of presentations, workshops and visits to some of Italy’s most prestigious mills. They joined a larger group of graduate designers from Europe and Brazil, 22 in total.
Israel, Alice, Manri, Sophie Manners, Sophie Reeves and Amber
The designers' experience gathering included visits to the silk museum, Centro Tessile Serico, and to Ratti (Texprint supporters) and Canepa to view their state-of-the-art production facilities and their inspiring textile archives; also to the Missoni and Ermenegildo Zegna headquarters. Trend leader Li Edelkoort introduced her s/s 2014 trends.
The ComOn creativity-sharing workshop Last Century, Next Century Icons was a highlight. Working in groups the designers shared their thinking and decision-making; presenting their conclusions to inspirational workshop leader David Shah, publisher of Textile View magazine, and ultimately to local industry heads on huge banners at a gala dinner at Villa Erba (once home to film producer Luchino Visconti).
Peter Ring-Lefevre, Texprint’s creative director said: “David Shah's involvement was so energizing, his fantastic interaction with the young designers got them thinking in very new ways. Hopefully the presentations back to industry equally energised the design professionals involved.”
Sophie Manners and Israel talking with Barbara Majocchi of ComOn
Moda di Mare, the swimwear show held annually in Cannes, ran a workshop in collaboration with ComOn: the designers presenting specially created work to several swimwear manufacturers. We were delighted to hear that two out of the three winners were Texprint designers: Manri Kishimoto and Israel Parra-Zanabria. All three winners were invited to attend the exhibition in Cannes 6-8 November and to design the Moda di Mare trend area.
Giuseppina Shah of View Publications with Israel and Manri at Moda di Mare
The six Texprint designers have now embarked on seven-week internships with major Como-based textile companies: Alice Howard-Graham (print) with Canepa, Manri Kishimoto (print/multi-media) with Taiana, Sophie Manners (weave) with Taroni, Israel Parra-Zanabria (print) with Rotary Textiles, Sophie Reeves (weave) with Luigi Verga, and Amber Sambrook (print) with Argenti.
Our thanks to all these companies for providing the designers with this unique opportunity to experience working in textiles in Italy.
The Texprint 24: Indigo highlights 2012
02 October 2012 by Editor
For the Texprint 24 the textile design show Indigo provided their first experience of exhibiting and selling their work alongside professional, established designers.
This prestigious showcase in Paris, September 19-21, is a fantastic platform for the emerging designers and vital to Texprint’s aim of helping to launch the careers of some of the best British graduates, the experience helping to shape the designers’ individual future plans.
Chairman Barbara Kennington was delighted to host this year’s event. “British creativity has been in the spotlight this year; creativity that comes in large part from encouraging diversity, excellence and high achievement in all design fields, and especially in fashion and textiles. Smart companies are looking to tap into this rich seam of British-trained talent and connecting with Texprint to support new textile talent.”
Overall Indigo 2012 was the best ever in terms of sales and contacts for the Texprint designers.
Sales to North America were particularly good, with Kayser-Roth Corp from North Carolina buying well; Lululemon Athletica (Texprint Foundation Sponsors), Hollister/Abercrombie & Fitch, Rachel Roy, Tracey Reese and Nike among others, also bought strongly.
Asian and European buyers were out in force too. From Europe: Tara Jarmon herself bought for junior line Mademoiselle Tara, and among others Nelly Rodi, H&M, Topshop, Boden, Custo, Desigual, Guy Laroche, White Stuff, and MD Gera, the German fashion prints manufacturer, were noted.
Buyers at Ying Wu stand
Conversations with these buyers gave the Texprint designers a unique opportunity to explain their inspiration and their work. Aside from individual sales, many freelance opportunities arose, as well as firm job offers and commissions.
Print designer David Warner notes: “It was such an invigorating experience to meet with buyers, agents, and industry experts. Getting their insight into what they thought of my designs and explaining who I am as a designer, gaining important contacts along the way. The whole experience will live with me and help to inform my future work.”
Philippa Watkins, journalist and RCA senior tutor, at Sophia Fenlon stand
Guido Tettamanti and Marco Taiana, representing sponsors Confidustria Como and the ComON creativity week, again endorsed their support for the programme. This year they have offered six designers an invaluable opportunity to experience working with Italian companies based in and around Como (up from two last year): Alice Howard-Graham, Manri Kishimoto, Sophie Manners, Israel Parra-Zanabria, Sophie Reeves and Amber Sambrook.
