© Brooke Wakeman 2019
TexSelect’s aim for the past 50 years has been to select, mentor and promote the UK’s most talented newly graduated textile designers, providing an opportunity for realistic development, and a vital bridge between higher education and the real, commercial world.
The charity closes formally in the next few weeks, passing on the baton to Première Vision Group, which is to launch the PV Awards Next Gen for young textile designers in 2020 – thus continuing the work of TexSelect in the best possible way.
Those selected for this unique mentorship programme are introduced to buyers, press and sponsors at the TexSelect London Preview and at Europe’s leading fabric fair, Première Vision Paris, gaining exceptional first hand experience of the industry. There are also opportunities to intern with some of Italy’s finest mills and manufacturers, to be trained on specialist CAD software, and to have work selected for a curated interiors collection. TexSelect’s Hero Mentor scheme carries the support forward, linking designers with industry professionals who provide ongoing career mentorship.
Many TexSelect alumni now enjoy high-profile creative roles within the international textile, fashion and interior design industries.
The TexSelect charity is entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals. All believe wholeheartedly in supporting textile design talent and in encouraging design innovation and excellence.
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TexSelect is managed by industry professionals with the added support of many internationally-recognised industry names.
Our Executive Team is responsible for the overall strategic direction of TexSelect, for sponsor relations, the efficient and effective management of funds, and for the annual selection, mentoring and promotion of the TexSelect designers.
Our Trustees and Council meet twice each year to monitor and review how TexSelect is performing against its aims and objectives.
Originally established as Texprint, under the auspices of the Design Council, the organisation was to become a link between the skilled designers being trained at UK colleges and the textile industry itself. The costs of running the Texprint programme were primarily met by the Design Council and major (at the time) industry sponsors such as Courtaulds, IWS, ICI Fibres, Illingworth Morris, Marks & Spencer, Tootal, plus two City Livery Companies: The Drapers’ Company and The Worshipful Company of Weavers.
Government funding for the Design Council was withdrawn. Helga Goldman (our current CEO) was responsible for Texprint while at the Design Council; she left to set up her own business when funding was withdrawn.
Several key people from industry sponsors were also Design Council members – Terence Altham (IWS/Woolmark), Oliver Makower (The Drapers’ Company), David Harvey (journalist and industry commentator) and designer Anne Tyrrell MBE. They believed passionately in Texprint, contacted The Drapers’ Company and the Worshipful Company of Weavers and the previous industry sponsors to raise funds, and invited Helga Goldman to return to run Texprint as an independent organisation and charity. The Drapers’ Company, in particular Oliver Makower, played a vital part in the continuation of the Texprint programme at this crucial time.
Texprint showed at Fabrex, the UK professional textile exhibition (now defunct), for the first time as an independent organisation.
TexSelect (formerly Texprint) continues to be run as a charity; it is highly regarded as a unique incubator of textile design talent and is supported by sponsors connected to the International textile industry and by British charitable foundations.
TexSelect works closely with all sponsors to ensure they benefit from the relationship – supporting British-trained textile design talent, encouraging innovative design, and in many cases, benefiting themselves from early commercial access to innovative new ideas and textile concepts.
The selected 24 designers selected for the TexSelect programme are mentored and showcased at several international industry events which provides an invaluable link between their college experience and the vital first steps on their career path.
“ At TexSelect, you are the catalysts for finding talent who can be creative and innovative with wool. I’ve always found the work TexSelect does to be outstanding. ”
Christopher Thierry, Worshipful Company of Woolmen
TexSelect is a registered charity, entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals connected to the industry. All believe wholeheartedly in supporting the next generation of textile design talent and in encouraging innovation and excellence.
If you would like to get involved with TexSelect, please find out more on the links below or get in touch.
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