Marks & Spencer Student Design
Marks & Spencer invited 3rd year students from the University of Westminster to explore wool performance and the core values of the Campaign for Wool and develop and create designs to complement the M&S Menswear A/W 20 Wool Collection.
Students were set out to design a garment utilising M&S’s unique archive and rich history as a starting point for exploration. They were looking for creative wool designs that perfectly capture heritage, innovation and contemporary style whilst embracing the Plan A eco and ethical programme to enable M&S to re-purpose, reuse, recycle, remake and reduce. Students had to ensure the product aligns with our customer/ brand image and market sector placement.
“The Campaign for Wool competition was of great interest as it perfectly aligned with our M&S Plan A eco and ethical values. Our focus at M&S is to deliver to our customer modern style, incredible value and innovation whilst manufacturing in a globally responsible manner. It is so important for me personally to support and develop young designers. The competition is a great platform to engage with 3rd year students from the University of Westminster to explore wool performance and the core values of the Campaign for Wool and develop and create designs to compliment the M&S Menswear A/W20 Collection.
M&S believe in supporting the graduate’s development of their idea. We provided the opportunity to experience full product development from working with our specialised designers in establishing design packs to industry standards, attending fit reviews to establish a block and understand grading and finally to meeting with suppliers to hand over design brief and follow development of the garments. Hannah presented great confidence in considering wool and its performance. She redefined it in a new casual minimal aesthetic, perfectly capturing heritage, innovation and contemporary style. The development of her idea took place whilst in lockdown in Scotland ‘With no Man in The House’ as she explained in the presentation. There is an ease and simplicity to her designs that evokes desirability.
Hannah selected a broad range of fabrics for her pieces. The silhouette appears loose and unstructured. Garments all evoke the natural comfort of wool with a new take on a DB blazer styled with a fatigue trouser and a merino knit T shirt. There is clearly a focus for detail in her exploration of design. Knowing the welt pocket shape, the curve on the raglan seam and the placement of square pockets all contributed to highly desirable and balanced items in a palette echoing thistle blue, neutrals and heathered greys. This created a really fresh approach to a full outfit look in perfect synergy with the direction for M&S Menswear.
We are delighted to support campaign for Wool in the promotion of this wonderful natural fibre and the development of young talent. We do hope Hannah will accept our offer of work experience within our menswear design team. Karen Hall, Head of Design Menswear M&S Menswear
“This experience has been incredible, I have learnt a huge amount from M&S and from the mills that I visited. Wool has always been something that I have used and considered within my designs. The shapes that can be achieved with wool fibre cloths are beautiful and have always and will always be relevant. Working with the M&S team was fantastic, everyday I learnt something new and I was able to achieve the garments that I wanted to make which was amazing. Thank you”. Hannah Sosna, Winning Student
100% Extra fine Merino Wool.
Wool Fatigue Trouser: 100% Wool.
Double Breasted Check Blazer: 55% Wool blend.
“During the process of the M&S wool week competition, I have been able to really see the processes of M&S and wool development alike. Understanding the benefits of utilising wool as a reliable and eco-conscious material offered an abundance of new experiences in the process of designing with wool. For me, this project propelled the marriage of my personal obsession with subverting british heritage with the craft of British wool development; allowing me to gain a more authentic insight into a traditional practice that has sustained a marked place in modern innovation.” Steven Stokey-Daley, Runner Up
60% wool bonded camel and check double face fabric from Picchi
Exclusive development by M&S for the Student Design Project. Wool Week Menswear Collection available from www.marksandspencer.com