Woolmark Texprint Award judges at Lisa Bloomer stand
The Woolmark Texprint Award in Support of Campaign for Wool was judged at Indigo by James E Sugden OBE, director; James Dracup, group managing director, both of Johnstons of Elgin; and Masahiro Oono, textile design project manager of Japanese specialist wool weaver Nikke, and won by weaver Sophie Manners.
The highlight of the three-day event was the prize presentation. This took place on 19 September within a special section of the Texprint village where Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington welcomed the esteemed fashion and trend forecaster Nelly Rodi as the guest prize presenter.
Nelly reminded the audience of buyers, press and design professionals of her passion for nurturing young talent and her long-held admiration for the British design education system: “British schools seem take a much freer approach to educating their students, mixing different approaches such as photography, art and fashion, leaving the student to express himself, without imposed rule…Freedom gives a lot of energy to fashion.”
Nelly presented the winners of the four Texprint awards with their cheques: Carlo Volpi, winner of the Body Prize; Tania Grace Knuckey, winner of the Space Prize, Manri Kishimoto, winner of the Colour Prize; and Ying Wu, winner of the Pattern Prize.
Also saying a few words at the event were Gilles Lasbordes of Indigo/ Première Vision, and Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company and Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica; both companies Foundation Sponsors of Texprint.
Peter emphasized The Woolmark Company’s focus on “education, education, education” and again reiterated their desire to ensure that young designers are encouraged to work in wool, and to understand both its properties and its potential for fashion and interiors markets.
Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company, Sophie Manners, Rebecca Sharp of The Woolmark Company, and Nelly Rodi
Sheree created a buzz of excitement with her no-nonsense “Texprint rocks!” accolade. Since becoming Foundation Sponsors earlier this year, Lululemon has shown itself to be the most enthusiastic and forward thinking of companies. Sheree’s original plan to employ one intern to work in Vancouver for three months soon became two interns - Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves - as Sheree realized she could not choose between them when making her selection back in July at Texprint London.
Lululemon believe that working with Texprint and its exciting young designers is the very best way of driving innovation into their design process and of giving back and nurturing the next generation. An attitude we strongly applaud.
Buyer at Fergus Dowling stand
Print designer Trinity Mitchell sums up the designers’ appreciation for Texprint and in turn Texprint’s sponsors: “I can't express just how grateful I am to all of you at Texprint. I have had such a wonderful time and I am so thankful to have been part of it all. I never would have made the contacts I did if it weren't for Texprint, and I look forward to those contacts hopefully turning into jobs and work!”
Weaver Sophie Manners wins Woolmark Texprint Award
27 September 2012 by Editor
Weaver Sophie Manners was selected as winner of the second Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool last week at Indigo, Paris.
Sophie, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, won the prize for her superb woven textile designs developed with 60% or more Merino wool. The prize has been created in support of the Campaign for Wool with Patron HRH The Prince of Wales and honours the inventive use of wool in textile design.
Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington, Sophie Manners, prize presenter Nelly Rodi and Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company
The prize was judged at Indigo by James E Sugden OBE, director; James Dracup, group managing director, both of Johnstons of Elgin; and Masahiro Oono, textile design project manager of Japanese specialist wool weaver Nikke.
They selected Sophie out of the 24 shortlisted designers taking part in the Texprint programme this year, all of whom presented their work at Indigo. She received £1,000 in prize money, which was presented by this year’s Texprint prize presenter, the esteemed trend forecaster Nelly Rodi, and The Woolmark Company's Peter Ackroyd. As part of her prize, Sophie will also have access to training on the benefits and uses of wool through her nearest Woolmark Company office.
Nelly Rodi selects fabrics from Sophie's collection
Sophie loves colour and texture and being playful with these two elements. It was her reinvented traditional woven pieces on the theme of hair and fur, and her experimental approach to constructing fabrics with often unexpectedly tactile surfaces, that caught the judges attention.
Sophie’s weave tutor at the RCA, Philippa Watkins, says of her work: “Sophie is a clever weaver with a good grasp of woven techniques, including a velvet technique, which she explores to great effect using a variety of yarns and materials to create some extraordinary surfaces with a sometimes very surprising touch.”
