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               New Designers


                 Name: Jilli Blackwood               Name: Victoria Saunders              Name: Margo Selby                   Name: Poppy Treffry                  Name: Alison Willoughby
                 College: Glasgow School             College: University of               College: Chelsea College            College: Winchester                  College: Glasgow School
                 of Art                              Plymouth                             of Art                              School of Art                        of Art
                 Course: Embroidery and              Course: Interior Textiles and        Course: Textile Design              Course: Fashion and                  Course: Printed and
                 Woven Textiles                      Surface Design                       Graduated: 1999                     Textile Design                       Knitted Textiles
                 Graduated: 1986                     Graduated: 2008                                                          Graduated: 1999                      Graduated: 1999

               Casting her mind back to             The stereotype of lazy student       The thrill of being selected is    After the excitement and             “New Designers was upset-
               the start of her enviably diverse    life, late night parties and long    an enduring memory when            expectation of New Designers         ting. That summer I was leav-
               career Jilli Blackwood recalls       lie-ins could not be further from    Margo Selby recalls New            not all students walk away           ing my friends and would
               both the exhaustion and              the experience of a textile          Designers; “not everyone could     with a prize or the perfect job.     never see some of them again.
               exhilaration of her first show.      student close to graduation as       take part so it was wonderful to   Some, like Poppy Treffry, have       On a brighter note I was head-
               “In one way there is the sense       Victoria can testify. With just      be chosen and have my work         a dawning realisation of what        ing to The Royal College of Art
               that you are being cast out to       two days to tear down her final      curated by tutors.” The reac-      life in the ‘real world’ is really   to start an MA and was already
               sink or swim. I remember being       show in Taunton, take it 200         tion from the public was even      like. “New Designers taught          working on the new project
               so grateful when the Head of         miles to London and set it up        better; “it was lovely to be       me I wasn’t ready,” admits           they had set.”
               Department of Printed Textiles,      for New Designers, the pres-         appreciated. I had produced a      Poppy; “it was part of a steep            Alison Willoughby typifies
               Barbara Santos Shaw took me          sure is intense. But she isn’t       length of fine hand-woven silk,    learning curve. My goal at the       the highs and low of the end of
               for a coffee and showed the          complaining; ‘it’s good practice     it had taken over three weeks.     show was simply to find a job.       student days but on reflection
               tutors hadn’t forgotten us!”         for someone who plans to set         Looking back I can see the         I managed to find an agent           she see the experience of New
               New Designers also led to            up as a designer maker.’             luxury of lavishing that much      which led to work as a free-         Designers as positive; “I met
               some wonderful opportunities.              Victoria’s final collection    time on a single piece.” Given     lance textile designer but ulti-     lots of people, a designer who
               “A job offer from designer Jean      ‘Ageing beauty’, which uses          the labour intensive nature of     mately I found it wasn’t for         wanted fabric for his London
               Muir was a marvellous vote of        innovative corrosive techniques      her work you might assume          me. The design briefs were           Fashion Week collection, a
               confidence. In fact I astounded      and the staining effects of          Margo pursued a career             restricting and I realised I         tutor at Central Saint Martins,
               myself by turning it down. Yet       smoke has caught the attention       making bespoke items but the       would be happier making              who wanted me to do a MA
               staying true to myself in the        of her tutors and could gain her     commercial world beckoned; “I      things on my own.” Poppy             and Donna Karan walked past

               midst of many options was the        a job offer or two; but her aim is   hand weave samples but             has since found her niche            my stand! New Designers
               greatest lesson of that time. I’ve   to pursue her interest in            having my cloth produced in a      and has international stock-         taught me how small the
               never regretted pursuing my          craft independently and resist       mill means I can bring craft       ists and legions of admirers of      design world actually is –
               own career as an artist.” •••        the lure of industry. •••            skills to a wider audience.” •••   her stitched accessories. •••        everyone knows everyone. •••

  Name: Hannah Lamb                   Name: James Donald                  Name: Victoria Bain                Name: Neil Bottle
  College: Manchester                 College: Duncan of                  College: Edinburgh                 College: Middlesex
  Metropolitan University             Jordanstone College                 College of Art                     University
  Course: Embroidery                  Course: Constructed                 Course: Printed Textiles           Course: Printed Textiles
  Graduated: 2001                     Textiles                            Graduated: 1993                    Graduated: 1989
                                      Graduated: 1996

In the frenzy of the show,          “For the duration of my degree      It doesn’t seem likely but it      It’s probably true to say that
surrounded by other graduates       I was isolated, working in my       was at New Designers 'One          New Designers put Neil Bottle
generating dozens of leads and      own wee world. New Designers        Year On' that Victoria Bain        where he is today. It was with
contacts, it’s easy to feel over-   suddenly exposed me to              discovered she was a sales         the £1,000 prize money from
looked: but remember not            people who were interested in       woman at heart “I loved selling    his Painter-Stainers Award for
everyone has success handed         my work, not just clients but       because it was a product that I    printed textiles that he
to them on a plate. This is the     students from other colleges        was proud of. It also made         purchased the second-hand
advice Hannah Lamb, now a           and the public. It was satisfying   me see that I needed to be         equipment from his print
lecturer, offers her students.      to know that there was going to     commercially aware to survive.     studio. “After a brief spell
“There is so much talent at         be a life outside and after art     It was an opportunity to gauge     renting a studio in London I
New Designers it’s almost over-     school. Talking to people gave      how commercial my work was         moved to the Kent coast where
whelming. I was glad I had two      me confidence. It also showed       and how prepared I would have      I set up my first studio which is
shots at it; my graduate show       me ways of selling and getting      to be on costings, delivery lead   still operational today.
and One Year On.                    exposure for my work.               times, and bespoke orders. I             New Designers provided
     My first experience was             After I graduation I trav-     learnt I would need to create      me with my first taste of selling
                                                                                                                                               “New Designers
positive, I had lots of interest    elled to America and Australia,     marketing material in order for    work and obtaining feedback. I      is now a British
but no sales and no firm offers.    where I taught in Art Schools.      customers to remember me.          was lucky, my work hit market
Though quirky and novel my          Eventually returned and settled         That was combined with         trends and I sold most of my        institution; people
work was difficult to place so      in Edinburgh where I set up my      being in a room filled with        show. In short, without New         look to it for the
I chose to become more              shop Concrete Wardrobe and          wonderful young designers          Designers and the support that
commercial. For One Year On         the weave label, PickOne. New       who were equally naïve about       followed I would not have been      creative talent it
I was prepared and my work
was properly resolved... all
                                    Designers informed how I work
                                    today as a designer, it was a
                                                                        the process but eager to learn.
                                                                        Their strength and excitement
                                                                                                           able to establish the business
                                                                                                           or enjoy my career in the
these things take time.” •••        real stepping stone.”•••            was mine too.” •••                 creative industries.” •••           Gordon Brown, MP, 2006

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