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University of Northampton combines leather and fashion courses

Date 20.08.2021

For the first time, the University of Northampton has formally brought together its specialisms of fashion and leather under a new subject area that promises fresh opportunities for research and teaching in a range of areas including luxury design, high tech materials and environmental sustainability.

The new alignment is primarily in response to students’ desire for a suite of fashion courses that integrate leather’s significance in footwear and clothing design – from the toughest workwear to couture collections.

The new subject area will sit within the University’s Faculty of Art, Science and Technology. Faculty Dean Mr John Sinclair explains: “From Marlon Brando’s iconic Perfecto jacket to Christian Louboutin’s elegant red-soled shoes and the timeless Chanel 2.55 handbag – leather and fashion are indivisible.

“The University of Northampton has a unique legacy in leather technology which has enabled graduates to work with some of the biggest brands in the sports, luxury goods, footwear, automotive and fashion sectors. Simultaneously, our fashion courses have provided a fast-track into the textile and footwear industries that are at the cutting edge of design. By combining fashion and leather under one subject area, we will provide more opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge in disciplines such as marketing and science, while sparking creativity in ways that grasp the attention of employers.”

Under the new subject area – which will be introduced from October 2021 – the University’s Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT) will continue to carry out research that responds to the scientific and technological needs of industry, such as improving sustainability and environmental practice across the fashion and leather supply chain. Existing leather technology courses will be continuing long term.

The University has created a new post that will oversee teaching under the new subject area and the research activities of the ICLT, which will recruit in Autumn 2021.

John Sinclair concluded: “We are committed to being at the forefront of design and sustainability, and pride ourselves on being responsive to the needs of industry and the preferences of students.  We are really excited about the new subject flourishing within our portfolio.”