Sixth year of University partnership with Yorkshire-based textile mill

23 March 2020

Yorkshire-based textile company, Alfred Brown Ltd, has collaborated with the University’s Level 5 BA (Hons) Fashion Design students in the creation of tailored menswear for the sixth year.

The winning design, a Spanish-inspired jacket by Ines Lacruz Sisamon and runner-up, a cobalt blue jacket featuring bold white embroidery by Iphegenia Tsansizis-Wheatman, will be shown on Alfred Brown Ltd’s stand at the next edition of the major international trade show, Milano Unica.

The company has been weaving worsted fabrics from merino wool for over hundred years and they donated some of their world-renowned fabrics to the students with an open brief to design and make tailored menswear.

Images: Jacket by Ines Lacruz Sisamon (Alfred Brown winner, 2020). Photos courtesy Ines Lacruz Sisamon

The design of the jacket is inspired by the traditional catholic annual parade that takes place in Ines’s home city of Zaragoza, Spain in October. The Flower Offering to the Virgin of Pilar sees people from the city and surrounding towns and villages dress in traditional costume and parade a statue of the Virgin Mary, piled high with flowers, to the city’s baroque cathedral. 

Ines said: “The design of the jacket is very personal. My great-aunt’s wedding bodice, which I have worn to the parade in recent years, was a truly important inspiration for its silhouette. I also incorporated details from other regional garments that my family has worn to the parade over many years.”

Selecting the winning designs, Alfred Brown Ltd Sales Manager, Ben Brown, said: “I was really impressed with the creative ideas and skill demonstrated by all of the participating students. Ines’s winning design shows the perfect match of creativity and craft, from the use of camel wool and choice of colours to the exceptional quality with which the jacket is made. I particular like the way that she has handled the traditional fabric and worked it into a contemporary and unique design that will sit proudly on our stand at Milano Unica.”

Image: Jacket by Iphegenia Tsansizis-Wheatman (Alfred Brown runner-up 2020). Photo (c) Polly Offland

In addition to the recognition of first and runner-up awarded to Ines Lacruz Sisamon and Iphegenia Tsansizis-Wheatman, three students were highly commended for their designs: Erin Ritchie, Megan Mustill and Ipek Onuk.

BA Fashion Design, Senior Lecturer, Andrew Bannister-Bailey said: “At Leeds Arts University we are proud of the opportunities that we give students to work on live industry briefs, equipping them with essential skills for the workplace. Over the last six years we have built a valuable relationship with Alfred Brown Ltd that gives our level 5 Fashion Design students important experience in working with their exceptional quality wool fabrics.”

Alfred Brown Ltd have been weaving fabric in Bramley, Leeds since 1915. They produce and sell worsted suiting and jacketing fabrics for the British high street, and to clients around the world. They worked with M&S to produce the suits won by the England football team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.