Mr Sugden said the judges selected Sophie because of her technical excellence and the commerciality of her weave designs. She has a distinctive style and Mr Oono praised her tremendous imagination.
The Woolmark judges also commended printer Israel Parra-Zanabria, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, for his translation of ideas to commercial execution.
Indigo success: Texprint designers exhibit at Indigo, Paris
22 September 2012 by Editor
Texprint celebrated the achievements of the creative world's most exciting new textile design talents at last week's successful showcase at Indigo, Paris. Legendary fashion and trend forecaster Nelly Rodi presented this year's special prizes. Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington was joined on stage by Nelly Rodi and sponsors Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company, Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica and Gilles Lasbordes of Indigo/Première Vision.
Chosen for their creative flair, technical skill, and individuality in knit, weave, print, stitch and mixed media design, as well as a readiness to enter their professional lives, the 24 selected designers are the best of the best from around the globe - all trained in Britain.
More reports to follow.
Texprint Paris special prize presenter 2012: Nelly Rodi
16 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
“I’m delighted that Nelly Rodi has agreed to be this year’s special prize presenter at Indigo,” says Texprint’s creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre. Indeed, the entire Texprint team are thrilled to welcome the esteemed creative director and founder of the eponymous trend forecasting company to the podium of the Texprint Village at Indigo, Paris, on Thursday 20 September at 3.30pm where she will be guest of honour at the annual prize ceremony.
Mme Rodi herself has been recognised for her achievements in the world of creation, receiving the Legion of Honour in 1998 from the French President and Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2009.
She founded the NellyRodi Agency in 1985 and the company counts the cream of international fashion and beauty brands such as L’Oréal, Tommy Hilfiger, Marks & Spencer, PPR and LVMH among its clientele. The Agency is known for providing a very sophisticated forecasting service, founded on research and analysis, which considers sociological, creative and marketing influences on future trends. As well as publishing regular Trendlab® forecasting books across several markets and end users, the company works extensively on brand repositioning and bespoke consultancy projects.
Peter is full of praise for the way in which Nelly approaches creative development and design work and recalls working on a project with her in the early 1990s when he was product development manager, menswear, at the The Woolmark Company office in Paris (then called IWFO and part of IWS).
“Nelly had a wonderful way of understanding wool as a natural fibre. She stretched the imagination and technical side of what could be achieved with the fibre in the developing stages,” he says. “She had lots of new ideas, right down to the benefit for various consumer levels. She has a very thorough way of working.”
Texprint takes an equally rigorous approach to selecting the most dynamic and talented new textile designers from UK art schools and universities to take part in the annual mentoring programme.
“British schools seem take a much freer approach to educating their students, mixing different approaches such as photography, art and fashion, leaving the student to express himself, without imposed rule…Freedom gives a lot of energy to fashion,” says Nelly.
As a creative force with a deep understanding of the fashion and interiors industries, Nelly will offer a wealth of advice to the 24 selected textile designers when she visits the designers’ stands at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel. She says she is interested in work that has “an artistic approach, close to an artistic concept, mixed with texture and colours. For drawing, I look for hand-drawing and motifs which are not too commercial or based on actual trends. Technology comes after...”
“Nelly understands that the industry needs to be behind young and creative textile designers,” says Peter. Indeed, Nelly says: “The younger generation brings a lot of positive energy and modernity needed by our ‘old’ textile industry. We find new approaches by looking after the work of the new generation.”
She signs off with the following advice for new graduates: “Don’t be depressed by the textile recession. Make direct contact with leading international garment brands. Keep your freshness and freedom. And dare to create what you have in your hearts.”
Thank you Mme Rodi, we look forward to seeing you in Paris.
For more information about Texprint and to arrange an interview with Nelly Rodi at Indigo, Paris, ahead of the prize presentation at 3pm on Thursday 20 September please email email@example.com or call Delphine Thwaites on +44 (0)20 7250 0589.
Woolmark Texprint judge: Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke
11 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Textile designer Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke joins judging panel for the 2012 Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool prize.
Versatile, strong and natural: Merino wool provides textile designers with yarns and fabrics which are luxurious and sustainable, whether used in interiors or in apparel. The Woolmark Company, the not-for-profit organisation owned by over 29,000 Australian woolgrowers, invests in research, development, innovation and marketing along the global supply chain for Australian wool — the largest source of this noble fibre.
