Fashion students win the chance to work at leather manufacturer Pittards

Date 29.04.2016

Five second-year fashion students at the University of Northampton have won the opportunity to work at high-quality leather manufacturers, Pittards after making a big impression during a project presentation.

Jackie Evans, Elena Hristova, Lorraine Mukumbe, Sumaiya Neher and Saumya Sachdev, otherwise known as Team EMAN, were part of a live collaborative project that involved a total of 30 students across the Fashion, Textiles for Fashion and Footwear and Accessories programmes.

The students were divided into teams and were asked to work to a brief set by Pittards to develop a brand profile, research a chosen theme and explore their concept through design research, 2D and 3D design development. The students also had to create and produce a collection of three outfits, footwear and accessories, which included a limited edition luxury leather Pittards-branded product.

As part of the project each team was assigned to work with a third year photography student to collaborate on a fashion shoot to create a look book and a fashion film to promote their work.

The fashion students were then invited to present their projects to Director of Marketing Debbie Burton and Director of Consumer Products Richard Nott from Pittards, who visited the University on Wednesday 27 April.

Team EMAN were crowned the winners with their concept, which was influenced by the conflict in Syria and the consequences it is having on people’s lives, the country itself and its culture.

Through their collection, they showed the contrast of the large-scale destruction seen by the whole world, as well as the forgotten beauty of Syria and the positive aspects for which the country should be known for. The students also up-cycled and created their materials for use in the collection from re-used denim to re-cycled leathers.

They all now have the opportunity to complete a month’s work placement with Pittards at their head office in Yeovil, Somerset.

Jane Mills, Senior Lecturer in Fashion at the University of Northampton, commented: “This collaborative industry project is designed to allow students to gain real-world experience and support them in making the transition from theoretical learning to practical usage in the fashion industry.”

Debbie Burton, Director of Marketing at Pittards, said: “There has been a great quality across the board and every group we have seen has had its own particular strengths. I see a lot of students and I was really impressed by the Northampton students and their ability to take on a theme, express their ideas and present them.

“The winning students’ presentation and their grasp of target customer and the ability to take us on a journey from concept to that customer was exceptional.”

Richard Nott, Director of Consumer Products at Pittards, commented: “The execution of the brief and the product has been very good and in some cases, exceptional and I was also very impressed with the quality of the students’ work.”