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Texprint 2012: the selection process in action

29 June 2012 by TexSelect in Sponsors, Judges & Champions

Texprint's 40th anniversary programme is underway; first step, the rigorous interviewing of over 200 hopeful young designers put forward by their universities and colleges as the best UK-trained textile graduates.

Drawing together a stellar list of industry professionals, Texprint's creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre orchestrates the three-week long interview schedule.  Each professional taking one, maybe two, days out of their busy schedules to join the daily panels and to give their time, advice and the benefit of their experience to the young designers. 

Neil Bamford, Alison Grant-Baker, James Bosley, Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint) and designer

Graduation marks emergence into the real world, a world of harsh reality, but also of aspiration, potential and important decisions – which direction to take, which internship to accept, which job to take.  To freelance or set up one’s own studio, to focus on the growing interiors market, to aim at designer level or work in the fast-moving high-street fashion sector?  Competition is stiff, and everyone needs to raise their game. 

Joining the interview panels again this year, highly respected fashion designer Anne Tyrrell MBE, notes the challenges that exist: “Seeing the work from different colleges is quite an eye-opener; in many cases at BA level there is an apparent lack of awareness of the requirements of the textile industry that they are entering into.”

Anne is also Honorary Fellow of the RCA, member of British Fashion Council Advisory Board, current Chairman of BFC Colleges Council, a member of Texprint’s Management Council – and a passionate advocate of design excellence. 

We would agree with her – there is little doubt that it is not enough to be talented – nowadays young designers need to be articulate, confident, capable and hard working.  They need to have done their research and to have an intelligent appreciation of the world they are going into.  They also however need support, advice and to benefit from experience of those who have been there, done that. 

Jane Kellock, Janet Holbrook, James Stone, Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint) and designer

Texprint plays an important role in drawing to the surface young designers from across the UK and connecting them with industry. 

For many of these graduates the Texprint interviews provide their very first opportunity to meet and mix with professionals, to explain themselves and their work. It can be daunting, but also enlightening – Jaine McCormack, designer, interiors consultant and former design director at Laura Ashley and Arthur Sanderson, says: “Every year is different, but special. Texprint offers a unique opportunity to the graduates being interviewed – a mixture of wisdom and experience, objective insight and direction.  And on a personal level, it is so satisfying to help these young designers see new possibilities and directions that perhaps they hadn’t even considered or aspired to.”

“Texprint provides a platform for graduates to get direct feedback from industrial professionals, possibly for the first time in their lives,” says Ed Forster, product innovation at Liberty Art Fabrics (Texprint 2007).

By 6 July, following the interviews and much debate, 24 'best of the best' young designers will have been selected to participate in the Texprint 2012 programme.  Their journey of opportunities starts with Texprint London, 12-13 July, an exhibition of their work held at The Triangle Building, Chelsea College of Art & Design, to which the wider industry is invited. 

Eleanor Pritchard, Michael Angove, Philippa Watkins, Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint) and designer

Texprint 2012 is indebted to the following industry panelists, for their time, energy and commitment:

James Stone, View Studio; Jane Kellock, BTCG Colour Group & Stylus Interiors; David Edmond, designer/artist; Melissa Wright, Whiston & Wright Studio; Claudia Clinton-Smith, EyeFix; Jo Marks, Eyefix; Jeremy Somers, Circle Line Studio; Ruth Greany, fabric editor, WGSN; Emma Sewell, weave specialist, Wallace Sewell; Margo Selby, own retail & studio; Chris Judge, designer; Helen Palmer, senior editor, Trends, WGSN; Delphine Thwaites, designer and GGHQ; Michael Angove, artist and print designer; Alison Grant-Baker, Joe Baker Design; Philippa Brock, weave specialist and tutor; Catherine Barber, colour and materials consultant; Anne Tyrrell MBE, Anne Tyrrell Design Consultancy; Neil Bamford, Mint Design Studio; Angela Swan, weave specialist; Kirsty McDougall, weave specialist and tutor; Jessica Chadwick, Quinton Chadwick Studio; James Bosley, senior printmaker of London Printworks Trust; Jaqui Lewis of Lewis & Lewis Studio; Janet Holbrook, Holbrook Studio; Ed Forster, Liberty Art Fabrics and Texprint alumnus; Eleanor Pritchard, weave specialist and consultant; Philippa Watkins, weaver, journalist and tutor; Jaine McCormack, freelance textiles and interiors; Alice Palmer, knitwear designer; Lorna Bircham, weave specialist and tutor; Angela Swan-Greave; Scarlet Oliver, designer and Texprint alumna; Jaqui Lewis, Lewis & Lewis; Chantelle Morton, consultant; Tamasyn Gambell, print designer and Texprint alumna.  Also Joyce Thornton, web press and observer, and Gill Gledhill, GGHQ PR and observer.

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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.

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