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TexSelect to Close after 50th Anniversary Year

9 May 2019 by TexSelect in Features, Press Releases, TexSelect News

TexSelect honorary chairman Barbara Kennington explains why this is the last year of TexSelect – after 50 years of supporting young textile design talent.

Over 50 years, TexSelect (previously called Texprint) has interviewed more than 10,000 young textile designers and supported more than 1,250 of them to develop their careers and launch into the industry. For a charity entirely reliant on generous sponsors, it’s an achievement of which we are very proud.

But as the industry changes and sponsorship budgets shrink, TexSelect has found it tough in recent years to raise the funds required. At the same time, many of our loyal and long-serving management team are retiring. And, in the era of social media, designers have evolved new ways to promote their talents and develop themselves. In its 50thyear, it seems right, however sad, to bring the TexSelect story to a close.

That means that TexSelect’s presence at Première Vision Paris this September will be its last trip to the international textile fair, which has given outstanding support to the charity over many years.

As our CEO Helga Goldman is retiring, it is our ambition to complete the 2019 programme on a celebratory note, thanking Helga for her outstanding contribution to this unique and remarkable charity, a contribution that, together with the dedicated TexSelect team and the generous personal input of industry and academic experts, has enabled and enhanced the careers of so many UK-trained textile designers.

In addition, it has for the past two years been my plan to retire as Chairman, following eight highly enjoyable years, a decision I delayed given the recent uncertainty.  This coincides with the decisions of other key members of the Management Team, who also feel it is the right time for them to step down. Ideally, these roles would be taken on by the next generation, but in the present circumstances this is not a realistic option.

For all of us, working with the young designers and TexSelect has been nothing but a joy.  We still feel passionately that it is vital to support the next generation of creative designers, and perhaps in time a ‘TexSelect’ in a new form may emerge to better reflect the needs of global industry as it is now.

I know that this news will come as a great disappointment to our many supporters. However, we wish to highlight and applaud the textile design excellence that our alumni have taken into industry, both at home and internationally, over the past 50 years. A big thank you to all our supporters and friends for your interest and support over the years.

TexSelect’s London Preview will take place at Chelsea College of Arts in July, with the exhibition showcasing the work of this year’s cohort of selected designers open on 10th and 11th July.  We very much hope to see many of our supporters there – or in Paris in September.

Until 2020, of course, it is business as usual for TexSelect, and we look forward this summer to seeing the inspiring work of a new generation of designers.

 

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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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