TexSelect 2019 Paris: Première Vision
22 September 2019 by Roger Tredre in Fashion, Features, Home, Interiors & Auto, Sponsors, Judges & Champions
The 24 brilliant young designers chosen for TexSelect’s final year exhibited in Paris in September at Première Vision. Here’s what happened.
Paris is always the highlight of the TexSelect calendar, but this was more than ever the case in 2019 – a final, very special trip to Première Vision Designs for TexSelect before the charity closes. One way and another, it was an extraordinary occasion, with a huge outpouring of heart-felt support and emotion from creative leaders across the international textile industry as TexSelect marked its last outing in the French capital.
For most of the 24 young TexSelect designers, the experience of exhibiting at Première Vision (September 17-19) is their first contact with the real world of business. The exhibition experience requires the designers to endure 5.45am starts and three long days on the stands as well as a willingness to sell and market their work. Maddie Sellers, a knit designer, said: “It’s been fun. I like the exciting environment, being surrounded by like-minded professionals who are excited by what you are doing, and don’t have a blank expression when you explain your work.”
TexSelect Creative Director Peter Ring-Lefevre noted the growing influence of sustainable values on the design process. “It’s not just a marketing ploy. The designers are trying very hard to integrate sensitive sourcing into their collections, which can be quite challenging. But these young designers are on the ball – they will make it happen.”
Ring-Lefevre highlighted the strength of both woven and knitted designs, with many designers seeking to add a new modern sports edge to traditional looks. He was also pleased to observe lots of hand-drawn work among the 24 designers. “They can take that into the digital world too, but they are trying to make it not look too digital.”
The Paris experience represents a huge learning curve, with the designers supported and mentored by the experienced TexSelect team including Designer Liaison Gilian Little, Sponsorship Director Joanna Bowring and International Communications Executive Kate Harris.
While the registering of a first sale is an important moment in the career of any textile designer, TexSelect’s greater importance is in establishing connections and opportunities for the longer term future. Weave designer Rhianna Parker-Yates said: “I visited PV as a student four years ago, but this is different. It’s about understanding how business works – we’ve all learned so much.”
The designers were also job hunting, with several reporting short-term contract offers and paid internships at locations all round Europe. In many cases, the full benefits of PV will only become apparent months after the event as internships mutate into proper jobs and one-off freelance commissions turn into long-term collaborations.
After a busy first day, the second day in Paris concluded with the awards presentation at which Giles Lasbordes, Managing Director of Première Vision Group, announced plans for TexSelect’s visionary work to be carried on by Première Vision itself through the launch of the PV Awards Next Gen in September 2020. TexSelect chair Barbara Kennington was delighted. “We still feel passionately that it is vital to support the next generation of creative designers,” she told the audience. “We are truly delighted that Première Vision will be picking up TexSelect’s amazing legacy.”
And then there were the awards themselves. The Marks & Spencer TexSelect Fashion Textile Award, presented by Libby Allan, Trend Lead, Womenswear & Lingerie, at Marks & Spencer, went to weave designer Joanna Rance. Also on the winners’ podium were four exceptional talents from this year’s TexSelect – Rhianna Parker-Yates won the TexSelect Prize for Fashion (presented by Jayne Goulding of Jayne Goulding Studio), Amber Sorayapour the Prize for Interiors (sponsored by The Clothworkers’ Company and presented by Sir Jonathan Portal, Master, and Christopher McLean May, past Master of The Clothworkers’ Company), Maddie Sellers the Colour Prize (presented by Yann Manard of sponsor Mode Information), and Sophia Gray the Pattern Prize (presented by Jeremy Somers of Circleline and sponsored by Liberty Fabrics).
The prestigious The Woolmark Company TexTexSelect Award went to the outstanding Jaeyong Kim, a former BA Textile student from Central Saint Martins. Woolmark co-judge Alan Scott, Creative Director of Johnstons of Elgin, was impressed by all the work he saw. “The standard is so professional,” he enthused. “So many of them are so close to stepping into the industry.” A fine comment on which to conclude.