Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design students work with H&M

25 March 2019

Students from BA (Hons) Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design were given the opportunity to work on a live brief set and judged by H&M.

The brief was set by Maria Olofsgard, Fashion Design Recruitment & Employer Branding at H&M Head Office and Helen Whalley, Print Designer at H&M. Students were asked to design six prints for an Autumn/Winter capsule collection at either H&M Ladies, H&M Girls or H&M Boys based on one of the three print concepts provided: Floral China, Luna Road Trip or Rural Vista.

Image: Helen Whalley from H&M with students from Leeds Arts University.

H&M approached the University after being impressed by the consistently high level of print design presented by students at New Designers. They arranged to meet with staff from the course to discuss whether or not a live brief would be a good fit for the course and students. Maria told us:

“We wanted to make the project part of the students’ learning so it was meaningful to them. This is the first time we have worked with Leeds Arts University so it was important for us to work closely with the tutors to make sure our brief would fit in.

The project gives the students the opportunity to broaden their experience and test out new skills and ideas, whilst helping them to explore possibilities for their future career.”

The judges chose three winning designs which were was announced at a special presentation led by Maria and Helen.

Image: Chelsea Fay, Anna Cooper and Alice Wilson with their certificates from H&M.

First places was given to Chelsea Fay for her Luna Road Trip project. Her design was praised for being confident, commercial and well edited. The panel felt it hit the ‘cool H&M customer’. Chelsea said:

"The H&M brief was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and to expand my creative and technical skills. Normally I specialise in prints for interiors, so designing for kidswear was something brand new and ultimately very rewarding."

Image: Maria and Helen with work by Chelsea Fay.

Second place was awarded to Anna Cooper for her fashion focussed Rural Vista design. The judges were impressed with her clear presentation and for aiming her designs at the right customer.

“I chose the Rural Vista trend as I wanted to create a print collection for womenswear and the projected trend board that H&M created had imagery and ideas that I was keen to explore. The interim critique with H&M provided useful feedback for developing my ideas and maintaining a strong customer focus; I feel that my work really benefited from taking on their advice. I really enjoyed the whole process of the brief and am very happy to have been awarded with second place!”

Image: Anna Cooper's designs. 

Alice Wilson was given third place for her Floral China childrenswear range. She was commended for her great drawing and clear vision of a customer, and for choosing the right print for the right garments. Alice said:

“The H&M live brief was my first opportunity to work with industry professionals, I worked on the concept of Floral China for girls clothing aged 1-5 which also gave me my first chance to design for childrenswear; I found it fun and exciting to experience a new market and get a taste of the design world.”

Three other students, Izzy Savin, Alarna Dolan and Louise Power were commended for their projects, receiving praise for the way they responded to the brief and the progress they made throughout the project.

All images by Maria Halton.

Image: Chelsea Fay's winning design.

Image: Louise Power.

Image: Izzy Savin.

Image: Alannah Dolan.