The Woolmark Company encourages new designers to explore the design possibilities and benefits of Merino wool through the sponsorship of the second annual Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool, whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.
A winner will be selected from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, September 19-21, 2012. The Woolmark Company and Texprint are delighted that experts in woollen textile creation will be choosing the winner.
In the first of two profile focuses on the judges, we speak with Masahiro Oono, project manager of Nikke Group’s textile design and marketing department in the Osaka-based organisation’s textile and clothing materials division – otherwise known as the Japan Wool Textile Co Ltd.
Nikke was established over 110 years ago, starting as a manufacturer of wool products and has since expanded into six different domains with the aim of providing “products and services to meet customers’ demands and make a contribution to society”. Its textile and clothing materials division includes the development, manufacture and wholesaling of products for apparel primarily incorporating wool. Like wool, Nikke’s corporate philosophy is to be “gentle and warm toward people and the planet”.
On meeting with Mr Oono on Nikke’s stand at textile exhibition Première Vision, Paris, he presents what he describes as the company’s signature fabric: a superfine wool chiffon gauze weighing 120g per meter which costs in the region of €35 per meter, which puts it in the realm of luxury brands. Indeed, he lists Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander and Burberry as top customers.
The most popular colours selected by buyers in February were sky blue or mustard, however for Mr Oono, achieving technical excellence is more important than using colour in design: “Nikke has a long history and a large archive, and we do a lot of work from the archive. I try to do what other can’t or aren’t able to do.”
Mr Oono joined Nikke 25 years ago. With two generations of kimono artisans in his family, he says his parents were happy when he decided to study fashion and textiles. “Since I was a child I have liked clothing. When I was deciding what to do at university, new stylists such as Yohji Yamamoto were coming through and I wanted to do something in this field,” he explains.
To the question ‘why would you recommend that new textile designers experiment with wool?’ he replies with another question: “Maybe students think that wool is thick and not interesting? But high end wool has so much potential. It’s important to know the possibilities of wool. If you don’t know wool and wool fibres you will never become a good textile designer.”
Mr Oono is a great advocate of wool and praises its inherent nature: “It’s natural, and comes from sheep and there’s a long history of man weaving sheep’s wool. You can do so many things with it: felt, twill, crêpe... there are so many possibilities. It’s also strong.”
As a Woolmark Texprint Award judge, he says he will be looking for designs that show “something unusual, that no one else has thought of, a new way”. As well as lending his expertise in judging the competition, Mr Oono will be a source of advice and inspiration for the 24 designers taking part in Texprint this year as he meets them and reviews their design work while looking for the winner: “We need young people – we need new ideas. Textile design is very creative work, work that gives you the possibility to realise your dreams.”
Supporting Texprint: The Haberdashers’ Livery Company
07 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Throughout six and a half centuries The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers has moved away from its historical involvement with the trade of haberdashery and developed into a significant supporter of schools and education in England and Wales.
The Company’s headquarters is the new Haberdashers’ Hall, opposite St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London. Built in 2002 around a gated quadrangle, it is reminiscent of a modern Oxbridge college. Here one of the Company’s Past Masters and Chairman of its Charities Committee George Pulman QC, and Alison Murdoch, Director of Charities, make life-changing and life-enhancing decisions for its beneficiaries who range from students of divinity to Texprint.
So when and how did the Company make this leap from trade body to charitable donor? Mr Pulman explains: “The history is long and complicated, but we are frightfully old. There is a haberdasher who travelled from Southwark to Canterbury with Geoffrey Chaucer and there are only three members of livery companies mentioned [in the Canterbury Tales] and the Haberdashers’ is one.”
The Company started the change towards education in 1594 when the Bunbury Aldersey Church of England Primary School in Cheshire was left to be under its governance. Mr Pulman continues: “Within the next 100 years three more foundations were started with Robert Aske, William Jones and William Adams leaving money in trust to the Company. So we have these separate funds, you can’t mix them.” Over the succeeding centuries various people gave money – often in their wills, sometimes during their lifetimes - to fund education and other good works.
