UKFT’s MADE IT Masterclass at the University of Salford
UKFT held a production and sourcing masterclass for third-year fashion design students at the University of Salford to provide a better understanding of real-life production and sourcing in industry, and highlight the benefits and opportunities of working with UK manufacturers.
The masterclass is part of UKFT’s MADE IT programme, which will see UKFT delivering a masterclass to students at five universities and offer one student from each participating university a fully financially-supported internship opportunity within a fashion or textile production environment in the UK.
The masterclass at the University of Salford was delivered by Daliah Simble-Hearn, a product lifecycle management consultant with more than 25 years of experience working with brands including Jigsaw, Roland Mouret, Chinti and Parker, Monsoon, Sophie Webster, Frost French, Ben Sherman, Hunter and Liberty. The masterclasses would normally be delivered face-to-face but due to the current restrictions, the first in this year’s programme was delivered virtually via Teams.
Paul Marsden, a lecturer for the BA (Hons) Fashion Design course in Salford, said the masterclass guided the third year students through the complete process of producing a fashion collection from initial concept to market.
“Delving into the fundamentals of each critical area and assisting the student to build up a vision of the design, prototyping, sampling, construction, delivery and retail processes, Daliah highlighted hidden pitfalls and offered valuable advice on how to best organise and control critical processes involved in bringing product to market,” said Paul.
Third year fashion design student Renata Fejes-Nagyfejeo said: “We had a very exciting MADE IT masterclass was delivered to my year group by UKFT. It was such an extensive and informative presentation, where we learned all about sourcing for our future fashion brands.
“We were also able to ask many questions and to have them answered in depth,” she said. I really loved how Daliah was able to draw up responses from all sorts of scenarios and answer questions across a breadth of company sizes, from independent start-ups to big corporations. I would be really happy to take part of something like this again.”
The session gave students an overview of how to build the right sourcing strategy for a business, while helping them to understand and identify the hidden costs attached to sourcing.
It also helped students to understand sourcing terminology used in industry, as well as exploring different options for building a supply chain strategy. It examined various issues around ethical and sustainable sourcing, and presented the business case and opportunities for working with UK manufacturers today.
The masterclass outlined the different areas of specialism of UK manufacturing including knitwear in Scotland; the north of England for wool textile weavers, outerwear and technical textiles; the Midlands for knitwear, jersey and footwear; luxury ready-to-wear and fast fashion in London; silk in the South East; and lingerie from the South Coast and in Yorkshire. It also helped students to understand how to approach manufacturing in the UK, with real-life examples of developing long-standing relationships with suppliers.
Aurora Dickson said the masterclass offered valuable industry insight and in-depth discussion about suppliers and the manufacturing processes.
“The masterclass presented information I had never heard before and I now feel well-informed,” she said. “It’s great to know that we still have such a rich mix of manufacturers in the UK.”
“The MADE IT masterclass introduced me to an area of the industry I had previously found rather intimidating,” said Patrick Garstang. “As final year undergraduates, it was great to learn new approaches and, as an aspiring designer looking to launch my own brand, it was great to see the realities of this sector.”
Reuben Shrestha agreed that the masterclass was useful for an upcoming designer wanting to start their own brand. “The in-depth presentation showed me a whole different side to the industry that I had never previously thought about,” said Reuben.
“Detailing the process from concept to market, the masterclass talked you through all the stages and highlights the pros and cons to each option available to you at these different stages. Offering advice on how best to organise and control your product to market, it also pointed out all the hidden costs you may encounter in the process.”
Erin Stokes said the most useful part of the talk was around finding the right manufacturer for your brand and the ethics involved in choosing the right people to work with.
“This is relevant to me because one of my core values as a young designer focuses on the progression of better and fairer work for everyone involved in the process of fashion,” she said. “Overall, I found that this section of the talk stuck with me the most, however there were other points of interest that I thought were also really valuable for me to know before I step into the industry, such as high street sourcing and hidden cost shipping terms.
“I learned a lot from the presentation and feel like the advice given has saved my future self from making many mistakes as I find my feet in the fashion industry.”
MADE IT is a three-year project and UKFT is working with Plymouth College of Art, Winchester School of Art, De Montfort University and Bucks New University and the University of Salford for the 2020-21 academic year.
In addition to the MADE IT programme, UKFT offers a variety of Masterclasses for Academic and Education settings and industry. Find out more below.