Insights & Inspiration

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New Horizons: Marie Parsons, Allison Pilling and Ruth Duff

7 January 2012 by TexSelect in Alumni Stories

2011 was an eventful and exciting year for all of Texprint’s 24. In the second of a series of updates, we highlight some of the exciting developments in the burgeoning careers of these talented textile designers. Here Allison Pilling, Marie Parsons and Ruth Duff share some of their Texprint experiences.

Marie Parsons, decorative trunk

Marie Parsons began an exciting new job in September 2011 as colour and material designer for the luxury car company Jaguar, based in Leeds. She says: “I am really enjoying the unexpected direction in which my career is moving.” Marie’s distinctive and imaginative mixed media work has application for both fashion and interiors.

Marie Parsons, shoes

She explains, “My new job is really opening my eyes, I am learning so much and really enjoying the challenge. I also intend to start working on a range of my own accessories in 2012 and will I continue to sell embroidery and mixed media work as a freelance designer, which I have been doing successfully since 2008.” For Marie, exhibiting with Texprint was a great opportunity to showcase her work: “I found that that the direct discussion and communication with industry professionals was one of the most insightful aspects of my Texprint experience. It was really valuable to listen to buyers and designers discussing how they would potentially use my fabrics and reproduce my techniques.”

Allison Pilling, printed textile

For printed textile specialist Allison Pilling the experience of exhibiting with Texprint in 2011 was confidence-boosting and career-changing: “I was excited about exhibiting at Indigo, Paris, and then I sold 26 designs! I was in complete shock. I sold 10 designs to a Brazilian company and then within 10 minutes I sold another 10 designs to a French company. Everything happened really quickly! I also sold five designs to Agnès B.

Allison Pilling, printed textile design

Exhibiting at Indigo gave me such a great insight into how the design world works. I hadn't previously considered working for myself – but I now know that this is possible – and that my designs would sell.  It has opened so many doors – to work with companies from around the world. When I left university, I was dreading being out in the ‘big bad world’ – but now I'm really excited.”

Ruth Duff, selection of woven fabrics

Finally, weave specialist Ruth Duff is now working at Lovat Mill in the Scottish Borders. The company is renowned for its production of tweed fabrics and Ruth is working in the design department during a year’s placement. Ruth found her time as one of the Texprint 24 incredibly valuable. She says: “Indigo, Paris was a fantastic opportunity and a great experience. I didn’t know what to expect from the week but it was a real confidence boost to have interest and sales from design companies in the industry. It was a big learning curve; displaying and valuing my work and sticking to the original price that I had worked out was fair – through to writing invoices. I had a couple of sales at the show and I spoke to many designers from various companies who gave me some great feedback about my collections. I now have many contacts for future commissions.”

Look out for further updates on more of the Texprint 24 coming soon.   

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