The Company began when men involved in the trade of haberdashery in the City of London wanted to see it fairly run. “And after that the sons of haberdashers wanted to join as they could see it was good fun. But they weren’t always haberdashers and so gradually you had a lot of people who weren’t in the trade, became members of the Company,” says Mr Pulman. “And so we drifted into other purposes which were largely charitable but I think I’d be right in saying that our educational purposes have been greatly enhanced over the last 20 years or so, we have opened three brand new schools in the last few years.”
Texprint, is not a school, so, why does the Company choose to fund it? “We look for an association with our purposes, one of our purposes is the trade of haberdashery and so Texprint comes precisely within that,” answers Mr Pulman.
“There’s another link,” adds Mrs Murdoch, “Thomas Arno is a relatively recent benefactor of 1937. Some of the money he left to the Company was specifically for helping young people to start up in business. And of course Texprint falls into that category perfectly.”
With so many stipulations, it must increase the amount of administration you must do? Mrs Murdoch says: “It does but we sit down on a regular basis and we think about the strategy for the Company, for each particular committee in its field, and the Charities Committee also regularly reviews the focus areas that we want to concentrate on. We have limited resources, and we can’t give to everybody, however worthy the causes, and we’re limited by partly the Charity Commission schemes and partly by the fact that we want to do what the people who gave us the money to look after, asked us to do. They trusted us to do good things in that particular area.”
The Company also supports haberdashery-linked concerns at the Royal School of Needlework and City & Guilds. And each year the Company invites first year MA textiles students from the Royal College of Art to present their work at the hall. “Some of the students we award prizes to sometimes go on to be picked by Texprint, which is rewarding,” says Mrs Murdoch.
The Company’s involvement as a major sponsor ensures that Texprint can introduce each year’s selected 24 new graduate designers to the industry in London in July moving on to Paris in September. Mrs Murdoch says with a smile: “I do feel, Past Master, that the Director of Charities might be allowed to participate in the event in Paris...”
“I think you may need to be accompanied,” he replies, quickly.
“…by the Chairman of the Charities Committee!”
We hope to see you both in Paris and thank you and the Haberdashers’ Company for your continued support.
Supporting Texprint: The Clothworkers’ Foundation
04 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Texprint is proud to have The Clothworkers’ Foundation – the charitable organisation set up by the Clothworkers’ Livery Company – as both a Foundation Sponsor and an Award Sponsor.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Texprint depends on the commitment of its Foundation Sponsors to uphold its annual programme of activities. Through the Foundation’s generous funding, Texprint helps new graduate textile designers as they leap from college into their professional lives.
Founded during the reign of Henry VIII, the Company was established as a trade body for cloth finishers in the City of London. Throughout its long existence the Company has looked after the welfare and interests of its members and has been heavily involved in charitable activities, many of which are textile-related.
“Originally all our members were involved in the textile trade, now virtually none are. And so our involvement is through philanthropic support and we’ve been involved with charities through alms houses, schools and the relief of need, for nearly 500 years,” explains chief executive Andrew Blessley. “Today we have The Clothworkers’ Foundation which gives between £5 million and £6m a year to a broad range of charities. In the textiles arena, our giving is: heritage, conservation, textile technology, and finally, and most pertinent to Texprint, we are a selective supporter of textile design, really focussing on excellence.”
For the last decade, the Foundation has been a consistent supporter of Texprint. Andrew says: “We recognise that it is difficult for Texprint to raise money each year. The industry unfortunately doesn’t seem to have very much of a long-term perspective and is driven more by short-term financial considerations. We’re delighted to support Texprint and we think it provides a wonderful opportunity, not just for the 24 winners but all those who apply, in terms of the guidance and mentoring they get through the judging process. And the opportunity for these talented young people to actually have their work seen by the major buyers, movers and shakers in London; Indigo, Première Vision, Paris; and in Hong Kong is absolutely fantastic.” Andrew says the proportion of established studios set up by Texprint alumni that show at Indigo is “amazing”.
In addition to Texprint, the Foundation funds MA students at the Royal College of Art and is a prize donor at New Designers exhibition of new graduates’ work and the Bradford Textile Society design awards.
One of the biggest grants the Foundation has made in the last few years has been £1m to the V&A Museum’s Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation.The Centre at Blythe House, Kensington Olympia, London, will bring the European and Asian textile study collections together in a single location for the first time. Individual visitors and groups will be able to make appointments to see, study and enjoy the collections in the spacious new public study room. It will open in summer 2013.
