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Fashion students rise to the challenge to complete industry project in lockdown

Written by on June 30, 2020

Fashion students have been praised for their professionalism and creativity after overcoming the constraints of lockdown to successfully complete an industry challenge.

Second years studying Fashion, Textiles and Footwear & Accessories at the University of Northampton were challenged to come up with a capsule collection for global apparel label manufacturer, ITL Group.

ITL produces apparel labels for a wide variety of retailers and brands around the globe, including UK high street giants Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Next.

The capsule collections had to comprise three outfits, including accessories and shoes, and had to embrace ITL’s vision of working creatively with labels.

The students split into five teams and spent several months working on the project, which was then disrupted by lockdown. Instead of presenting their ideas face-to-face to the ITL team, the students came up with some inspiring video presentations.

Sabine Watson, global brand manager for ITL Group, was not only impressed with the projects’ contents, but the students’ imaginative presentations – so much so, that ITL increased the winning team’s prize.

The winning team, Zen, produced a capsule collection inspired by Japanese culture.

Zen team member and Textiles for Fashion student, Tasha Finlay, said: “Working with a global company was extremely exciting and such a great opportunity. I enjoyed the teamwork and the strong coherent unit we created; it made the experience even more enjoyable.

“The project has taught me communication is key to team working, as well as being open and honest throughout. Professionalism and discipline is so important when working with your client, to be able to present to them the best possible outcome that meets their needs.

“You have to be strong minded and confident with your design. We had so much confidence and we believed in our designs, so it was reassuring that we delivered high quality products to meet our client’s brief.”

Joining Tasha in team Zen were Chloe Cooper, Juan Moreno, Jennifer Bradley, Paulina Makowska and Ria Thakkar.

Speaking further about Zen’s work, Sabine from ITL added: “There were many aspects that made team Zen the winning team; in fact, we couldn’t fault them. Each student was clearly involved in the evolution of their collection/concept, had a clear understanding of their role, our brand identity and how to utilise labels to enhance a garment. They went above and beyond to design a variety of labels and incorporate sustainability.”

The project was such a success, ITL is looking to work with the University’s Fashion department in the future.

Sabine said: “We are always looking at innovating and supporting local talent and this project has done just that.

“Some of the trends, concepts and designs the teams created ignited several ideas in our sales and marketing team and furthered our research on the upcoming trends. We are very grateful for the wonderful work the students delivered and look forward to working with the University next year.”

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