New wardrobe for University Chancellor

Fashion students have designed a clothing collection for media guru and new University Chancellor, Karen Blackett OBE.Blackett by CournteyHoare3web

The students chose Karen as their muse after she was named as the next University Chancellor earlier this year. As part of the project the students must write a business plan that shows a genuine understanding of the customer and the market in which he/she exists. As Chairwoman of MediaCom, the UK’s largest media agency, Karen was seen as the perfect role-model to teach students about the commercial side of fashion and business planning.

Karen, who became Chancellor just last week, said she was delighted to be the students’ inspiration.  “I feel like a celebrity having clothes designed for me. It is such an honour to have helped inspire the collection. I love strong colours and a twist on the conventional in my business attire. The collection shows breadth and is bold, some items more practical for office wear than others!”

Sue Noble, Senior Lecturer on thBlackett2webe BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design course, said that Karen is someone the students find inspirational, stylish and intelligent who wears their clothes with self-possession and poise.

“What we wear is a primary means of self-expression, and Karen’s many achievements and attributes are effectively communicated in the way she presents herself. The students are designing clothes that challenge assumptions and stereotypes and which celebrate Karen’s individuality.

“Understanding the business end of fashion is vital for the students’ future employability so they learn how to identify specific niches within the market and to design for an ideal customer who inspires them. I’ve been delighted with how they have seized the idea and presented their designs.”

All the designs are clothes are made from up-cycled items as part of the sustainable fashion agenda promoted on the course.

Eight of the students are currently presenting their designs in China during an exchange visit with Wuhan Textile UniversiBlackettBBwebty. During the two week trip they will explore how their two cultures send messages about who they are through what they wear and what it says about the ‘tribe’ they feel they belong to. The visit follows a visit to the University of Portsmouth by Chinese students from Wuhan earlier this year.

Sue said the project had been illuminating for all of the students: “It’s been fascinating to see how this has developed as the students from opposite sides of the world found they had a shared sense of global fashion and enjoyed bringing together their experience and culture to express themselves in new ways.”

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