The Foundation is also a major funder of the Textile Conservation Centre in Glasgow and the Bowes Museum in County Durham, which has an important collection of lace. It also made a grant of £750,000 to the British Museum, towards an organics conservation centre which houses its huge collection of ethnographic textiles.
Andrew explains the origins of the Foundation’s funds: “It’s the ultimate old money; if you were involved in cloth finishing and had a house in the City and didn’t have any heirs, you often left your house to the Company. What was then a grotty house with an open sewer in front of it is now part of a 40-storey block. We still own quite a lot of property in the City as do other livery companies. And the income from that funds all the philanthropic work that we do, which is based largely on property and on bequests that were made three or four hundred years ago.”
The Clothworkers’ Company was formed in 1528 with the merger of two companies; the Fullers and Shearmen which are two stages in the process of cloth finishing. It has had six halls, where the Company holds its meetings and members’ events, on the same site since 1515. “As the Company’s role in the cloth finishing industry declined as the textile trade moved away from London, it became more of a property and investment company and we have always been very involved with charity,” he says.
The Company returned to the trade in the mid-19th century. He continues: “We were one of the founders of the City & Guilds Institute which is all about vocational skills, effectively replacing apprenticeships which were the traditional way of people learning their craft. And we were one of the founders of what’s now the University of Leeds which was originally the Yorkshire College of Technology and we founded the textile department and what was known as tinctorial chemistry and what is now known as colour science. We’re still involved with Leeds and other universities with textiles departments.”
From ensuring that valued collections of precious fabrics are kept safe, to helping launch the careers of the next generation of designers, the Clothworkers’ is as steadfast in its support of the industry, now as it was 500 years ago. Texprint would like to thank Andrew Blessley and The Clothworkers’ Foundation for your continual sponsorship and valuing excellence in design.
Texprint’s Special Prizes
07 August 2012 by Editor
Encouraging and supporting British-trained talent is important to Texprint’s sponsors, however many of them go one further by awarding special prizes, experiences and internships.
Three of the four Texprint Awards - for Body, Space, Pattern and Colour - are generously sponsored by The Clothworkers’ Foundation (Space), Liberty Art Fabrics (Pattern) and Pantone X-Rite (Colour). Pantone X-Rite also gives the four winners a Pantone F+H Colour Guide.
Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington with Manri Kishimoto and Carola Seybold of prize sponsor Pantone X-Rite
The Lululemon Athletica Award was judged by Sheree Waterson, executive vice president and chief product officer of Lululemon Athletica. Although originally planning to offer one internship, Sheree was so impressed by the exciting design on offer that she simply had to invite two young designers, Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves, to undertake paid 3-month internships at the Lululemon Athletica headquarters in Vancouver. Short-listed for the award were Lisa Bloomer, Dominique Caplan and Fergus Dowling.
Sophie Reeves textile, Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica with Manri Kishimoto and Manri Kishimoto textile
The Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool, donated by The Woolmark Company, will be judged and presented at Indigo/PremièreVision, Paris, in September. We greatly look forward to reporting on that later in the year.
The Italian trade organisation Confindustria Como represents a core of 300 Como-based textile companies. It also supports ComOn, a hub of European creativity based in Como that this year has invited six Texprint designers to participate in a week of creative sharing and interaction. The six designers selected at Texprint London by Marco Taiana for ComON are Alice Howard-Graham, Manri Kishimoto, Sophie Manners, Israel Parra-Zanabria, Sophie Reeves and Ying Wu (top image shows Body prize winner Carlo Volpi with Marco Taiana). They will visit Como in October. Reserves were Lisa Bloomer and Amber Sambrook.
Finally, and also looking ahead to October, Foundation Sponsors The Drapers’ Company, and Supporters The Worshipful Company of Weavers, are this year supporting an extraordinary opportunity for six of the designers. Sarah Burton, Manri Kishimoto, Tania Knuckey, Carlo Volpi, Ying Wu and the winner of the The Woolmark Texprint Award will travel to Hong Kong to exhibit at trade fair Interstoff Asia Essential and experience at first hand this important fashion and textile market.
All great examples of how Texprint works with all its sponsors to ensure they benefit from the relationship – knowing they are supporting British-trained talent, encouraging innovative design, and in many cases, benefiting from early access to innovative new ideas and textile concepts.