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The Texprint 24; Indigo highlights 2011

9 October 2011 by TexSelect in Sponsors, Judges & Champions

The Texprint 24 exhibited at the textile design show Indigo, Paris, September 20 – 22. For these talented textile designers, chosen from over 200 graduates nominated by their colleges, this was their first experience of selling their work alongside professional, established designers.

This prestigious showcase in Paris is a fantastic platform for the emerging designers and vital to Texprint’s aim of helping to launch the careers of some of the best British graduates. The immediate success of this year’s group was tremendous and with many contacts made and discussions initiated, the positive effects of the show will be felt for many months to come.

Nino Cerruti (centre) views design work by Amy Jo Lewis

Allison Pilling’s colourful prints were tremendously successful. She says: “I sold more than I ever imagined. I was just excited about exhibiting – then I sold 26 designs! I was in complete shock! Brazilian company, La Estampa bought 10 designs, and then I sold another 10 to French company Atoll. American company LeSportsac also bought a design; with the buyers giving me a lot of good advice. They were really complimentary; it was a great confidence boost. I then sold five designs to Agnès B. Agnès is using three of these as part of a new collection. Before Indigo, I hadn't considered the possibility of working for myself and setting up my own company, but I now know that it’s possible – and that my designs would sell. This has opened so many doors… I now have possibilities of working in New York and with other companies from around the world – it’s crazy! When I left university, I was dreading being out in the big bad world, but all that has changed – I'm now really excited about the future.”

Woolmark Judges at Texprint, Indigo, Paris

Knitwear specialist Harri Batty thoroughly enjoyed her experience in Paris; she says: “Indigo was a great success for me – I sold pieces to French labels Didier Parakian and Bleu, Blanc Rouge. I found the selling experience invaluable – writing invoices and discussing sales with clients is nerve racking stuff … but having the support of the Texprint team made this tricky task a little less scary. The feeling you get from selling is so exciting, it is amazing and reassuring to know that people in the industry want to buy the designs that you so carefully thought about and hand crafted. It spurs you on – for me it was about moving from being a student to a designer.”

Marie Parsons shows buyers her work at Indigo, Paris

Weaver Amy Jo Lewis also felt this transition keenly: “Indigo was a wonderful experience that at long last made me feel like a professional designer as opposed to a student. It was extremely interesting to see what type of customers were attracted to my work – as it was not necessarily where I had initially pitched my collection. Sportswear company Lululemon Athletica was the biggest fan of my work. I’m excited to see how the designers incorporate my designs into their collections. I was also really delighted when H&M bought one of my favourite pieces for a future collection.I also had really positive feedback from a great variety of other industry visitors including, Nino Cerruti, Timothy Everett, Alexander Wang, Nathan Jenden, Maison Anna Heylen and Robert Rodriguez. Indigo was an invaluable learning curve regarding aspects of the design industry that we are not taught at university, such as ways of displaying your work, invoicing correctly, talking professionally to potential clients – including being willing to say no to them at times. I’m now about to begin a two-month traineeship with Tessitura Taiana Virgilio Spa in Lake Como, Italy.”

Emma Shipley’s graphic prints attracted a continual stream of interest. Her lovely scarves were selling fast to individual buyers, and both Parisian and American retailers are currently in discussion with her. In the UK, Browns of South Molton Street will be stocking Emma’s scarves from November.

The Texprint 24 with Agnes B and Barbara Kennington at Indigo, Paris

Weave specialist and the Woolmark Texprint Prize winner Harriet Toogood also found her Paris trip an invaluable experience, she explains: “It exceeded my expectations – my highlight was winning the Woolmark Texprint Award – I was over the moon, yet shocked! I had some great interest and feedback from industry visitors, and I have learnt so much from what they said. I sold some pieces on the final day – I was so delighted when an hour before we took the stands down, I got to write out two invoices. As well as all of that, I was conscious that I was part of a great bunch of people – I could not have asked for a better week.”

These are just a few highlights from an exciting few days. Aside from individual sales, 45 freelance opportunities arose, as well as nine firm job offers and 22 commissions. Beyond those mentioned above, industry visitors to the Texprint village included global sportswear brand Nike; fashion retailers Accessorize and Victoria’s Secret;  designers from Louis Vuitton and Roland Mouret himself.

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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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